The National Trust is putting 20 of its properties across Britain on Google Street View so that people around the world can take virtual tours of them.
The Google trike visits Corfe Castle in Dorset Photo: BNPS
It has engaged Google to take pictures from all around sites including Corfe Castle in Dorset and Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire, which have then be digitally stitched together to give seamless 360 degree images.
The pictures were taken late last summer using the 'Google trike' – a three wheeled bike with a Street View camera mounted on it, suited to collecting images in places not easily accessible by car.
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Other locations include Stonehenge in Wiltshire, Lindisfarne Castle in Northumberland, Lyme Park in Cheshire and Ham House just outside Richmond-upon-Thames near London.
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.
“It’s fantastic to think that people around the world, who might never be able to travel to the UK, will be able to see the castle and enjoy a virtual visit.”
The Google trike will collect images at several other National Trust places in 2010, including Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.
It is not the first organisation to spot the potential of Street View as a shop window for international visitors: Tate, the national tourist marketing group visitBritain and the Mayor of London are all existing partners