The Winter Solstice sunset at Stonehenge is, alongside the Summer Solstice sunrise, its defining alignment. For thousands of years it has been witnessed and celebrated by the countless pilgrims who have trekked to the unique monument. The story of Stonehenge is part of the vaster epic of the sun.

Stonehenge Winter Solstice with and without the pilgrims

4.63 billion years ago our sun burst into life – a nuclear reactor fusing 500 million tonnes of hydrogen each second. Its parentage was grand and mysterious – a dense cloud of interstellar gas and dust experiencing the passing shockwave of a supernova. From this immaculate conception the solar system was born. The resulting nebula eventually coalesced into our glorious sun, father of the planets in our solar system family and bestower of fortune on his favourite offspring: Earth. Here conditions in the Goldilocks zone between the extremes of intense heat and cold proved favourable for another explosion – this one of biodiversity. A perpetual work in progress, the natural selection of evolution eventually produced homo sapiens, a hominid that was the best of many drafts.

Book your Stonehenge Summer or Winter Solstice tour in advance and cross it off your bucket list

Enter, a mere 200,000 years ago, humankind.  

            For a long time our ancestors scratched a living – although some no doubt proved excellent hunters, expert gatherers. Some were even good at art. But then the Ice Age came – the ultimate lockdown. When the survivors emerged, stiff-jointed and blinking at the sunlight, the land had changed – scoured and shaped by the retreating glaciers. Strange stones were left upon the chalk in the south of the (now) island that became the ‘British Isles’, a chip off the proto-continental blocks, Laurentia and Gondwana: the wayward offspring of the Old and New Worlds, as they became.

            Around 6000 years ago our restless hunter-gatherer ancestors started to settle down and began to grow crops and husband livestock. Some of them eventually decided a particular spot on Salisbury Plain would be perfect for a big white circle of packed chalk, glowing in the moonlight amid the scrubland. The bank and ditch enclosure of the henge was formed with antler picks and oxen-shoulder blades, and lots of sore backs and elbow grease. Just as they were catching their breath from a serious bit of landscaping, some irritating priest decided it would be rather nice to have a timbered circle (of which the Aubrey Holes remain). Then another bright spark, perhaps trying to outdo the first decided that some strange blue stones from 250 miles away would be even better. With much to do the eighty stones, each weighing a backbreaking 4 tonnes each, were transported from the Preseli Mountains in Wales to the sacred plain of Salisbury. These were placed within the henge, with an entrance way pointing towards the midsummer sunrise.

            At the mirror sight of Durrington the south circle was aligned to the midwinter sunrise. Both sights – the henge of the living, the henge of the dead – defined by their relationship to the mighty sun.

In the third phase of Stonehenge’s 1500 year construction the mighty sarsens, or ‘grey wethers’, scattered over the Wiltshire Downs but clustered in a particularly attractive clump in what is now West Woods were transported the ‘workers’ camp’ at Durrington, before being dressed and dragged to the ring on the plain. Here 60 were place in an ingeniously interlocking outer ring of trilithons, with an inner horse-shoe of 15 more. These were aligned to catch the ball of the sun like a gigantic baseball mitt as it rose over the outlier Heel Stone at the time of the summer solstice sunrise – the longest day of the year, when the northern hemisphere is tilted (at 23 degrees – approximately the angle created between an outspread index finger and thumb) closest to that fiery nuclear fusion reactor, 147.35 million km away. The photons generated there take 8 seconds to reach Earth – golden strings pulled taught to the plain, guided by the Avenue, as though to the bridge of a vast violin. Each year two major chords are played upon it – the summer and winter solstice, each note lingering for precisely half the year. Minor chords are played upon it as well, modulated by the respective ‘bridges’ of the trilithons and surrounding monuments – the equinoxes and various lunar and celestial cycles. The deeper chord of the winter solstice is drowned out annually by the sometimes vast numbers who converge to the summer solstice glorious crescendo – but those who are wiser know the quieter, stronger power of the midwinter music. And the ancestors knew too – for they made sure to align Stonehenge to it in an alignment of equal importance to the midsummer one.


            The winter solstice sunset, framed by the inner trilithons, is a breathtaking cosmic drama, re-enacted every year – the ultimate mystery play. And not wishing to miss out on a good party, the people of the Neolithic came from far and wide (as the large quantities of charred animal bones left over from midwinter feasts at Durrington attest) to witness and celebrate the rebirth of the sun, when after three days of  apparent stillness upon the horizon it begins its six month journey back to its northernmost point. From generations of observation the stone-builders knew that the solstitium, the still point, marked the turning in the sun’s annual migration (or rather our migration around the sun): from this nadir the days will start to get longer. The light and warmth will return. This was of huge significance to the ancestors, and it is no less so for dwellers of the northern hemisphere, affected as we are by the cold and dark in all kinds of ways. Our planetary sun lamp is the antidote to our collective seasonally adjusted disorder. We bask in it. Even if we cannot feel its warmth on a chill day, we can feel uplifted by its presence. It reminds us that however dark it gets the light will vanquish it – our solar hero will save the day.

            And so witnessing the winter solstice at Stonehenge – whether at sunrise or sunset – is to commune with those who designed and raised the stones, and who have been bearing witness for millennia. It is a humbling and inspiring experience, one that puts our lives into perspective, and realigns us to a vaster cycle – allowing us to all dance to the music of the spheres

SOURCE: The Stonehenge News Blog

Stonehenge Winter Solstice Links:
Stonehenge Winter Solstice Tours – STONEHENGE GUIDED TOUR
Winter solstice: Why do pagans celebrate the shortest day of the year? THE TELEGRAPH
Solstice at Stonehenge. From Past to Present. – STONEHENGE NEWS BLOG
What has Stonehenge got to do with the winter solstice? – METRO NEWS
Celebrate Winter Solstice at Stonehenge – HOLIDAY EXTRAS
The Stonehenge Sostice Pilgrims – STONEHENGE NEWS BLOG
Stonehenge, the Winter Solstice, and the Druids – INTERESTRING ENGINEERING
Respecting the Stones.  Managed Open Access –STONEHENGE NEWS BLOG
Stonehenge Spring and Autumn Equinox Tours – STONEHENGE GUIDED TOURS

WINNER: Best Stonehenge Tour Specialist 2021 – Travel and Toursim Awards

Stonehenge Guided Tours
Operating Stonehenge Tours Since 1990
www.StonehengeTours.com


Stonehenge Tours have been operating since 1995.  We are the original and still the best company to offer tours of the Stonehenge Stone Circle. We are based in nearby Salisbury conveniently close to the monument, making us ideally situated to assist with tours from far and wide for those who want an authentic Stonehenge experience.  This can range from an individual on a budget tour to a VIP on an exclusive and bespoke customised tour. We have operation centres in London, Bath, Salisbury and Southampton which means we can offer tours and transfers throughout the South West of England.

Over 25 years of insider Stonehenge knowledge
Stonehenge Tours have been taking visitors to Stonehenge for 25 years. We are Britain’s leading providers of Stonehenge archaeological, cultural and historical day trips and have a well-earned reputation for high quality and reliable travelling – we’ve been doing it since 1995.

Walk amongst the Stones at Sunrise or sunset on our exclusive Stonehenge inner circle tours

Early Stonehenge Pioneers – The original and still the best!
We are a family company with 25 years of experience who concentrate purely on Stonehenge and the surrounding area. We pioneered the exclusive Stonehenge ‘Inner Circle Access’ experience and were the first commercial operator to offer this unique visit.  We continue to be the market leaders in exclusive sunrise and sunset tours.  Our company is surviving the Coronavirus pandemic and are here for the long term.  We welcome customers back again and again.  Others follow where we lead……………

We continue to operate exclusive small group tours with our own dedicated tour guides and specialise in customised private bespoke tours designed for individuals, families, small and large groups.  Our network of cars, minivans, mini coaches and coaches based in London, Bath, Salisbury, and Southampton mean we can offer tours from all key destinations in the South West of Britain.

We have a reputable and strong working relationship with other leading Stonehenge operators and have direct access to their timetables at discount prices.  If we are unable to help with one of our own tours or arrange a private customised tour then we can assist with booking with one of our preferred travel partners. Stonehenge Tours only partners with leading British travel operators that have been tried, tested, and recommended by experts, offer their customers financial protection and the highest standards of customer service and satisfaction.

ONLY STONEHENGE!
We are the only UK tour company to focus exclusively on Stonehenge.  We do not sell Theatre tickets, Hotels, Eurostar, Flights, etc.  We live, breathe and sleep Stonehenge. Visiting Stonehenge once?  Do it properly!

BRITISH OWNED AND OPERATED
We are a British Company, based in Britain, using British staff and paying British Tax! Over the decades we have been featured on major TV stations, nationwide and international newspapers / magazines and blogs.

BOOK YOUR STONEHENGE TOUR DIRECT
We no longer work with TripAdvisor, Viator, ToursbyLocals, GetaGuide, etc, as we are confident that close, direct contact with customers is far more efficient and enables our prices to be more competitive.  It also protects customers from some of the ‘scams’ being offered on sites where operators are not approved, licensed or legal – you have been warned!   We have a customer-based operation which offers a full care package before, during and also after your tour. We are delighted to announce that 95% of our customers highly recommend us with over 30% repeat business.

Our team of local experts are keen to share their extensive knowledge of Stonehenge and unrivalled transport solutions. We offer:

  1. Half Day Budget Tours of Stonehenge.
  2. Affordable Stonehenge walking tours with our popular ‘meet at Stonehenge option’
  3. Full Day Stonehenge Tours departing from all major SW England cities.
  4. Stonehenge Private Access Inner Circle Tours with sunrise and sunset options.
  5. Bespoke Stonehenge Transport Options.
  6. VIP Signature Tours.
  7. Stonehenge Overnight Budget and Luxury Tours.
  8. Exclusive Sunset Summer and Winter Solstice Tours and Sunrise Spring and Autumn Equinox Tours.

All can be booked through our new Stonehenge Tour website

BOOK AND TRAVEL SECURELY.  All payments are processed through our Stonehenge Tour secure online platform and bookings are covered by our money-back guarantee. When you travel, our local experts are always on hand to offer help if you need it.  All you need to do is contact us with some general information about your requirements and we’ll do the rest.

Visiting Stonehenge once?   Do it with the experts!!!!!

Stonehenge Guided Tours
Operating Stonehenge Tours Since 1990
www.StonehengeTours.com

Stonehenge and Wiltshire have strong military connections, particularly as Salisbury Plain, a major training ground for the Army is located in the county. Visit some of the most important WW1 and WW2 sights and museums in Wiltshire on this bespoke guided tour with a military expert. Full day and overnight tour options available.

First World War soldiers training at Stonehenge

Stonehenge and Salisbury Plain
Stonehenge stood at the heart of the world’s largest military training camp during the First World War. One million men trained for war there between 1914 and 1918, coming from across the Commonwealth.

The MoD has been using the land for training for more than a century, its historic legacy can still be seen today, but it’s also home to the largest area of chalk land in North West Europe, and holds a number sites of great archaeological significance. The War Office first purchased land on Salisbury Plain in 1897. The main acquisition programme was finished in 1920, and the major garrisons were constructed over the next 30 years. The village of Imber was requisitioned by the War Office in 1943. Approximately 12,150 ha is used for live firing and as impact areas This tour covers how aviation developed on Lark Hill from 1909-1914 and how military aviation ‘took off’ around Stonehenge from 1914-1918.

DID YOU KNOW? Spielbergs epic film ‘1917’ was made entirely in the UK using Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire.

The Army Flying Museum
The Museum holds an extensive collection charting over 100 years of the British Army in the air. With over 35 fixed wing and rotary aircraft on display, the Museum is the perfect place to explore the fascinating history of army aviation.

Military Memories of World Wars 1 and 2. Soldiers carved these regimental badges into the chalk hills in remembrance of those who died in World War I

The Fovant Military Badges
Military Memories of World Wars 1 and 2. Soldiers carved these regimental badges into the chalk hills in remembrance of those who died in World War I.  The Regimental Badges that have been carved into the downs.  It was during World War I (1914/1918) that there was a need to establish training camps for troops engaged in the battlefields of France.

The Rifles Berkshire & Wiltshire Museum within Salisbury’s Cathedral Close.
his museum showcases the service of men of Berkshire and Wiltshire from 1743 to the present day. Various temporary exhibitions take place here too and there is a charming riverside garden you can explore after checking out all of the exhibitions on display.

Boscombe Down Aviation Collection
Here, you can come face-to-face with aviation restoration, climb aboard several aircraft and learn more about the connections the local area has with flight. The collection is held within a military hangar at Old Sarum Airfield, having relocated from Boscombe Down Airfield a few years ago. Guides are on-hand to help tell you about various aircraft here and if you have children with you, they will love the opportunity to be able to touch the majority of the planes and other aircraft found here.

Church of St. George at the village of Fovant
The church of St. George in the village of Fovant has rows of war graves of British and Australian soldiers and it was to the memory of those who had died that the Regimental Badges were carved by their comrades. Many of the original carvings failed to survive the elements and at the end of world war I there were 20 identifiable badges.

Tank Museum.
Visit the world’s best collection of tanks. Guaranteed to stop you in your tracks and tonnes of fun for all the family, the world-class Tank Museum in Bovington, Dorset is home to almost 300 vehicles. You can even see the world’s first ever tank – the Tiger Tank. Be in awe of the heavy artillery as you explore six powerful exhibitions spanning 100 years from the ‘Trench Experience’ to ‘Battlegroup Afghanistan’. Seasonal live Tank Action displays take place in the outdoor arena where visitors can even find out for themselves how it feels to ride in a tracked vehicle.

Our private guided military tours can depart from London, Bath, Southampton, Salisbury and can be customised to suit you.

OUR BESPOKE MILITARY TOURS CAN ALSO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:

• Portsmouth Historic Dockyard – HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, Royal Navy Museum
• RAF Uxbridge
• Bletchley Park
• Imperial War Museum
• IWM RAF Duxford
• National Army Museum
• RAF Museum
• HMS Belfast
• Bovington Tank Museum
• Winchester Military Museums – Including the Gurkha’s, Royal Green Jackets, The Kings Royal Hussars regimental museums.
• Fleet Air Arm Musuem

You can view and book our military tour here

Stonehenge Guided Tours
Operating Stonehenge Tours Since 1990
www.StonehengeTours.com

Why Visit Stonehenge? Put simply – because it is one of the most ancient and sensory visiting experiences left in the UK. Stonehenge has been a site of religious significance since its inception over 5,000 years ago. Millennia of spiritual congregation have endowed the monument with energy and arcane effervescence. Since the 1990s we have helped modern pilgrims  absorb this latent energy which cascades from the stones and their surrounding environment in a multitude of excited ways, new and old. 

Ceremony within the inner circle of Stonehenge at sunrise. Connect with ancient traditions and feel the unadulterated intensity of Stonehenges earth-energies beneath your feet.

Ceremony within the inner circle of Stonehenge at sunrise. Connect with ancient traditions and feel the unadulterated intensity of Stonehenges earth-energies beneath your feet.

We have learned guides who are experts in tracing Stonehenges energies and helping you experience them. Stonehenge is believed to be an epicentre of earth-energy, with as many as 14 ley lines converging on the site. Ley lines are powerful channels of energy that connect places of ancient and primordial significance all across the country. This powerful, almost gravitational, energy the site gives off, could be the reason that our ancestors transported some stones 160 miles from South Wales. You can experience and track the ley lines of stonehenge by learning the ancient method of drowsing, one of the most direct methods of tracing the tracks of energy that converge on the site. Furthermore, these channels of energy are an excellent reason to extend your visit beyond the stones themselves. The ley line routes connect the UNESCO world heritage site directly with other sites of significance in the area. YOU can expand your search for ancient energies to nearby ancient burial mounds,  avebury stone circle or even as far as glastonbury, where you can also explore the ancient myths of the area with expert guides. Or, for lovers of true mystery, why not combine your visit to Stonehenge with a tour of local crop-circles – with Wiltshire boasting the highest density of the phenomena in the world. 

Harnessing the Power of Stonehenge Ley Lines. It is believed Stonehenge like many other power places emits energy and the ancients knew the power of the circle to focus and harness this energy. Photo taken at a crystal skull gatherin

Harnessing the Power of Stonehenge Ley Lines. It is believed Stonehenge like many other power places emits energy and the ancients knew the power of the circle to focus and harness this energy. 

The stones were built with an eye to the stars, with ancestors being keen astronomers. The stones themselves align perfectly with the sun at both midsummer and midwinter to render a magnificent spectacle. In this way, the stones are largely charged by the mysterious energies of the cosmos and we offer in depth astrology tours and full moon tours which examine the effects the stars have on the stones and ourselves. Or, for those who want to experience the true power of the Stones at close quarters, we offer the the opportunity to go inside the inner ring of the Stones at either sunrise or sunset. Away from the noise of the crowds, up close and personal, you can feel the unadulterated intensity of Stonehenges earth-energies beneath your feet.

The Stones also offer the opportunity for recharging; harvesting the power of the stones energy to improve your own wellness. Our guides are open-minded and can help you restore your energies in a variety of ways including crystal recharging, meditation groups, drumming ceremonies. For the ultimate experience, we can even arrange Handfasting at the stones, an ancient marriage ritual which involves a couple’s hands being placed together and bound with ribbon or cord, symbolising an eternal union. Even if you are a novice, between them our guides have an extensive knowledge of new-age practices and are happy to help you connect with ancient traditions in new and exciting ways. 

The British Druid Order has recorded a rise in its membership from 3,000 to 7,000 over the past decade- and so there has never been more people attuned to the arcane power of the hallowed site. We are capable of a wide array of spiritual experiences and are more than happy to answer any enquiries you might have surrounding what is possible. So why not experience Stonehenge first hand, for a truly holistic and unforgettable experience. 

Stonehenge Ley Lines and Earth EnergiesWhy Does it Attract ‘New Agers’?

Email the Stonehenge experts today for a prompt reply

Stonehenge Guided Tours
Operating Stonehenge Access Tours Since 1990
www.StonehengeTours.com

 

In the wake of the current Covid-19 pandemic public transport and big coach tours has become less of a safe prospect and unsurprisingly less appealing. Social distancing is now essential for the wellbeing of the general populace as well as essential in blunting the spike in new Coronavirus cases. It can be hard maintaining proper social distancing measures on large coach group tours, so for the good U.K tourism, we are offering our private guided  tour services as an alternative and crucially safe option. We take extra care so you stay safe!

A private guided tour is more flexible and often cheaper than a coach tour if you are travelling as a family or small group.

Ultimately, Travel in the UK can be as safe and enjoyable as it always has been. The UK

Our exclusive Stonehenge private access tours visit Stonehenge before or after the monument is officially open to the public, missing all the crowds.

Our exclusive Stonehenge private access tours visit Stonehenge before or after the monument is officially open to the public, missing all the crowds.

has an abundance of rural tourist destinations which are as beautiful and historically laden as any in the cities. If you follow the critical advice from health experts and book privately, it is easy to stay totally safe and have a fascinating vacation simultaneously. So why not take the private tour option this year or next  and keep your family safe, whilst still showing them the time of their lives!

Why risk it? Due to COVID-19 private hire transport is much safer than using crowed coach tours, especially with the fastidiously precautions we have put in place; going above and beyond the necessary precautions recommended by the government, whilst also providing a high quality of service and an extremely comfortable journey.

Private transfers allow for collection right from your hotel door, reducing the risk of exposure from low to near non-existent.

Advice from medical experts has recommended avoiding crowded public places.  One of the best ways to do this and still enjoy the rich delights of British tourism is to book yourself a private tour experience as opposed to crowded coach trips or making your own way on public transport. Here I hope to relay 5 key  benefits of a private tour, especially in the face of the worlds current Coronavirus fears.

  • Avoid busy coaches and crucially reduce exposure to the Corona virus. A fact to which I have already alluded, but it is a crucial one to remember. Coaches buy nature thrust one into close proximity with a large group of strangers. It is entirely possible to get coach tours refunded and switch to a private tour – a lot of 3rd party online companies will offer refunds as close to 48 hours before departure.
  • No need for public transport or busy coach stations – with collection straight from your hotel door. The coach station’s themselves, as well as train stations and underground stations, pose a similar risk to the public. Private tours allow for collection right from your door, reducing the risk of exposure from low to near non-existent.
  • Coach trips cause large crowds at various monuments. Numerous coaches arrive at the same time to create ‘peak times’, which again pose a risk in the current climate. A private tour has the luxury of choice. Avoiding these peak times will not only lower risk of exposure but also make for a more relaxed atmosphere at any given monument, leaving you in peaceto admire our cultural history.
  • Safety for the whole family. Private tours are ideal for keeping your children out of harm’s way. Private tours are perfectly suited to families, keeping everyone together with no one else to interrupt the family quality time, apart from an experienced and knowledgeable guide, whilst minimising the potential exposure of your children.
  • The flexibility of private tours allows for a more sequestered experience at every turn. Private tours are ideal for finding delightful rural places to enjoy lunch, in quiet village locations. Once again, you can avoid the often-hectic services on UKs motorways and cafés/restaurants near to monuments.

We have implemented the following actions to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 Virus:

Our Licensed Driver / Guide… are fully briefed on the symptoms associated with Covid-19 and what is required of them to act with the utmost propriety. Before your vehicle even arrives, the vehicle will be sanitised internally and door handles will be cleaned. All drivers will have washed their hands thoroughly and will be wearing a face mask, at all times. Hand sanitiser will be provided, ready and waiting for all customers.

Our Insured Vehicles… have been specially adapted for your safety, with purpose-built Perspex divides installed between driver and passengers eliminating the risk of any contamination.

Picking you up… Your driver will not shake your hand – you will be asked if you would like your driver to load the luggage or if you would prefer to do this yourself. Unless all seats are required, you will be asked to sit in the rear of the vehicle, to maximise social distancing at all times. Our 9 seat minvans will be reduced to 7 seats for your safety.

Even After you have arrived at each of your tourist destinations your driver / guide will be busy meticulously repeating this process to the letter, while you can carry on your day with your peace of mind intact.

In these strange times, the safety of both our staff and our clients is of paramount importance, and, as always, the comfort of our clients remains at the heart of our business. These special safety measures have been brought in in addition to the abundance of premium tour services we offer.

Getting around safely is essential, so in this scary time don’t take unnecessary risks and travel in safety and luxury with us – professional, comfortable and most importantly safe. See you soon.

Due to this pandemic, the demand for private guided tours is increasing rapidly throughout this summer. BOOK A PRIVATE TOUR / TRANSFER NOW – CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Email the Stonehenge experts today for a prompt reply

Stonehenge Guided Tours
Operating Stonehenge Access Tours Since 1990
www.StonehengeTours.com

The Extended Stonehenge Sunset Tour: With Special Inner Circle Access

Join us for a cross country adventure; exploring the finest landscapes the south-west of England has to offer. From the beauty of the Cotswolds’ rolling hills, to the mystery of Wessex’s Neolithic sites, the quaintness of Lacock village to the mesmeric antiquity of Stonehenge – for an unforgettable sunset amidst the sacred stones.

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Stonehenge Special Access Tour Highlights

  1. • Sunset VIP Access viewing of Stonehenge
    • Private viewing of Stonehenge – enter the inner stone circle (1 Hour)
    Luxury + Midi Coach Travel
    • Personalised small groups – maximum 26
    • Expert Local Stonehenge Guide
    • Walking Tour of Avebury Stone Circle
    • See Ancient Chalk Hill Figures
    • See Prehistoric Silbury Hill
    • Lacock Village in the Scenic Cotswolds

Our special arrangement with English Heritage allows us to invite you within the inner ring of Stonehenge as part of a unique tour experience. For 99% of people visiting the sight the stones are roped off and observed from a distance. But not you…
As the sun goes down and the tourists clear the area, you will stay. You will then be permitted beyond the fences, within the inner circle and tread the sacred ground which so few have before you. Our special access tours will allow you to contemplate the mystery of the ancient monoliths as you walk amongst them, whilst an expert tour guide brings to life their many myths, legends and fascinating history.

5000 Years of History in just one Day

The Tour
After your mini coach pick-up direct from or near to your central London we leave London behind and take the old coach road through Hungerford, Marlborough, along the Kennet valley and through the Savernake Forest to Avebury Stone Circle.
Visit two awe-inspiring prehistoric monuments of pagan Britain.

Avebury Prehistoric Stone Circle
As we meander through the countryside to Avebury, we pass famous white horses carved into the chalk hillsides and picturesque, tucked away villages. We explore the mysterious phenomena of crop circles and take a closer look at any which may be in the area.
Feel the magic when walking amongst this the largest ritual stone circle in the World.

Avebury may be less famous then its Neolithic cousin Stonehenge, but it exudes the same occult energy and the same historic significance. It is the largest prehistoric stone circle in Europe, the product of over 500 years of effort by Neolithic man. You will be able to appreciate this enigmatic space on foot, appreciating the ancient and spiritually intuitive earthworks of our Neolithic ancestors. Your appreciation of Neolithic customs will continue to grow as you try your hand at the ancient art of drowsing – prepare to be wholly amazed!

The charming village will add a dimension of variety to the Avebury experience, it’s picturesque thatched cottages, antiques and village churches contrasting with the ancient mysteries of the circle- showing the full range of British history – and of course you can appreciate a cream tea or a pint of beer in the Red Lion!
Before making our way to Lacock Village, we will also see seemingly eternal mystery of Silbury Hill, Europe’s largest prehistoric man-made monument.
Voted one of the most spiritual places in the country

Lacock Village in the scenic Cotswolds

Steep yourself in the transcendental history of Lacock. A national trust village whose quintessential English charm has been so unaffected by modern development, so untouched by recent history, that it has become the setting for many movies and television dramas: Including…

Despite its unadulterated charm, Lacock remains little known and so its beauty remains. Many of the villages wonderful buildings originally formed part of an extensive monastic complex and Lacock Abbey is truly the jewel if Lacock is the crown. We will take a walk through the village and through British history, from the towns Saxons origins to its newfound televisual glamour. There will also be the chance for food and drink at one of the towns splendid pubs.

If you are looking for drama, history and scenery then this is the tour for you!

Stonehenge Sunset Access
Finally, we reach the pinnacle of the tour, the world’s most famous prehistoric monument: Stonehenge and the opportunity to walk amongst these hallowed monoliths

Private Viewing of Stonehenge
Our tour separates you from the crowd. Whilst the average Stonehenge visitor views from a distance, amidst the crowd- our visitors enter the stone circle itself when everyone else had left. Our visitors can stand next to the stones, appreciating their true magnitude as they render you minisule in comparison- some of the stones standing at 9m. The peace of the evening, when all have left adds to the arcane mystery of the Stones- the isolation only increasing the mythic awe of the site. Your intrigue will crescendo as one of our expert guides regails you with the depth of their knowledge.
Was it observatory of the moon, a temple to the sun, or an elaborate cemetery? Who were the people who carried and carved these 40 ton rocks? Come and unlock the secrets for yourself and marvel at this remarkable and mysterious feat of ancient engineering and design.

April – September 2021
Availability is strictly limited so book early, as private viewings regularly sell out and operate on selected days only.

This exclusive tour departs central London at 12 noon and return to London approx 11pm mission all rush hour traffic therfore maximising your sightseeing time,
We can often arrange extra inner circle dates for private groups, ideal for couples, families and small groups with specific dates and wanting to save money. – click here

Stonehenge Guided Tours
Operating Stonehenge Access Tours Since 1990
www.StonehengeTours.com

Thousands descend on the Wiltshire monument to mark the longest day of the year,

THOUSANDS of revellers travel to Stonehenge every year to mark summer solstice.

But do you know why the Wiltshire monument attracts so many people on the longest day of the year? Here’s the lowdown…

When is the summer solstice?

The midsummer date is set based on the planet’s rotational axis.

It’s decided based on the sun’s tilt towards the sun, which hits its maximum at 23° 26′ and falls between June 20 and June 22 in the northern hemisphere.

This year, the summer solstice will take place on June 21.

What is the summer solstice?

The ‘longest’ day of the year marks the middle of summer.

This is because the tilt of the Earth’s axis is most aligned with the sun, providing us with the most daylight of the year.

When it ends, the nights will began to close in as our planet rotates away from the sun.

The date where Earth is the furthest from the star is marked by the winter solstice.

What has the summer solstice got to do with Stonehenge?

The day 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.

The tradition sees revellers waiting by the Wiltshire monument on midsummer, facing towards the north-easterly direction.

Crowds of devotees, often dressed for the occasion, regularly gather to watch the moment the sun rises above the Heel Stone.

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

How else is the summer solstice celebrated?

Midsummer festivities are held across the world in many different cultures.

In many cases, the rituals are linked with themes of religion or fertility.

Article Source: By Sophie Roberts The Sun Newspaper

Join the Summer Solstice celebrations on our exclusive Summer Solstice Tour and Winter Solstice Tour from London or Bath.  

Stonehenge Guided Tours
The Stonehenge Solstice Experts
www.StonehengeTours.com

This full day tour from London starts when you’re picked up at your hotel by a London black taxi driver – the world’s finest!  Acclaimed the world over for having to complete the fiendishly difficult ‘Knowledge of London’ series of tests before they are awarded their coveted green badge, your London black taxi driver is required to know literally thousands of streets, landmarks and places of interest. Every single London black taxi driver has been rigorously vetted, so you know you’re in safe hands too.

Climb Glastonbury Tor

Your cabbie will drop you off at your starting point where your tour bus awaits you, offering you the kind of comfort you deserve: all coaches feature reclining leather seats, air conditioning, and panoramic windows so you can sit back and enjoy the stunning views of the English countryside.

The first stop of the day is the magnificent, enthralling Stonehenge. This iconic structureexcalibur has puzzled archaeologists and historians for centuries, and its true purpose remains a mystery to this day. How did the stones get transported thousands of years ago from so far away? What is the secret of its remarkable layout? We’ll be exploring this UNESCO World Heritage Site with your qualified tour guide, who will escort you into the cinema for a 360- degree experience of what it would be like to be in the centre of Stonehenge from its beginnings 5,000 years ago.

You’ll also be able to view the many artefacts recovered from the tombs dotted around the surrounding landscape of lush, rolling green hills, as well as a nearly complete skeleton of someone who lived in the area before Stonehenge was even begun.

Outside the monument there will be a chance to explore some of the huts recreated from findings at the nearby “Durrington Walls” 2 miles away. You’ll get the chance to step into the huts and see how the people who built Stonehenge lived. From here we hop on to the courtesy bus that takes us up to the site of Stonehenge itself.

day-tour-image-24The remarkable thing about Stonehenge is its unique design and the craftsmanship involved in building this extraordinary site, and your guide is on hand to talk about some of the theories, and point out the site’s distinctive features.

From here we push deeper into what is often referred to as Arthur’s Britain. The countryside gradually becomes hillier and more remote as modern civilisation melts away behind us. We pass iron age fortresses, doll-like thatched cottages, ancient landmarks, villages with old gaols and a pub that was run by a notorious highwayman.

From here we approach Glastonbury and the much-photographed Tor (hill) that silently Glastonbury Abbeydominates the landscape for miles around. We’ll pull into the small nearby town for our fish and chip lunch at an award-winning restaurant that has been a family business for over a century. From here we’ll cross the road into Glastonbury Abbey to search for the final resting place of King Arthur himself. According to contemporary reports, the monks who lived at the Abbey discovered the tomb of Arthur following a fire. But to many people, Arthur is not dead at all – he sleeps nearby ready to awake when England is in peril. Stories of Arthur abound here in Glastonbury – the Isle of Apples – as do legends of fairy folk, saints and magic, all weaving through the landscape and remembering the deeds of long ago.

Our tour continues with a visit to the revered Chalice Well, where you can take for free the healing waters from the Lion’s head spring. Here too is an example of the Glastonbury thorn brought from the Holy Land by Joseph of Arimathea. The Chalice well itself has never been known to dry out – not even in the most severe droughts – and it was here that Joseph hid the Holy Grail. Since that time, people have travelled from far and wide to benefit from its healing properties.

Now for some serious hiking – but only if you want to! This is your chance to walk to the top of the town of Glastonbury and marvel at the magnificent views across to the city of Wells, Porlock, Dunster and even across the Bristol Channel to the principality of Wales – the land of the dragon. The tower of St. Michael stands as testimony to the medieval monks’ determination and engineering skills. But the tower holds a gruesome secret, and there’s an intriguing story of an encounter with the fairy kingdom too!

Avebury Stone CircleTime to leave now for our final stop of the day and the village of Avebury. On our way there we’ll see a striking white horse carved into the hillside to commemorate the triumph of an English King over the Vikings back in the 800s. We’ll also be driving past an old country mansion which became the subject of a notorious (and true!) murder mystery, a place that is in fact at the origin of the enthusiasm for detective novels going back to the 1800s that kick-started the popularity of the detective novel, captivating the imagination of readers and amateur sleuths on both sides of the Atlantic.

Then onto Avebury.

Measuring 400 metres across its diameter, the stone circle of Avebury is the largest in the world and – like Stonehenge – is a world heritage site. We’ll have time to explore the site together with your guide who tell you about the barber stone and the haunted pub, and will show you some great photo spots. We’ll also be doing some dowsing at the site to discover the power of the stones.  There’ll be time to pop in to the famous ‘henge’ shop and find out about crystals and crop circles, and you might even want to take home some dowsing rods of your own… From here we’ll get back on our coach that will take us past the mysterious pre-historic mound of Silbury Hill – the largest in Europe.

We drive back via the lovely market towns of Marlborough and Hungerford. We’ll see Marlborough College, the school attended by the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie amongst others. Here, too, is another prehistoric mound which, according to legend, conceals the Round Table along with Merlin the Magician.

We’ll be joining the freeway back to London and drive past Windsor Castle, the venue for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018, and you’ll be dropped off at Gloucester Road. Should any passengers require onward transfers then please speak to the guide beforehand.

Whats Included

Fully Guided Lecture Standard Tour

Admission to Stonehenge

Admission to Glastonbury Abbey

Climb Glastonbury Tor

All Travel in Luxury Mini-Bus from Central London

View and book this magical day tour here

Stonehenge Guided Tours
The Stonehenge Experts!
www.StonehengeTours.com

 

The striking British landmark was built in three stages – and some parts of it are 5,000 years old.

winter-sols

Stonehenge is one of the most recognisable and Instagrammed landmarks spots in Britain, but do you know its history?

But where are the famous standing stones and more importantly who put them there? Here’s what we know…

What is Stonehenge?

Instantly recognisable from the surrounding roads, Stonehenge is made up of a ring of standing stones – each of which are around 13ft (4.1 metres) high, 6ft 11in (2.1m) wide and weigh 25 tons.

The stones are set within a group of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments, as well as several hundred burial mounds.

Stonehenge was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1986, and is one of the most Instagrammed tourist attractions in Britain.

In 1915, wealthy Shrewton resident Sir Cecil Chubb became Stonehenge’s last private owner when he bought the site for £6,600. It is now estimated to be worth a huge £51 million.

He formally handed it over to the state three years later, with a number of conditions.

The site is managed by English Heritage – and is the third best view in Britain, according to a recent poll.

 

What is the history of Stonehenge?

Stonehenge was built in three stages, with some parts being a huge 5,000 years old.

The outer bank of Stonehenge was made in around 3000 BC, while the stone settings were built in 2500 BC.

Hundreds of people helped to construct the landmark – transporting the stones from the nearby Marlborough Downs and Preseli Hills, in south-west Wales.

The stones were then worked into shape using sarsen and flint hammerstones.

Today, Stonehenge is linked to the druids – and many people wrongly think they built the structure.

However, archaeologists believe it was constructed by three groups – the Neolithics, the Beaker people and the Wessex Peoples – who are said to have finalised the site into what we see today.

What happens during the Winter Solstice Festival?

Every year, hundreds of people gather at Stonehenge for The Winter Solstice, which falls around December 21.

It is the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year.

Every year people gather at Stonehenge in the early morning to mark the Winter solstice and see the sun rise over the stones.

People also gather at Stonehenge on the eve of Midsumer’s Day, to celebrate the Summer Solstice.

At dawn on the longest day of the summer – which normally falls between June 20 and 22 – pagans, druids and other spectators gather to celebrate and watch the sunrise.

Spring Equinox, which falls around March 20, is also marked at the historic site.

What’s going on with the plans for a tunnel near Stonehenge?

The plans for a 1.8-mile dual carriageway tunnel near Stonehenge, have got the go-ahead from Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.

Some experts warned it would compromise the “precious” archaeology of the World Heritage Site.

But government agency Historic England, and the National Trust and English Heritage who manage the stone circle, welcomed the ruling. The A303 is often gridlocked there.

Time Team presenter Tony Robinson has previously described the scheme as “old-fashioned” because it “assumes what needs to be protected is that little clump of stones”.

He said the stone circle was invaluable, but over the past 20 to 30 years, experts had begun to appreciate that the area around it was a complex network of henges, pathways, barrows and track-ways.

Article Source: By Josie Griffiths: The Sun Online

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 should be booked in advance: Stonehenge Winter Solstice Tour

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

SUN-seekers will be alarmed to know that the summer solstice is just around the corner. The pagan celebration falls in June every year. 

Even though the midsummer date is when we get the most daylight of the year, it also marks the time where the days start shortening ahead of winter.

summer-solstice-getty-sun

The summer solstice is considered to be the longest day of the year because it’s when we get the most daylight. Getty Images

Here’s everything you need to know about summer solstice 2021…

When is the summer solstice?

The midsummer date is set based on the planet’s rotational axis.

It’s decided based on the sun’s tilt towards the sun, which hits its maximum at 23° 26′ and falls between June 20 and June 22 in the northern hemisphere.

This year, the summer solstice will take place on Wednesday, June 21st

solstice-moon

The date is decided based on the angle of the Earth’s tilt. Getty Images

What is the summer solstice?

The ‘longest’ day of the year marks the middle of summer.

This is because the tilt of the Earth’s axis is most aligned with the sun, providing us with the most daylight of the year.

After June 21, the nights will began to close in as our planet rotates away from the sun.

The date where Earth is the furthest from the star is marked by the winter solstice.

What’s the summer solstice got to do with Stonehenge?

The day 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.

The tradition sees revellers waiting by the Wiltshire monument on midsummer, facing towards the north-easterly direction.

Crowds of devotees, often dressed for the occasion, regularly gather to watch the moment the sun rises above the Heel Stone.

It’s just one of the many pagan festivals, which include midwinter and imbolc – the day that traditionally marks the start of spring.

solstice-party

Revellers face the sun as they watch it rise up around the Wiltshire monument

How else is the summer solstice celebrated?Midsummer festivities are held across the world in many different cultures.

In many cases, the rituals are linked with themes of religion or fertility.

Wianki celebrations in Poland are similar to those held in Britain, as the day is largely considered a pagan religious event.

There are different traditions across Europe, with Estonia using the day to mark a shift in agricultural patterns.

In Russia and Ukraine, it’s tradition for revellers to jump over bonfires to test their courage and religious faith.

Article source: By Sophie Roberts The Sun News

Cross it off your bucket list this year and join our Stonehenge Summer Solstice Tour. Guided tours with luxury transport depart from Bath and London on 20th and 21st for sunset and sunrise.

Stonehenge Guided Tours
The Stonehenge Experts
Established 1995