Explore London: A Virtual and Accessible Tour
In our second installment we are taking you across the pond to London, England. We hope you enjoy exploring this great city from your home. As always, we are trying to make sure the content we suggest is accessible in different ways, but if you find barriers please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know so that we can improve!
Visit the Museums and Sites
When thinking of London, one of the first things that comes to mind is the world of Shakespeare. Luckily for Shakespeare enthusiast’s The Globe is offering virtual tours (and shows, more on that in the next section). Although there is no separate accessibility version, this virtual tour is accessible to those without visual disabilities. In addition, they have a wonderful section of their website about accessibility, which is especially useful once tourism reopens. Another iconic site in London is the Tower of London. They provide a virtual tour online and also have an accessibility version.
For those interested in classical art, the British Museum is a staple of any London visit. The museum hosts a podcast, and there is recent episode that focuses specifically on accessibility. The podcast is a great way to explore the museum audibly. For those who would prefer to explore the museum visually the site also includes several galleries, from 3D images of objects to Google Street View tours. Their notice about the closure includes details on how to access these galleries.
Enjoy London Performances
Similar to our recent trip to New York, London is a live theater hub. The National Theatre is airing performances online with closed captions. As we mentioned earlier, Shakespeare’s Globe is also airing performances online. Some do have audio description, which is indicated with the performance.
Tune in to Shows and Documentaries About London
It is near impossible to pare down London’s history into a few videos. If you are interested in the history of World War II Netflix has a show Greatest Events of WWII in Colour, and one of the episodes focuses on England (Season 1, Episode 2). Although this show does not have audio description it does have captions.
Amazon Prime has several shows about London, including the Love London series and London: A City in Time. Love London delves into the history in a modern setting, whereas London: A City in Time is a documentary focused on the city’s history. Both of these have captions, but no audio description.
For a classic fictional show, Sherlock is available on Netflix with both audio description and captions. In other fiction, Call the Midwife is a period drama set in London, this show is also available on Netflix with both audio description and captions.
Get Lost in London Books
Peter Ackroyd (the author of London: The Biography) recommends five books about london in his interview on Five Books. One of the books he recommends is available on Audible and another is available on CD/cassette. The other three, however, are only available in print. If you want to delve deeper into the history of London, here is another list of 9 books, both fiction and nonfiction, that are grounded in London's history. Of these eight are on Kindle, three are on Audible, and one is on audio CD. Culture Trip also has a list of 10 books to read before visiting London, and it includes more fiction titles. This list has classics such as Mrs. Dalloway and Oliver Twist as well as more contemporary titles such as The Lonely Londoners and Swing Time. Eight of the books they recommend are available on Kindle, and seven are available on Audible.
Bring London to Your Kitchen
Although there is a plethora of international food in London, we are choosing to focus on two traditionally British dishes. First, crumpets. A crumpet is a small griddle cake and although it appears to be similar to an English Muffin, it is different in both its ingredients and cooking method. We recommend having one if you haven’t already, they are absolutely delicious! For a classic recipe check out King Arthur Flour and for a gluten-free option look into Coeliac.org’s recipe.
Another classic British meal is the ever-popular English breakfast. Historic UK has an overview of the tradition of the full English breakfast, sometimes called a fry-up. Although this meal tends to be heavy on butter and meat classically, there is a vegan recipe from Delish, making it a great option for those with dairy allergies or other dietary restrictions.
Where to Next?
Thanks for wandering London with us virtually. Join us next time as we head to South Africa to explore Cape Town and the Western Cape.