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 2017…

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

Stonehenge Private Access Visit or Regular Tourist Visit During Normal Hours?

For those of you who have not visited Stonehenge before, we should mention that the

crowds

Regular Crowded Stonehenge visit

monument is roped off. Visitors observe the stones from a distance and are not permitted within the inner circle and for most tourists this is perfectly adequate. Since the new English Heritage visitor centre opened in 2013 the monument can often see over 1000 people per hour circling the Stone Circle at distances up to 100 meters away.

Walk Among The Stones At Stonehenge Without The Crowds

For the more discerning traveller and those who are really, really interested in Stonehenge it is possible to go beyond the rope fence and walk among the stones with just a handful of people. These visits are called Special Access visits and take place outside public opening hours and are very early in the morning or late in the evening, often at sunset or sunrise. This is the only time you will be able to walk amongst the stones at Stonehenge.  There are periods, noticeably the months of October and November where no Special Access slots are made available at all due to conservation reasons. The days around the summer solstice at the end of June are also blacked out.

Organised Guided Stonehenge Special Access Tours
We have arranged with English Heritage for you to experience a unique guided visit to this ancient sacred site – beyond the fences and after the crowds have gone home. Walk amongst the stones and experience the magical atmosphere within the inner circle. We are the early pioneers of this magical experience and hope you will join one of our exclusive scheduled small group Stonehenge special  access tours or organise a custom VIP private viewing tour, ideal for individuals, families or small groups.

Our tour guides are Stonehenge experts and will bring to life its many myths, legends and mysteries and share all the latest theories and archaeological discoveries,  a truly magical experience.  We have a close relationship with Stonehenge ticketing and all approved tour operators and can often arrange these access visits, even at sunset or sunrise when others can’t. A truly magical experience!

Let us Arrange a Special Access Visit for You
Simply contact us with your preferred date, the number of people travelling and if you prefer sunrise or sunset access inside the Stones.  We will then promptly email your best touring options.  We’ll make sure that you get the very best out of this historic and mysterious Stone Circle!
Please follow us on Twitter or Facebook for the latest updates  and view our pics and videos on Instagram and YouTube

The Stonehenge Experts
Email:
experts@StonehengeTours.com
Operating Stonehenge Guided Tours since 1995
http://www.StonehengeTours.com

Planning on visiting Stonehenge and want to experience the inner circle at sunrise or sunset?

If scheduled Stonehenge coach tours do not suit your travel plans and you are travelling with family or a small group then a ‘bespoke private tour might be the answer, giving you greater flexibility, door to door service on the day YOU want to travel. Our bespoke Stonehenge private access tours  can be tailored to suit your requirements and may be cheaper than you think.

Experience sunrise / sunset from within the inner circle of Stonehenge.  Magical!

Experience sunrise / sunset from within the inner circle of Stonehenge. Magical!

Bespoke Guided Tours of the Inner Circle of Stonehenge.

This is a rare opportunity to visit one of the most popular and mystifying Prehistoric sites in the world. The special access tour is an early morning (sunrise) or evening (sunset) event, closed off to the general public where you will be able to walk amongst the stones and stand within the stone circle!

In the evening after Stonehenge is closed to the public, or at dawn before it is open, we can arrange exclusive access for you to visit this awe-inspiring prehistoric monument and walk among the giant sarsen stones towering 6.4 m high and weighing up to 50 tonnes. Go beyond the fences & after the crowds have gone home. Walk amongst the stones & experience the magical atmosphere within the inner circle.

Normal viewing only permits access from the path that surrounds the circle. Stonehenge dates from 3100BC, and you will be walking where very few people have access. Your guide will explain some of the theories behind this amazing feat of Prehistoric construction.

A truly magical experience….

Our Stonehenge Special Access Tours (1-30 persons) can depart from London, Bath, Salisbury, Oxford, Southampton or any location in the South West of England.

Explore the beautiful South West of England in the luxury of your own private car, MPV or mini bus, enjoying the knowledge and expertise of our professional local Stonehenge experts.

Our Stonehenge private access tours can also include Bath, Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey), Salisbury Cathedral, Castle Combe, Windsor Castle, Winchester, Avebury Stone Circle, Lacock Village, The Cotswold’s or where ever you want to visit. We will help with your tour planning

Our customised private Stonehenge tours continue to get 5 STAR reports on Trip Adisor and other quality review sites

Email us your desired dates and group size for a prompt reply.

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

Book your 2015 sunset or sunrise tour in advance

2015 Stonehenge Access Tours

Stonehenge Special Access tours are available most but not all months of the year, (no visits available in October and November and are not available on and around the Summer Solstice). Evening Special Access is only available in the summer months.

Demand for Stonehenge access tours far exceeds supply, dates are often sold out many months in advance. Do not expect to get tickets without ordering well in advance. Register your interest now by simple sending us your email address and we will offer you 2015 tours before they are published online, giving you the opportunity to secure your preferred travel date. These will include all operators and all itineraries with departures from London, Salisbury and Bath.

Email: Experts@StonehengeTours.com

2015 Private Group Tours
We specialise in arranging customised Stonehenge tours to suit your requirements. Our door to door service will take you wherever you want to go…….at the time and pace to suit you. Our personalised service gives you the ultimate freedom and flexibility without the worry of driving so you can all relax and enjoy the day.

Email: PrivateGuidedTours@StonehengeTours.com

Visit our website for details:

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

Stonehenge Sunset and Sunrise Tour – 2014 Solstice Celebrations

The most famous prehistoric monument in the world, and now a world heritage site, Stonehenge stands alone in the vast empty tract of Salisbury plain. Its origins date back nearly 5,000 years and it has been home to pagan religion and spiritual worship, not to be mention public debate ever since. What was this vast collection of stones intended for? 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, as we enjoy the wonderful celebrations that take place to mark the summer solstice.

The Sunset tour :

Mid Summer Sunset

Mid Summer Sunset

Join our Solstice Tour that departs London at lunchtime and heads west towards the site, taking time to enjoy the ancient stones at Avebury, before heading to picturesque Lacock for an early evening supper, included in the price. From here we journey to Stonehenge itself arriving at roughly 7pm, as it begins it’s annual celebration of the summer solstice. Huge crowds gather and there will be plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere of this historic event, walk amongst the stones, and observe the pagan rituals and ceremonies that take place at varying intervals throughout the evening. Please note there are two twenty to thirty minute walks involved during the day in order to see the celebrations at Avebruy and Stonehenge.

The Sunrise Tour:

Join our Premium Tour that departs London at 1am on the 21st June 2013 and heads directly to Stonehenge arriving at roughly 3am. The annual celebration of the summer solstice will be well under way by then as the atmosphere builds towards the sunrise, and the climax of the event. Huge crowds gather and there will be plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere of this historic morning, walk amongst the stones, and observe the pagan rituals and ceremonies that take place at varying intervals throughout the evening. Please note there is a twenty to thirty minute walk involved in order to get from the coach park to the event.

Summer solstice:

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 word solstice is comes from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun, as seen from earth stands still in declination before reversing it’s direction. Thus after the summer solstice the sun does not appear as high in the sky and daylight reduces. The solstice is therefore seen as the midpoint of summer in many cultures and is cause for celebration.

Pagan celebrations:

Like other religious groups, Pagans are in awe of the strength of the sun and the divine powers that create life. For many pagans, they believe that 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. The summer solstice marks the marriage of the God and Goddess and see their union as the force that creates the harvest’s fruits. To celebrate many Pagans and non Pagans head to ancient religious sites including Avebury and Stonehenge, to conduct fascinating and colourful ceremonies throughout the night enjoying the last sunset and sunrise before the sun alters it’s direction once more.

Additional information:

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.

Visitors are requested to dispose of their rubbish carefully at the designated recycling and rubbish points located in the Solstice Car Park and at Stonehenge. Clear recycling bags will also be handed out on arrival.. Please do not drop litter – bag and bin your rubbish so the recycling team can gather them up. It is a very sensitive landscape and still used by local farmers so please respect their crops and livestock.

There are authorised catering facilities on the site and some personal food and drink is allowed to be brought onto the site. Please bring them in a small bag – large rucksacks are not permitted. Glass is not permitted and will be confiscated – many people walk barefoot and the livestock graze in the area throughout the year. A small amount of alcohol is permitted on the site amounting to no more than one bottle of wine, or 4 500ml cans of beer or cider. Please note consumption of alcohol on the coach is not permitted. Due to the large numbers of people who attend the vent, naked flames are strictly forbidden. Small ground sheets and blankets are allowed.

Please note that there will be a lot of walking on grass involved and we recommend bringing warm clothing, sensible footwear and a small umbrella if rain is forecast.

*Due to the nature of this special event, we cannot guarantee exact arrival or departure times from Stonehenge so all timings are approximate.

Limited spaces so book early

Visit our website for full details: www.StonehengeTours.com

Stonehenge Guided Tour