Most of the resources below are free or offer a free trial period, a few charge a small fee and all can be enjoyed from the comfort of your home.  I hope the links work!  

The Hay Festival - 16-31 May 2020

Arts and Culture

  • Visit the Versailles Museum virtual exhibition for free. Link
  • Metropolitan Opera launches "Nightly Met Opera Streams" Link
  • Take a virtual tour of some of the World's greatest museums and heritage sites. Link
  • The National Theatre releases a new play weekly, at 7pm on Thursday evenings. Link
  • The National Museum in Belgrade virtual tours. Link
  • Classical music concerts. Link
  • Enjoy Berlin Philharmonic concerts. Link
  • Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade is streaming documentaries daily from 18.00 to 20.00. Link 
  • The Globe Theatre from London is streaming a Shakespeare play for free every fortnight (and 34 foreign-language productions). Link
  • The Royal Opera House from London, UK is offering a schedule of free broadcasts and live content. Link
  • NASA's Hubble Space Telescope explores the universe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That means it has observed some fascinating cosmic wonder every day of the year. Find out what did Hubble look at on your birthday. Link
  • Live stream the Aurora Borealis – Northern Lights. Link
  • London's Institute of Contemporary Arts is encouraging people to listen to some of the 900 talks and discussions which were staged at the ICA between 1982 and 1993. Link to British Library's Sounds
  • Social distancing festival is an online artist’s community made to celebrate and showcase the work of the many artists around the world who have been affected by the need for social distancing that has come about due to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). ​ Link
  • National Garden Scheme The NGS have put a series of virtual garden visits online for everyone to enjoy.  You can view these for nothing, but even a small donation will help nursing organisations which are struggling to survive with reduced funds.  Marie Curie nurses receive their largest individual annual donation from the NGS. Link

Books and Libraries

  • Scribd is making a digital library of e-books and audiobooks available for free 30 days. Link
  • Audible, free 30 day trial and one free audiobook Link and there is a library of free resources to listen to, no subscription required. Link​
  • Anybooks is an application ​where you can download books for free. Link
  • Apple Books offers 'stay at home' collection of free read-alongs for kids, cosy mysteries, and audiobooks. Link
  • JSTOR digital library that normally requires a subscription has announced that 6,000 of its e-books and more than 150 journals are freely available to the public. Link
  • NASA Live Library. Link
  • The Chinese-American writer Yiyun Li, winner of the Guardian First Book Award, has started a free virtual book club in which she invites everyone to read and discuss Tolstoy's War and Peace together.
  • The podcast Phoebe Reads a Mystery releases a chapter of the chosen classic work of fiction a day, from Agatha Christie to Arthur Conan Doyle Link
  • If you have a national library card, use the number when you log into the Libby app to discover thousands of e-books and audiobooks. If your card has expired, contact your local library and they will provide you with a temporary pass to access the online resource. You can borrow up to 7 books at a time for a period of up to 21 days Link


  • Online board games to play with friends through TableTopia Link
  • Harry Potter At Home hub where you'll find all the latest magical treats to keep you and kids occupied. Link
  • Amazon lets you stream Arthur and other kids shows for free. Link
  • Begin mapping your family tree using free records on Find My Past, Link
  • Join a virtual choir. The Sofa Singers is a free online singing event which aims to 'bring people together from around the world to spark joy and human connection.' Link
  • HBO is offering 500 hours of programming available to those without subscriptions starting from 3 April. Link
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium live cams with sea otters, sharks and penguins. Let's go deep down ߙ? Link
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals are streaming for free on YouTube. Link
  • Watch NBA classic games. Link 
  • Favourite World Cup matches streamed on YouTube. Link
  • Learn easy at home science experiments. Link
  • Jimmy Carr presents a daily quiz on YouTube, not suitable for children. Watch past quiz's here and watch live each evening at 6pm here
  • 7 Wonders Duel, a multiplayer game where you can take the lead of a civilization, make it prosper and surpass your opponents! Cost involved. Link
  • Carcasonne, a multiplayer tile-based game in which players draw and place their tiles to build a medieval city. Cost involved. Link​
  • The Houseparty video messaging app, which allows you to throw parties with your friends (NB: there has been some press about Houseparty client data being hacked. If you do choose to use the app, please take care to use a password which is not linked to any other online logins) Link
  • Edinburgh-based Goose's Quizzes are staging nightly pub quizzes at 7pm. Just form a virtual team, download the form, answer the questions and the winner will be announced the next day.
  • The Irish comedian Alison Spittle is hosting co-video parties where everyone watches the same film on Netflix at 9pm. The dress code for Groundhog Day was "forever winter"
  • Netflix recommendations from Wired on the best binge-watch tv series' available in the UK. Link
  • Get acquainted with animals through live webcams at some of the world's most popular zoos. Link

Health and Wellbeing

  • Headspace meditation app, (now downloaded on all ESC phones)
  • 30 days of yoga with Adriene on YouTube. Link
  • Download the free Nike Training Club app on the App Store and start exercising. Link 
  • Actor Chris Hemsworth offers Centr workout videos for free for six weeks when you sign up online. Link
  • Over 600 audio and video workouts and hundreds of DJ mixes to keep you moving at home. Free until 31 May 2020. Link
  • Body by Yoga offers free online classes for 1 month. Link
  • 500+ video exercises for treating muscle and joint pain, free until 31 May 2020. Link
  • Learn to salsa, cha cha cha or waltz. Step by Step dance school in Northampton is live streaming nightly virtual dance classes
  • Podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin an award-winning, chart-topping podcast where she talks about ideas and tips for making your life happier. Link
  • Live online yoga sessions with Lauren Barrett, cost involved. Link

Learn a new skill

  • Get crafty and learn how to make adorable origami . Link
  • London bakery Bread Ahead is hosting live baking tutorials on Instagram. Link
  • #StayHome and create. Make your own hand lettered cards, knit your own hats and bake a gorgeous cakes. Link
  • Rosetta Stone. The grandfather of language companies is offering free three-month subscriptions to learn any of 22 languages.
  • Babbel. The course hub just opened up three months of free classes in a dozen languages.
  • Fable Cottage. These fun audio and video stories in French, German, Spanish, and Italian are usually locked under subscription, but are now freely accessible.
  • Conjuguemos. This teachers' mecca of games, activities, and worksheets in seven languages (including Latin and Korean) is perfect for building an awesome curriculum of the nuts and bolts—verbs, grammar, and vocab. Free during the outbreak.
  • iCulture. Don't miss Carnegie Learning's immersion package of videos, articles, and songs in French, Spanish, or German, which are free through June
  • Mango. The company provides high-speed learning in 70 languages for companies and schools. Its online language portal is freely accessible
  • Duolingo. Free courses in many traditional languages, in addition to the popular Game of Thrones language, High Valyrian. Duolingo

Personal Development

  • Top Universities offering free online courses here
  • 25 killer sites for free learning here
  • Free courses available through the Open University. Link
  • Free courses available on Future Learn. Link
  • 190 world universities have provided 600 courses for free. Link
  • 200 universities just launched 620+ free online courses. Link