If the weather outside is frightful, these exhibits are so delightful
If a gale is blowing and the cold is biting, never fear. Scroll on for a tour of some wintry museums and exhibits, which you can visit by clicking, dragging, and using the arrows, without needing to leave your cosy home.
The Winter Palace, Saint Petersburg
There's no better place to start a winter's tale than the Winter Palace, home of the Russian Tsars. This monumental complex on the banks of the River Neva is now one of the world's largest art galleries and museums. Explore the courtyard, then scroll on to step inside.
The Hermitage Museum at the Winter Palace was first opened in 1852 by Tsar Nicholas I as Russia's first art gallery. The visitors were required by the Tsar to wear formal dress, as long coats were considered 'revolutionary'. Thankfully, today they have a more relaxed dresscode.
Lake Placid Olympic Museum,
If you'd rather see a little more action, take yourself to the Lake Placid Olympic Museum. This small, sporting town in upstate New York has hosted not one, but two Olympic games, including the first winter games held in North America.
Located in the old Olympic Center, the museum is only a short walk away from the Herb Brooks Arena where the 1980 'Miracle on Ice' hockey match between the USA and USSR took place, and the Jack Shea Arena, home of the first indoor Winter Olympic skating events.
Iceland Volcano Museum, Stykkishólmur
The island of Iceland rises dramatically out of the wild seas of the chilly North Atlantic Ocean, straddling the Arctic Circle. But for all the snow and ice, this small nation is also home to some of the world's most active, explosive volcanoes.
The tiny Iceland Volcano Museum in Stykkishólmur holds the unique collection of the Icelandic volcanologist Haraldur Sigurðsson, who spent forty years studying the world's volcanoes and collecting art, objects, and geological samples.
The Polar Museum, Cambridge
In the university city of Cambridge, England, you can travel to the ends of the Earth. The Polar Museum holds over a hundred years' worth of history relating to the Arctic and Antarctic. From penguins to paintings, sleeping bags to sextants, and Inuit art to explorers' diaries.
The building is also home to the Scott Polar Research Institute, which seeks to understand the polar regions and train the next generation of researchers.
The Polar Museum, Tromsø
It was of course a Norwegian team led by Roald Amundsen, which first reached the South Pole on the 14th of December, 1911. Today, the achievements of Amundsen, and many others, are recognised and celebrated in the Polar Museum in the town of Tromsø.
Tromsø was a centre of arctic trade, and many in the town had acquired years of experience working in the unforgiving conditions of the poles. No surprise, then, that Amundsen came here to research his expedition and to hire many of his team members.
Russian State Arctic and Antarctic Museum, Saint Petersburg
Like the nearby Winter Palace, the Russian State Arctic and Antarctic Museum is also super-sized: it happens to be the largest polar museum in the world. The collection here dates back to the 1930s, when it was founded as the Soviet Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute
Throughout its history, the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute has organised more than a thousand Arctic expeditions, involving important research into the climate, geology, oceans, and meteorology of the polar regions.
Peary–MacMillan Arctic Museum, Brunswick
Did you know there's only one museum in the lower 48 states dedicated to Arctic studies? The Peary–MacMillan Arctic Museum was founded at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1985, named after two Arctic explorers and graduates Robert E. Peary and Donald B. MacMillan.
Arktikum Science Museum, Rovaniemi
Visitors to Arktikum in Rovaniemi, Finland are spoilt for choice. Here, you'll find the Arctic Centre and the Lapland Museum whose exhibitions examine culture, history, and modern life in the Arctic.
Arktikum's long, glass-roofed hall is known as 'the gateway to the north'. As you walk its entire 172 metre length, you head directly towards the north pole. At night, if the conditions are right, you can stand below the glass roof and watch the aurora borealis.
German Christmas Museum, Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Polar expeditions may be exciting, but sometimes you'd rather sit down somewhere comfy with a warm mug of gluhwein. Thankfully, the German Christmas Museum in the picturesque city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber is open all year round. Let's gather round the fire and say Prost!
Winter has come, and so has the frost, the ice and the temperature drop along with it. If you want to appreciate the whites, blues and silvers of the season without having to wrap up warm, take a look at these 15 paintings of winter wonderlands from art history.
1. The Winter 2, by Kyung Koo Kang
2. Starry Night, by Edvard Munch
3. Lavacourt under Snow, by Claude Monet
4. Street in Røros in Winter, by Harald Sohlberg
5. Winter, by Hee Choung Yi
6. Winter, by Aka Høegh
7. Winter Landscape, by Pekka Halonen
8. Seeking Plum Blossoms in the Snow, by Huang Shen
9. Winter in the old Žilina, by Ľudovít Fulla
10. Under the Snow, by Eva Bachratá Linhartová
11. Hlebine, by Franjo Filipovic
12. Snow Mountain, by Yuan Xikun
13. Two Children in the Snow, by George Du Maurier
14. The Path to the Shop, by Eduard G. Bragovsky
15. Hunters in the Snow, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder