Twenty National Trust properties and landscapes can now be explored online, giving people around the world the chance to plan a visit or catch a glimpse of places they might otherwise never see.  

The images give a 360 degree ground level tour of the outside of the National Trust sites on Google Maps with a a specially created online guide also available at www.maps.google.co.uk/streetview.  

Locations include sites such as Corfe Castle in Dorset, Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire, Plas Newydd in Wales and Downhill Demesne in Northern Ireland.

The images were taken late last summer using the Google Trike – a three wheeled bike with a Street View camera mounted on it, perfectly suited to collecting images in places not easily accessible by car.

Since then the images have been processed and carefully stitched together by Google to give a seamless 360 degree view of the various buildings and parts of their grounds and landscapes where accessible. The routes at each location were designed in conjunction with the Trust.

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Lawrence Roots visitor services manager at Corfe Castle said: ‘Google Street View will enable even more people to take a peek and get a sense of what Corfe has to offer.

Ed Parsons, Geospatial Technologist from Google said: ‘National Trust locations offer all of us a glimpse of history, nature and architecture up and down the country.

‘We were delighted to be able to open up some of the UK’s most famous landmarks to the rest of the world via the web.

‘It’s a fun way to preview what to see and do on a day out or whet your appetite for where to go next.’

The Google Trike is headed next for the Giant’s Causeway world heritage site, currently the focus of a major £2.25million fundraising campaign.  These locations will be available as special guides later in the year.

To take a virtual tour visit www.maps.google.co.uk/streetview and click on the National Trust logo towards the bottom of the page.