Many visitor centres now offer video programmes about the location and set the scene in which the trail exists. An advantage of video is that timelines can be manipulated visually in seconds and videos/shows can show dramatic reconstructions of historical events, present situations and future plans in a matter of moments.

To fully realise the advantages of making virtual museums as a learning activity requires access to a range of software for integrating text, pictures, mindmaps, GIS systems E-learning programmes with social networking software. Examples of the kinds of what is currently available are shown in the above diagram. Most of the examples shown are free and simple to use.

All of these techniques can be brought together to create a learning route through heritage so that people do not even have to visit the physical site.

The experience, and even some of the atmosphere, can be achieved in the comfort of an armchair at home, or a desktop in school.

These virtual trails can be very valuable for those who are genuinely trying to use their trails to increase the tourist footfall. If the virtual trail can achieve interest, curiosity and enthusiasm, it can work as an appetiser for the real thing. Creating the information is an educational experience and delivering it can be a challenge to the maker’s understanding.