Join the throng of summer celebrations and soak up the unique atmosphere of Stonehenge with our special access tour to the inner circle of the stones. Celebrate the magic of the 2021 summer solstice at the heart of Stonehenge, just as our ancestors have over thousands of years

The solstice itself is an astronomical event that occurs twice each year as the Sun reaches its highest or lowest excursion relative to the celestial equator, with the sun appearing to have reached its highest or lowest annual altitude in the sky above the horizon

The Summer Solstice marks the longest day and shortest night of the year and Stonehenge is a perfect marker of the sunrise and sunset on this date, aligned to exactly pinpoint this turning point in the sun’s journey. It is believed to have been used as an astronomical calculator, as certain stones align with key dates in the seasons. Revellers typically gather at Stonehenge, the ancient stone circle, to see the sun rise. The Heel Stone and Slaughter Stone, set outside the main circle, align with the rising sun

Apart from its architectural significance, Stonehenge holds a place of sacred importance to many. Much of its history is still shrouded in mystery, though one thing that’s sure is that it was built upon a landscape that had long been used for religious purposes.

When celebrating midsummer, Pagans draw on diverse traditions. In England thousands of Pagans and non-Pagans go to places of ancient religious sites such as Stonehenge and Avebury to see the sun rising on the first morning of summer.

The famous Stonehenge circle is normally roped off to the public, but special access is granted four times a year that allows our groups to get so close to the stones. This is only on the mornings of the summer solstice, winter solstice, spring equinox and autumn equinox.

There is always an array of flamboyant head pieces, outfits and face paints on show. If you stand in the right place inside the monument you can see the sun rise above the Heel stone and its rays will beam directly into the centre of Stonehenge. Many visitors who gather to do just that invariably experience powerful emotion at the moment when the sun rises over the mystical circle on solstice morning, and find themselves amidst all sorts of alternative believers like neo-pagans and druids in fantastic garb who are conducting esoteric ceremonies. It’s a magical ‘life changing’ moment and well worth crossing off your bucket list.

STONEHENGE SUMMER SOLSTIC TOUR OPTIONS:
We offer 3 exclusive Stonehenge Summer Solstice tours to choose from that depart from London, Bath or Southampton. Return travel by luxury midi coach with an expert Stonehenge specialist tour guide on board, VIP parking and entry.  This year we are also offering a free souvenir guide book and optional audio guiding app in most languages:
Summer Solstice Sunset Tour on 20th June 2021
(8 hours): London Departure £99. Bath Departure £79
Summer Solstice Sunrise Tour on 21st June
(8 hours) 2021 London Departure £99. Bath Departure £79
Sunset and Sunrise Solstice Combo Tour 2021
(16 hours): London Departure £149. Bath Departure £119

WHAT IS STONEHENGE AND WHY DO PEOPLE GO THERE FOR THE SUMMER SOLSTICE?
Solstice, or Litha means a stopping or standing still of the sun. It is the longest day of the year and the time when the sun is at its maximum elevation.  The tradition of going to Stonehenge dates back thousands of years when Neolithic people, it’s believed, created it to be a temple aligned to the sun.
This date has had spiritual significance for thousands of years as humans have been amazed by the great power of the sun. The Celts celebrated with bonfires that would add to the sun’s energy, Christians placed the feast of St John the Baptist towards the end of June and it is also the festival of Li, the Chinese Goddess of light.
Like other religious groups, Pagans are in awe of the incredible strength of the sun and the divine powers that create life. For Pagans this spoke in the Wheel of the Year is a significant point. The Goddess took over the earth from the horned God at the beginning of spring and she is now at the height of her power and fertility. For some Pagans the Summer Solstice marks the marriage of the God and Goddess and see their union as the force that creates the harvest’s fruits.
This is a time to celebrate growth and life but for Pagans, who see balance in the world and are deeply aware of the ongoing shifting of the seasons it is also time to acknowledge that the sun will now begin to decline once more towards winter.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL:
Please note that as a responsible tour operator we have a duty of care towards the places we visit and in this case we ask you to be take great care when visiting the historic site. It is important that Stonehenge and its surrounding Monuments are preserved for future generations and we ask you not to touch the stones, and not to leave any litter at the site.

Stonehenge Guided Tours
WINNER: Best Stonehenge Tour Specialists 2020 / 2021
WINNER: Best ‘Historical Tour’ Operator 2020 / 2021
Operating Stonehenge Tours Since 1990
www.StonehengeTours.com

The December solstice marks the longest night and shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and this year it falls on 22nd December

winter-sols

In ancient Pagan traditions, the winter solstice was a time to honor the cycles of life and death and celebrate the sun’s rebirth as the days would slowly begin to lengthen in the months leading into spring. Many modern practitioners of Pagan and earth-centered spiritual traditions observe the holiday, and at Stonehenge, the celebration is particularly special.

 

There is no access to the inner circle at Stonehenge on  between the 18th and 27th winter-solstice-tourDecember inclusive because of the winter solstice. There is, however, open access on the morning of the 22nd December to watch the winter solstice sunrise which happens about 8.09am.  We are are offering our usual exclusive guided Winter Solstice tour that departs from London or Bath, pleae visit our Stonehenge Tour website for full details.

 

THE winter solstice: the shortest day and longest night of the year.

So what is so important about this date? What about it possesses people to dress in unicorn masks and visit Stonehenge?

Here, we take a look at just what the winter solstice is – and why a day with so little sunlight is worth celebrating.

What is the Winter Solstice?

The winter solstice is a phenomenon that marks the shortest day of the year. Often referred to as the official beginning of winter, the solstice generally only occurs for a moment.

The true solstice occurs when the Earth is tilted the furthest away from the Sun on its axis. Despite it only lasting a moment, the full day is recognised.

When is the Winter Solstice?

The winter solstice generally falls between December 20th and 23rd.  This means, for the UK, the sun will rise at 8.04am and set at 3.54pm – meaning we will have just 7 hours and 49 minutes of daylight.In 2017, it will fall on Wednesday, December 22nd.

A winter solstice also occurs in the Southern Hemisphere, with the day occurring in late June.

How is it celebrated?

The day is one that is celebrated by pagans and druids, with rituals of rebirth performed throughout history on the day.

One of the biggest celebrations in the UK occurs at Stonehenge with crowds gathering to watch the sunrise on the morning of the winter solstice.

The crowds of devotees, often dressed for the occasion, regularly gather at the historic site.  It is just one of the many pagan festivals, which include midwinter, midsummer and inbolc – the day that traditionally marks the start of spring.

The importance placed on the day comes from how people were previously so ecoenomically dependent on the seasons with straveation common in the first months of winter.

Will the days start to get longer?

After the solstice, the days will start to get longer.  The process is gradual, with minutes added everyday.

Join us on a Stonehenge guided tour from London or Bath and join the Pagan celebrations at sunrise on the Winter Solstice. This is a popular tour and shoule be booked in advance:
Stonehenge Winter Solstice Tour

The Stonehenge Experts
Stonehenge Guided Tours
http://www.StonehengeTours.com

It is the day with the least sunlight with the winter solstice having been celebrated for thousands of years.

arthur-solstice

A druid ceremony is held during the Winter Solstice at Stonehenge

THE winter solstice: the shortest day and longest night of the year.

So what is so important about this date? What about it possesses people to dress in unicorn masks and visit Stonehenge?

Here, we take a look at just what the winter solstice is – and why a day with so little sunlight is worth celebrating.

What is the Winter Solstice?

The winter solstice is a phenomenon that marks the shortest day of the year.

Often referred to as the official beginning of winter, the solstice generally only occurs for a moment.

The true solstice occurs when the Earth is tilted the furthest away from the Sun on its axis.

Despite it only lasting a moment, the full day is recognised.

When is the Winter Solstice?

The winter solstice generally falls between December 20 and 23.

winter-solstice-tour

Stonehenge Winter Solstice Tour

In 2016, it will fall on Wednesday, December 21.

This means, for the UK, the sun will rise at 8.04am and set at 3.54pm – meaning we will have just 7 hours and 49 minutes of daylight.

A winter solstice also occurs in the Southern Hemisphere, with the day occurring in late June.

How is it celebrated?

The day is one that is celebrated by pagans and druids, with rituals of rebirth performed throughout history on the day.

One of the biggest celebrations in the UK occurs at Stonehenge with crowds gathering to watch the sunrise on the morning of the winter solstice.

The crowds of devotees, often dressed for the occasion, regularly gather at the historic site.

It is just one of the many pagan festivals, which include midwinter, midsummer and inbolc – the day that traditionally marks the start of spring.

The importance placed on the day comes from how people were previously so ecoenomically dependent on the seasons with straveation common in the first months of winter.

Will the days start to get longer?

After the solstice, the days will start to get longer.

The process is gradual, with minutes added everyday.

The days will eventually lengthen until the summer solstice, which is expected on Wednesday June 21.
Article source: By BRITTANY VONOW The Sun Online

Join us on a guided tour from London or Bath and join the Pagan celebrations at sunrise on the Winter Solstice:
Stonehenge Winter Solstice Tour

The Stonehenge Experts
Stonehenge Guided Tours
http://www.StonehengeTours.com

 

For people from overseas visiting England, or even English people that want to experience something different, the summer solstice is a big draw. For anybody in or near to Salisbury on 20th and 21st June (every year), I strongly recommend a visit to Stonehenge which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with it’s neighbour Avebury.
Theories about Stonehenge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The story of Stonehenge is still not 100% known, there are many theories ranging from an alien landing site to an ancient temple. While some theories hold more weight than others, none have been confirmed to be 100% true yet. However the National Trust (the body that looks after Stonehenge) has allowed for the site to be open each summer solstice,  at the request of druid and other pagan communities. This is to allow the druids to celebrate the sunrise of the longest day, but the opening is not restricted to just druids, over 20,000 people attend the event each year and it really is a great atmosphere. There are acoustic instruments, dancing, hula hooping and just about any other natural form of entertainment you can think of. There are food stalls to cater for all of the hungry attendees and portable toilets around the area. With police and st. John’s ambulance in attendance people will be happy to know that they are safe.  The venue usually opens at 7pm on 20th June and closes at 7am on 21st June. I have been 6 times before and I would strongly recommend this to anybody in the area.

Summer Solstice 2012: Astro-Science & Pagan Ritual | Cierra

a travel blog by Graham Targett
Full story at the ‘bigger than England’  website

U.K Solstice Events offer Stonehenge tours of the Summer Solstice, Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox and Autumn Equinox.

Stonehenge Guided Tours
http://www.StonehengeTours.com

The Winter Solstice, which takes place on 21st December in the Northern Hemisphere, is celebrated in various forms all over the world. In astronomical terms, this is the shortest day of the year, when the sun is at its lowest in the sky. After the solstice, the days begin to get longer again, and it is for this reason that it was celebrated as the beginning of a new year by pagan cultures.

I celebrated the winter solstice at Newgrange, a Neolithic passage tomb in Co. Meath, Ireland. This monument is an Newgrangeastounding feat of engineering: dating from around 3,200 B.C. (that’s older than the Pyramids!) it is aligned exactly with the rising of the midwinter sun. Above the entrance to the tomb there is an opening called the roof-box. On 21st December, the light of the rising sun passes through the roof-box and travels up the narrow passage, illuminating the inner chamber.

Entry to the chamber on the morning of the solstice is decided by a lottery. Alas, I was not one of the lucky few chosen. Indeed, further misfortune was in store as, after having dragged myself out of bed at 6am and trekked across narrow country lanes, the weather was cloudy and the sun barely visible.

But the unlikelihood of a clear sunrise (this is Ireland, after all) did not deter the hundreds of people who turned out to welcome the new year. We were an eclectic bunch, ranging from the mildly curious to the deeply spiritual.

Dedicated believers, dressed in long cloaks with wreaths of leaves and twigs on their heads, led the welcoming of the sun. They banged drums and chanted, softly at first, the volume rising in a crescendo as the sky got gradually lighter.

Another group were gathered in a circle taking part in a guided meditation as part of a two-day retreat. As the drum-banging unofficial leaders of the celebration shepherded bemused bystanders into an enormous circle, the meditation group moved into the centre and stood facing out. Eventually they moved out to join the larger circle as the chanting reached its height, and the revellers greeted the sun (still hidden behind a cloud) with whoops and cries of ‘Happy Solstice!’

It would be difficult to find someone less spiritual than myself, and I’ll admit to finding most of the celebrations frankly a bit odd. Yet there was something undeniably refreshing about standing in that field at dawn, waiting to mark the most natural sign of the new year. It was definitely more enjoyable than the repetitive and ultimately disappointing festivities of the 31st.

Similar celebrations take place at Stonehenge, Britain’s most famous prehistoric monument, which is also aligned with the rising and setting of the sun. Huge crowds gather there annually for exuberant solstice festivities.

There is a lot of wisdom to be found in prehistoric pagan cultures. Not only have they given us some of the most awe-inspiring architectural accomplishments in the world, but they have also left us a legacy of spiritualism which has survived the advance of scientific understandings of the world.

If you come to visit Newgrange or Stonehenge just for the views and the guided tours, you might end up leaving with a new and perhaps more optimistic perspective on the coming year. Even if the sun fails to make an appearance.
By Naoise Murphy
Photograph: Naoise Murphy
Source: http://www.palatinate.org.uk/?p=53515

Stonehenge Winter Solstice Tour: Click here

Stonehenge Guided Tours
http://www.StonehengeTours.com