Watford Park
Watford Park
Watford Park U3A

Magnify text ASmaller print aa

Useful Links

Websites have a habit of changing, so sometimes the links below may become 'broken'. If you find such instances please advise the Webmaster who will try to correct them.

Index of Content on this page (click to take a shortcut straight there)

Online entertainment sources
Third Age Trust our parent organisation
Other U3As in the area

 

Online entertainment sources

You may find some of these really valuable during the Covid pandemic - a reminder of whatwe were once able to go and see in person.

The information and resources are grouped under the following headings. Click on one to take a shortcut straight to that section. Alternatively just scroll down the page to see everything that is available.

Books, Newspapers, and Magazines
Galleries, Museums and Historic Buildings
Online Courses
Opera and Dance
Science
Social Activities
Theatre
Music and Concerts
Virtual Outings

 

Books, Newspapers, and Magazines

Hertfordshire Libraries

With your Library Card you can sign up with RBDigital to read around 150 UK magazines, and with PressReader to read over 7000 world newspapers and magazines, online for free. This Hertfordshire Libraries page gives you the links to sign in or register.

Borrowbox

With your library card you can also sign up to Borrowbox, and read ebooks and listen to audiobooks for free – with no overdue charges.

You will need your Library Card number and PIN. If you have forgotten your PIN you can get a reminder online through the Borrowbox site.

 

Galleries, Museums and Historic Buildings

Ancient Egypt

The Egyptian Tourist Board have four virtual tours of ancient tombs, enhanced by 3D modelling from Harvard University:

British Museum

This iconic museum located in the heart of London allows virtual visitors to tour the Great Court and discover the ancient Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies. You can also find hundreds of artifacts on the museum’s virtual tour.

The British Museum has also issued a film (which has been shown in cinemas) of the Pompeii exhibition held at the British Museum in 2013.

Google Arts & Culture

Google have put together links to over 2000 of the world's most renowned museums and art collections that you can view from home, via this link.

Guggenheim Museum, New York

Google’s Street View feature lets visitors tour the Guggenheim’s famous spiral staircase without ever leaving home. From there, you can discover incredible works of art from the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary eras.

The J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

European artworks from as far back as the 8th Century can be found in this California art museum. Take a Street View tour to discover a huge collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, manuscripts, and photographs.

Louvre

The Louvre has four virtual tours of some of its galleries available on its website.

MASP, São Paulo

The Museu de Arte de São Paulo is a non-profit and Brazil’s first modern museum. Artworks placed on clear perspex frames make it seem like the artwork is hovering in midair. Take a virtual tour to experience the wondrous display for yourself.

Musée d'Orsay, Paris

You can virtually walk through this popular gallery that houses dozens of famous works from French artists who worked and lived between 1848 and 1914. Get a peek at artworks from Monet, Cézanne, and Gauguin, among others

National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

This famous American art museum features two online exhibits through Google. The first is an exhibit of American fashion from 1740 to 1895, including many renderings of clothes from the colonial and Revolutionary eras. The second is a collection of works from Dutch Baroque painter Johannes Vermeer.

National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City

Built in 1964, this museum is dedicated to the archaeology and history of Mexico’s pre-Hispanic heritage. There are 23 exhibit rooms filled with ancient artifacts, including some from the Mayan civilization.

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul

One of Korea’s popular museums can be accessed from anywhere around the world. Google’s virtual tour takes you through six floors of Contemporary art from Korea and all over the globe.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin

As one of Germany’s largest museums, Pergamon has a lot to offer – even if youcan’t physically be there. This historical museum is home to plenty of ancient artifacts including the Ishtar Gate of Babylon and, of course, the Pergamon Altar.

Rijksmuseum from home

Amsterdam's famous Rijksmuseum has short videos and digital tours available on its website allowing us all to enjoy their art from the comfort of our living rooms.

Royal Academy

While the RA's doors are temporarily closed, you can experience their ‘Picasso and Paper’ exhibition from home, in a video tour of their galleries that is accessible from their website. Also available there are various other RA videos and podcasts.

Uffizi Gallery, Florence

This less well-known gallery houses the art collection of one of Florence, Italy’s most famous families, the de'Medicis. The building was designed by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 specifically for Cosimo I de'Medici, but anyone can wander its halls from anywhere in the world.

Van Eyke from Home

Tourism Flanders has filmed a guided tour of the Van Eyke exhibition at the Museum door Schone Kunsten in Ghent. Till-Holger Borchert, Director Museums, Bruges and one of the curators of Van Eyck An Optical Revolution, takes you through the galleries. He reflects on some of the works by the Flemish Master, which are now exceptionally collected in one place.

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Anyone who is a fan of this tragic, ingenious painter can see his works up close (or, almost up close) by virtually visiting this museum – the largest collection of artworks by Vincent van Gogh, including over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and over 750 personal letters.

Vatican Museum

The Vatican Museum has a series of virtual tours available on their website, including one of the Sistine Chapel.

Virtual Museum and Gallery Exhibitions

The Evening Standard has compiled the best virtual museum and gallery exhibitions from around the world for you to visit online. Included are the Natural History Museum, the British Museum, the National Gallery, and the V&A. They can be accesses through this link.

Virtual Tours of London

The Evening Standard has also complied nine interactive experiences of the capital's landmarks and attractions, including Buckingham Palace, The Churchill War Rooms and 10 Downing Street, the Houses of Parliament, and the Tower of London. They can be accessed through this link.

 

Online Courses

Basic Computer Skills

GCFGlobal provide a large amount of free online technical resources and tutorials, including a number that are specifically aimed at providing basic computer skills. This link will take you to the Basic Skills page on the GCFGlobal website.

FutureLearn

FutureLearn offers you a powerful new way to learn online.

You will need to register on their website (via the Sign In button), but this is simple and free.

Choose from hundreds of online courses from top universities and specialist organisations. Every course has been designed according to principles of effective learning, through storytelling, discussion, visible learning, and using community support to celebrate progress.

Coursera

Coursera collaborate with nearly 200 leading universities and companies. Each of their courses is taught by top instructors from world-class universities and companies, so you can learn something new anytime, anywhere. Hundreds of free courses give you access to on-demand video lectures, homework exercises, and community discussion forums. Paid courses provide additional quizzes and projects as well as a shareable Course Certificate upon completion.

Joining is free on their website.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. They tackle maths, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. Their maths missions guide learners from kindergarten to calculus using state-of-the-art, adaptive technology that identifies strengths and learning gaps. They've also partnered with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialized content.

Sign up for free on their website.

 

Opera and Dance

 English Touring Opera

English Touring Opera have recently released a video of a live recording of Bach's St John Passion on their You Tube channel. They have a number of other short videos available there too. 

Royal Opera House

As part of their OurHouseToYourHouse initiative, the Royal Opera House will be offering a programme of live broadcasts that audiences can access anywhere across the globe.

  • 25 March, 7pm: Peter and the Wolf, The Royal Ballet
  • 3 April, 7pm: Acis and Galetea, The Royal Opera
  • 10 April, 7pm: Cosi fan Tutti, the Royal Opera
  • 17 April, 7pm: The Metamorphosis, The Royal Ballet

All will be broadcast via the ROH YouTube channel (accessed here), and, along with other productions, will be available to view after the live stream.

Sadler's Wells

Sadler's Wells will be screening archive performances, special one-off created-just-for-screen, and dance workshops, aimed at a variety of ages - from a family workout for ages two to six, to classes for the over sixties.

These can be accessed via the Sadler's Wells Digital Stage.

Opera North

Watch Britten's Turn of the Screw

Glyndebourne

Watch Mozart's Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail

Watch Mozart's three da Ponte operas.  These will be shown on 3 successive Sundays starting on 24th May. Each opera is only available for 1 week. 

New York Metropolitan Opera

They are streaming a different production every night.  Strauss, Puccini, Offenbach, Verdi, Rossini, Donnizetti, Borodin - something for every culture vulture.

 

Science

Royal Institution

For the scientists amongst you the Royal Institution have a number of videos available to watch on their You Tube channel.

Covid-19 Reporting

Help slow the spread of Covid-19 and identify at risk cases sooner by self-reporting your symptoms daily, even if you feel well.

Download the App - self-report daily, help slow the outbreak, and identify those at risk sooner.

There has been so little testing for Covid-19 in the UK that no-one has any clear idea how many people have had the disease. It is thus very difficult to anticipate how fast it is spreading or how many cases we can expect there to be. In addition we have no idea what proportion of people who have the disease are hardly unwell at all; how many need hospital treatment; how many need mechanical ventilation, and how many die. It would be very useful to have more information.

You can help to do this by downloading the Covid-19 App and reporting on your health each day.

The more people that sign up and report any signs or symptoms they have, the more it will help the scientists and medics.

Watford Together

Watford is a town full of surprises and this is particularly true of our outstanding cultural offer. Under the banner Watford Together, Watford Council want to use the opportunities presented on their Watford Activities webpage to showcase what is great about Watford, and demonstrate how people are helping each other through this pandemic through cultural activity. There are a large number of online activities available covering the creative and performing arts, learning, pub quizzes, and football amongst others.

The Great British Home Chorus

British choirmaster, composer and TV presenter, Gareth Malone has launched an ‘at home’ digital choir to boost the nations morale. He will host a live choir session every evening at 5.30pm. You can register to be part of it here.

Videoconferencing

Bookham U3A have published some information and help regarding the use of two popular videoconferencing Apps, Zoom and Skype. These links may be helpful to members and SGLs who are considering using these tools. Both are available to use for free.

There are several other similar Apps available and USA Today has done some analysis of some of them. You can read their article with this link.

 

Theatre

 Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil have a 60-minute Singalong Special on You Tube. Other free videos are also available from them there.

National Theatre

The National Theatre is broadcasting full-length recordings of previous productions free on You Tube on Thursdays at 7pm. This link will give you access. The productions are available to view for seven days after broadcast.

The Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall have announced a programme of exclusive shows direct from artists' living rooms.

Royal Shakespeare Company

As part of the BBC's plans to continue bring the arts to audiences during the pandemic, you will be able to watch the following six RSC shows from the comfort of your home over the next few months:

  • Macbeth, directed by Polly Findlay, with Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusack
  • Hamlet, directed by Simon Godwin, with Paapa Essiedu
  • Romeo and Juliet, directed by Erica Whyman
  • Much Ado about Nothing, directed by Christopher Luscombe
  • Othello, directed by Iqbal Khan, with Hugh Quarshie and Lucian Msamati
  • The Merchant of Venice, directed by Polly Findlay

Exact details of the times and dates are yet to be released, but will be updated here.

Shakespeare's Globe

From 6 April, Shakepeare’s Globe Theatre will be releasing six free GlobePlayer films:

  • Hamlet
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • The Wimter's Tale
  • The Two Noble Kinsmen
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor 

Access will be from here, but please note there is a charge for viewing until 6 April.

 

Music and Concerts

 The Show Must Go On

From 3 April a recording of one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's famous musicals will be released on You Tube at 7pm on Fridays. Each musical is only available to view for 48hrs though.

Miscellaneous Concerts

Eddie Reader live at Kings Place
Richard Durrant Tenor Guitar Concert

Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo have opened their doors online three times, to provide virtual tours, most recently on 10 April 2020. If you missed these tours the first time around you can catch up with all the various animals in a series of short videos on their You Tube channel.

Gardening is Good for You

Many people will already be keen gardeners, but those wishing to take this up, or simply looking for advice or inspiration may find the following links helpful:

  • The National Garden Scheme 'Get into Gardening' is a good place to start on their website, but there is other information to explore here too
  • The RHS has a huge amount of information on their website, and much of it is publicly accessible
  • The Kings Fund has published a report 'Gardens and Health', which will hopefully encourage you.

Keukenhof Tulip Gardens, Netherlands

Keukenhof Tulip Gardens in the Netherlands is not opening in 2020, but their website has several videos to watch so that you can see the gardens without the crowds. This You Tube link also has a number of videos giving virtual tours of Keukenhof.

10 Virtual Garden Tours

This link will give you links to virtual tours of a selection of 10 gardens around the world, from a kid's garden, to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, Monet's gardens at Giverny, and the University of Washington Medicinal Herb Garden.

Road Trip - Virtual Field Trips

This interesting source for a range of virtual outings was sent to us by Michele Wilson who lives in the USA, by way of thanks for use of our Useful Links page by her children.

 

Third Age Trust our parent organisation

Third Age Trust website

The Online Learning Events may be of particular interest.

 

Other U3As in the Area

Borehamwood and Elstree
Bushey and District
Chess Valley
Chiltern
Chiswell Green
Chorleywood
Croxley Green
Dacorum
Harrow
Herts Network of U3As
Northwood and District
Radlett and District
Rickmansworth and District
Sarratt and District
South West Herts
St Albans
Stanmore and District
Ver-Colne Valley
Verulam
Watford and District
Watford Central
Woodside