News

21/06/2022

Summer Solstice at Stonehenge 2022

  • English Heritage is inviting people to watch Summer Solstice at Stonehenge from home this year as the sunset and sunrise is live streamed.
  • Visitors to the site are asked to respect the stones and think green.

Image: sun setting behind Stonehenge

This year we will be live streaming the midsummer solstice sunset and sunrise to homes around the world as well as looking forward to welcoming people to Stonehenge to celebrate midsummer at the ancient site once again. We ask that each and every visitor respects the stones and thinks green when planning their travel.

Stonehenge is a unique monument built on the alignment of the midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset. On the longest day of the year, the sun rises behind the Heel Stone – the ancient entrance to the Stone Circle from the ceremonial avenue – and rays of sun are channelled into the centre of the monument. It is thought that solstices have been celebrated at Stonehenge for thousands of years.

During the summer solstice people are able to celebrate close to and inside the stone circle, and we ask that during this special time, visitors are mindful that Stonehenge is a vulnerable site despite being made up of huge stones and earthworks. Each stone has been carefully worked and placed in position; some have prehistoric carvings on them - many of which cannot be seen by the naked eye. Rare lichens also grow on the surfaces of the stones, and these can be very easily damaged.

Jennifer Davies, English Heritage’s Head of Historic Properties for Stonehenge, said: “We will be livestreaming this year’s summer solstice sunset and sunrise once again so that everyone, no matter where you are in the world, can experience this special moment at Stonehenge. We appreciate however that celebrating solstice at Stonehenge is a very special time for some and we are delighted that after two years we are able to welcome people back to mark the longest day of the year here once more.”

Stonehenge Curator for English Heritage, Heather Sebire says, “As its guardians, it is our job to look after Stonehenge and everyone who visits this special site. We ask people who are planning to come, to please be considerate of others, to respect the stones, and remember that alcohol is not permitted at Stonehenge. Please help us keep solstice special, so that people will be able to celebrate midsummer here for many years to come. For those who’d prefer to experience solstice from the comfort of home, English Heritage will be live streaming the midsummer sunrise on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.”

We are wncouraging people planning to celebrate solstice at Stonehenge to consider the environment when planning their travel, and car share or travel by public transport wherever possible, to help reduce the number of cars and CO2 emissions in the World Heritage Site. Parking is extremely limited and charges apply. Details of public transport and parking can be found here. 

We have been working closely with Wiltshire Police to ensure that everyone who comes to Stonehenge over summer solstice feels safe. Only small bags (30cm x 25cm x15cm) will be allowed into the Monument Field and searches will be conducted throughout the night. People are advised to check the website, read the Conditions of Entry and only bring essential items with them.
Stonehenge will close to visitors at 3pm on Monday 20 June (last admissions 1pm) and will reopen for solstice Managed Open Access at 7pm. The site will be open throughout the night and close at 8am on Tuesday 21 June, the longest day of the year.

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