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We may all be isolating at home but that shouldn’t stop us enjoying London’s culture – find the best things to do at home in London, from live streams and webcams to virtual experiences. All recommended by Visit London.
Streamed shows and online theatre in London
- See the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo in National Theatre at Home‘s performances, for free, every Thursday. Each show is also free to stream for a week afterwards. Thursdays at 7pm.
- Sing along to some of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s biggest West End musicals with The Shows Must Go On, including Cats and Phantom of the Opera. Fridays at 7pm.
- Make use of free content on Globe Player, Shakespeare’s Globe’s online platform, which also offers recordings of its productions for a small fee.
- Catch the National Youth Theatre’s live Sunday Sessions from young musicians on its YouTube channel. Sundays.
- Head over to Official London Theatre’s YouTube channel for your fix of theatre, behind-the-scenes videos and interviews.
- Hear a global cast read complete Shakespearean works every week with The Show Must Go Online. Wednesdays at 7pm.
- Watch the world online premiere of The Beast Will Rise, a collection of monologues by Philip Ridley each week. Saturdays at 7pm.
Live online concerts and recorded performances
- Join the London Symphony Orchestra for full-length concerts from its archives, as part of its Always Playing series of streamed performances, playlists and interviews. Thursdays and Sundays.
- Tune in to the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s online series of performances and playlists on LPOnline. Various dates.
- Settle down for a night of entertainment as the Royal Albert Hall launches #RoyalAlbertHome, with nightly streamed shows, direct from the homes of top artists. Various dates.
- Listen to The Prince of Egypt songs as Ghostlight Records releases its original cast recording on digital and streaming formats at @PrinceOfEgyptUK.
Virtual dance, opera and comedy
- Catch ballet or opera every Friday, streamed live on the Royal Opera House’s Facebook and YouTube channels. Options include Così Fan Tutte and The Winter’s Tale. Fridays until 15 May.
- Enjoy free English National Ballet performances from home, including weekly Wednesday Watch Parties (Wednesdays at 7pm). Various dates.
- Watch full-length dance performances from Sadler’s Wells using its Digital Stage.
- The likes of Jo Brand, Russell Kane and Professor Brian Cox are putting on live comedy and podcasts during The Stay at Home Festival – the shows are free but tips are welcome! Various dates.
Online classes and workshops
- Follow top tips from Seven Dials shops with free online tutorials, from hair and beauty to cooking and jewellery, as part of Seven Dials @ Home. Various dates.
- Enjoy the best of King’s Cross’ creatives from the comfort of your home, with live masterclasses, webinars and competitions as part of its #KX2U series. Various dates.
- Keep your green fingers active with top tips from Covent Garden‘s Head Gardener and horticulture expert Kenny Raybould. Weekly.
- Be transported (albeit virtually) to iconic Battersea Power Station, where Battersea at Home bundles up recipes, fitness tips and Boredom Busters. Various dates.
- Join the Saatchi Gallery as selected artists and art educators host #SaatchiArtClub workshops and discussions on Instagram Live. Mondays to Fridays at 2pm.
- Find out about Japanese culture and its delicious food by logging on to the Japan Centre’s blog page. Daily.
- Get creative, as the Wellcome Collection’s Zine Club moves to Instagram Live. Wednesdays from 2pm to 4pm.
- Recreate your favourite Chinatown dishes at home with #BringingChinatownHome.
- Go behind the scenes of iconic Regent Street shops and restaurants, including tasty recipes from The Langham and Sakagura, and Untold Stories from retailers.
- Tune in to Cahoots London‘s Instagram for a cocktail making masterclass.
- Pretend you’re in Leake Street Arches as you watch exclusive music performances and join graffiti tutorials via #LeakeStreetLive. Thursdays.
- Sing along to pop hits with London-wide choir Some Voices. Its free virtual singing sessions take place each Wednesday on YouTube. Wednesdays at 7pm.
Keeping fit and mindful
- Lose yourself in a yoga class. Hotpod and Digme are among many studios streaming live workouts.
- Find some inner calm during online meditation classes with daily sessions from Inner Space.
- Keep those muscles toned with live streamed classes across the capital, including Barry’s Bootcamp and Third Space.
- Get a pump on with Matt Roberts Evolution‘s free 20-minute at-home workout videos.
- Join in with JAB Boxing‘s daily boxing classes via its Instagram channel.
- Check out Sport England‘s hub for helping you to keep active at home and join the #StayInWorkOut movement.
- Keep book smart and make use of online content and a range of services from The British Library.
Live webcams of London
Virtual events in London
- Missed going to the market? Shop with more than 80 market traders during Greenwich Market‘s virtual experience. New dates TBC.
- World-famous Chelsea Flower Show has moved online this year: peek into designers’ own gardens, find top tips and join Q&As. 18-23 May.
- Gaze into the viewing rooms of the online London Original Print Fair, with an interactive map of its 51 exhibitors. Until 31 May.
- Check out the latest trends and talks in fashion, as London Fashion Week goes virtual – bringing together its womenswear and menswear shows. 12-14 June.
- Get involved in online music lessons, virtual choirs and the Live from Home Challenge as part of Make Music Day. 21 Jun.
Museum and gallery virtual tours
- Visit the National Gallery without leaving the house – there are hundreds of paintings to explore, so put the kettle on and get ready for hours of exploration.
- Step inside the beating heart of the UK government as you go behind the scenes on a virtual tour of the Houses of Parliament, including the famous House of Commons Chamber.
- Travel through time as you learn more about the objects that shaped history with the British Museum’s virtual tour.
- Get expert takes on exhibits and delve into the stories hidden within the Royal Museums Greenwich through videos, talks and archived material. Or tune in to live Facebook talks with curators and special guests every Thursday.
- Experience a mix of digital content from various art forms, regularly shared by the Barbican’s Read, Watch & Listen programme.
- Explore the London Transport Museum‘s collection without moving from your armchair, including iconic transport-themed posters with Poster Power.
- See animal exhibits, Hope the whale and many other natural wonders of the Natural History Museum using the Google Arts & Culture tour.
- Take a virtual tour of “Britain’s Sistine Chapel” and marvel at the Baroque interiors of the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College.
- Find out how Winston Churchill masterminded victory from his secret wartime bunker, on an interactive virtual tour of Churchill War Rooms.
- Browse more than 200,000 works in the National Portrait Gallery’s online collection.
- Virtually take a look at the Wellcome Collection‘s eclectic exhibits spanning art, medicine and science, with its online collection.
London virtual exhibitions
- Take a virtual video tour of the Among The Trees exhibition at the Hayward Gallery.
- Join the curators of the Andy Warhol exhibition at Tate Modern, as they give a room by room tour.
- Explore the monochrome works of Aubrey Beardsley at Tate Britain, without even setting foot outside.
- See the world’s longest public artwork online via a Google Arts & Culture tour of Illuminated River, taking in four of London’s bridges at night.
- Delve into some of Picasso’s most intriguing works on a virtual tour of the Royal Academy of Arts’ exhibition Picasso and Paper.
- If you were planning to visit the Florence Nightingale Museum’s latest exhibition, take a look at the online guide instead to learn more about “The Lady with the Lamp”.
- Marvel at The Courtauld Gallery’s spaces in 3D, just as they were before it closed for refurbishment in 2018 – keep an eye out for Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear.
- Step back to 1851, when Hyde Park hosted The Great Exhibition. Learn all about the industrial age with a virtual tour of this epic event housed in the “Crystal Palace”.
- Watch art being created in the moment by live streaming monthly quick-fire commissions as part of Somerset House’s I Should be Doing Something Else Right Now series. Or take inspiration from artists as they share their new and existing work live on Transmissions (until 29 May).
London virtual tours
- Strap yourself into your favourite armchair and explore London with video installments of Twizy Tours‘ tours, all filmed from its quirky electric cars.
- Tour London areas alongside Blue Badge guides Katie Wignall on #LookUpLondonLive tours.
- Delve into the history of some of London’s much-loved areas with Alex Lacey’s daily #GlobalTeaBreak on Instagram Live. Mondays to Fridays at 3pm.
- Join London guide Pepe Martinez on Instagram for regular London “chit chats” and fascinating facts.
- Follow Dani the Guide for quirky London history, its people and lesser-known stories.
- Join Miss Magpie Tours for a musical take on London sightseeing in regular Instagram videos.
- Find out more about London areas, sights and its notable people with Guide Emily.
- Take a high-speed trip along the Thames with Thames Rockets’ 360-degree virtual RIB ride.
- Navigate around top sights on a 360-degree virtual tour of London attractions.
- Be amazed by the art deco interiors of Eltham Palace or explore its gardens on Google Arts & Culture virtual tours.
- See the Grave of the Unknown Warrior and the Coronation Chair on a virtual tour of Westminster Abbey, one of London’s most iconic places of worship.
- Be guided around London with Golden Tours‘ virtual experiences of the capital.
- Join The Association Of Professional Tour Guides (APTG) for regular London-themed broadcasts on YouTube. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 4pm.
Free online quizzes and challenges
- Assemble a team for a quiz about Tower Bridge every Friday, put together by a team of expert guides and historians. Fridays.
- Don your thinking caps as quizmasters including Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Lenny Henry host the National Theatre at Home Quiz. Various dates.
- Enjoy a Thursday night in with a difference, as Sink the Pink’s outlandish LGBT+ quiz night moves to IGTV with its usual mix of cabaret, drag and cocktails. Thursdays at 7pm.
- Know your Mozart from your Monteverdi? Test your classical music knowledge each Tuesday with the London Symphony Orchestra’s quiz on Instagram Stories. Tuesdays.
- Create a new masterpiece to share each day with the #RADailyDoodle on Twitter, set by the Royal Academy.
- Take on Thames Clippers’ Thames Teasers challenges, from designing your own boat to sharing memories. Ongoing.
- Sing, dance, and laugh through lockdown, with theatre and dance-themed #EveryHomeATheatre challenges from Mousetrap Theatre Projects.
London TV and movie nights
- Snuggle up to free short films from BFI Player.
- Binge on London-themed box sets on BBC iPlayer, such as Fleabag, Luther, Spooks and Sherlock. (UK only)
- Find a comfy position and join a virtual in-home screening of Secret Cinema’s most celebrated films with Secret Sofa every Friday. Fridays at 7.30pm.
- Relive classic London films from your collection, whether rom-coms Notting Hill and Love Actually, thrill-a-minute James Bond, or family favourites Paddington and Mary Poppins.
Things to do at home with kids
- Fancy bringing a touch of magic to your home? Have a go at film-making, costume design and more with Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.
- Watch as the zookeepers at London Zoo reveal behind-the-scenes footage in their London Lockdown Diaries series.
- In addition to shows, Sadler’s Wells Digital Stage is hosting regular dance workshops for children and over-60s.
- Enjoy visiting the City of London from home, with everything from virtual exhibitions to activities for all ages.
- Stage a royal coronation, make your own secret sign language and play navigation games online with Westminster Abbey.
- Look out for South Westminster BIDs’ Virtual Event Series, including yoga and storytelling for the kids, and meditation and cooking classes for mums and dads.
- Delve into history with the Imperial War Museums’ new digital programme, Adventures in History, including virtual tours, collections and stories online. Or join the Family Mission every Friday at 11am on the museums’ Twitter and Facebook channels, for challenges and fun activities.