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New virtual tour allows people around the world to take an online trip around Norwich Cathedral

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Norwich Cathedral has teamed up with virtual tour specialists Vortex Visual to create the cutting-edge bespoke 3D 360 digital experience which enables people to virtually walk around the 900-year-old Cathedral and its Cloisters via their mobile phone, tablet or computer.

Accessed via the Cathedral’s website the tour welcomes people to the Cathedral with a beautiful aerial 360 degree view of the wider Close before the virtual visitors are invited to enter the historic building via the Great West Door.

From here, visitors can digitally move around the Cathedral as they wish, exploring almost all the ground floor areas of the Cathedral including the Nave, the Chapels, the Choir and the Presbytery. They can also take a stroll around the Cathedral’s Cloisters and pause by the graveside of Norfolk nurse and First World War heroine Edith Cavell.

The virtual tour also gives people the chance to explore areas of the Cathedral which are currently closed to visitors in real-life – such as the Choir, the Presbytery and the Treasury – because of restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Throughout the tour, pop-up multimedia panels tell people about the different areas of the building and the Cathedral’s history, and give snapshots of the daily life of the Cathedral.

Among the highlights, as you walk through the Choir area you can listen to the sublime sound of the Cathedral Choir or hear the Cathedral’s magnificent organ. Meanwhile in the Nave a video treats visitors to close-up views of some of the exquisite medieval roof bosses that decorate the ceiling.

There is also the chance to step back to summer 2019 and watch the helter skelter being installed in the Nave for the Seeing It Differently project and you can also watch again BAFTA-winner Rob Whitworth’s wonderful Norwich…A Story video.

Fans of Budge the cat will also find the Cathedral’s feline friend curled up in one of his favourite spots in the Cathedral!

The Dean of Norwich, the Very Revd Jane Hedges, said: “Norwich Cathedral is now open every day for both worship and general visitors and it is so wonderful to welcome people back to the Cathedral. With this new virtual tour by Vortex Visual, it is also exciting to now extend our welcome via the digital world.

We hope this new virtual experience will give even more people, both around the world and closer to home, the opportunity to enjoy the Cathedral.

Vortex Visual’s brilliant project is an amazing visual celebration of Norwich Cathedral and offers a wonderful opportunity to explore the Cathedral in a new way.

In this current uncertain time with the Coronavirus pandemic, the tour will also play an important role in offering a window into the Cathedral for people who would like to visit but for whatever reason are currently unable to come to the Cathedral in person.”

Max Giddings, who runs Norwich-based Vortex Visual with Will Wooster, said: “It has been a real privilege to spend time capturing on camera the incredible surroundings of Norwich Cathedral for this 360 tour. There is an amazing view around every corner of this beautiful building with so much history to discover, and this tour enables people to be virtually transported there by simply tapping on their phone or their laptop.

For those who are new to Norwich Cathedral, the tour offers the chance to enjoy a sneak preview of what to expect from a visit, meanwhile those who already know the building well can enjoy exploring their favourite areas from different vantage points.

We hope this digital tour helps to raise the profile of Norwich Cathedral and adds a new dimension to people’s appreciation of this unique building.”

Vortex Visual are a team of immersive digital content creators based at The Enterprise Centre in the Norwich Research Park. Embracing the latest technology including infra-red image capture, 360 video and drone photography and video, they specialise in creating bespoke interactive 3D 360 virtual tours and work with a range of sectors including heritage, tourism, arts and culture, hospitality, education and many more.

To create the new Norwich Cathedral digital tour, Vortex Visual used specialist 3D 360 virtual tour technology to capture spatial data combined with 360 imagery of the Cathedral and the Cloisters from close to 500 different vantage points. This was then stitched together to create what is thought to be the first-ever digital recreation of its kind of the Cathedral.

Vortex Visual also created the stunning exterior section of the tour using aerial drone photography layered with interactive multimedia.

Also included in the tour is Rob Whitworth’s Norwich…A Story video and photography by Bill Smith, Nick Butcher, Chris Skipper and Mike Dixon.

Norwich Cathedral Choir’s performance of O Nata Lux by Thomas Tallis was recorded by Priory Records.

For more information about Vortex Visual, visit their website or call 01603 733187.