13 virtual experiences in York you have to try

York’s many great attractions may be locked up right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t visit.

Thanks to a combination of ingenuity and the internet, we can still go on a tour of some of the city’s best bits.

You can meet Vikings, explore gardens and go on ghost walks.

Visit York has now pulled some of these together in a #YorkAtHome page.

“It has been wonderful to see how the city’s tourism businesses have adapted to the lockdown – creating unique online experiences and entertaining content for people to enjoy from home,” said Make It York leisure marketing manager Michelle Brown.

So here are a few places you can go… without going anywhere…

York Army Museum

This truly impressive virtual tour of the museum is well worth spending some time over. See all the exhibits as if you were there – and even in 3D if you have a VR headset…

York Minster

Virtual visitors can now explore the hidden stories of York Minster’s Great East Window, the country’s largest single expanse of medieval stained glass.

The new Stained Glass Navigator site features high-resolution photos of all 311 panels from the recently restored medieval masterpiece, allowing people to explore the whole window online for the first time and view the detail of its intricately painted 600-year old glass.

York Museums Trust

Harland Miller discusses his work and relationship with his home town of York in this video via York Art Gallery – just one of many online activities to enjoy from York Museums Trust.

You can also explore Kirkgate at the Castle Museum and lose yourself in the online collections.

York Ghost Tour

Ironically for ‘the most haunted city in Europe’ York has become a bit of a ghost town recently.

Which makes Dorian Deathly’s live (ish) ghost tour of lockdown York all the more spooky. Join him on a nighttime stroll through some of the spookiest streets and most terrifying tales the city has to offer.

National Railway Museum

Immerse yourself in stories from centuries of railway history and discover unexpected objects from the world’s largest railway collection.

York Mansion House

The beautiful Mansion House may be shut for now, but its video channel gives us a chance to learn some Georgian-style secrets.

York’s nuclear bunker

Take a trip round this remarkable piece of Cold War history, thanks to Google arts and culture.

York Cat Trail

Peter from the Cat Gallery takes us on a tour of all the cats on buildings in York city centre. How many did you know were there?

Castle Howard

Historian Dr Chris Ridgway has done a series of video lectures on this remarkable country pile – see them all on the link below.

York Theatre Royal

Enjoy again the full community production of York Theatre Royal’s suffragette drama Everything Is Possible.

Or take part in the theatre’s Collective Acts of Creativity, with interactive challenges and more.

Aesthetica Short Films

The magnificent short movie festival Aesthetica will – hopefully – be back in November.

But there’s no need to wait. Some of the best films showcased at the event over the years are available in their archive.

Stillingfleet Lodge

If you’re missing wide open spaces this could be for you. Stillingfleet Lodge is taking part in the virtual National Gardens Scheme, a way to keep garden gates virtually open and continue to raise money for nursing charities.

This video recreate’s a swallow’s eye view over the lodge and gardens. And if you enjoyed you can go here to donate to the nursing and health charities it supports.

Jorvik Viking Centre

These interactive online materials aimed at children and curious adults will help you learn about York’s rich Norse heritage, the excavation of Coppergate and much more.