Winter Solstice at Stonehenge Wednesday 22 December 2021

  • English Heritage invites people to watch from home as Winter Solstice sunrise to be livestreamed from Stonehenge
  • Stonehenge will be open on morning of 22nd December for those who wish to mark Winter Solstice at the ancient site, subject to changes in Government guidance and legislation

We will livestream the sunrise for free on YouTube and our other social media channels at 07:25 on the 22nd December so that everybody who wishes to experience the solstice sunrise at the ancient site can do so from the comfort of home.

For those who wish to mark the winter solstice in person, Stonehenge will be open on morning of 22nd December, subject to any changes in Government guidance, legislation or public health advice. We ask that people take a lateral flow test before setting off and only travel if it is negative and they feel well. We encourage the wearing of facemasks, and will be providing regular hand sanitiser stations and making sure wherever possible that there is plenty of space to socially distance.

Jennifer Davies, English Heritage’s Head of Historic Properties for Stonehenge, said:

“We will be livestreaming this year’s winter solstice sunrise so that everyone, no matter where you are in the world, can experience this special moment at Stonehenge from the comfort of home. We appreciate however that solstice is a very special time for some and so we will be opening the site on the morning of the 22nd December for those who wish to mark it in person. This is subject of course to any updated Government or Public Health Guidance and we are asking anyone who is planning to attend to take a lateral flow test before travelling and please only come if it is negative and you are feeling well.”

Kate Blackburn, Wiltshire Director of Public Health, said:

“We know how special the winter solstice is for some people, and we want all attendees to enjoy the event safely. Although it’s predominantly an outdoor event, it’s really important people take a few simple steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Attendees should take an at-home lateral flow test before they go, and not travel if they have a positive result. The event will be live streamed on English Heritage’s social media channels, so anyone who can’t attend the event can watch it there.”

The Winter Solstice occurs each year when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted farthest away from the Sun. This gives us the fewest hours of sunlight, and therefore the shortest day of the year. Many people believe that the Winter Solstice always falls on 21 December, but because of a mismatch between the calendar and solar year, the December solstice is not fixed to a specific date. This year, based on advice from the druid and pagan communities, the Solstice will be marked at Stonehenge on the morning of Wednesday 22 December - the first sunrise following the astronomical solstice which occurs after sunset the previous day. This is also when the days begin to get longer again. The sun will rise around 8:11am on Wednesday 22 December and the monument field will be open as soon as it is light enough for people to go in safely - usually around 7.45am.

We recommend that anyone planning to come to Solstice on Wednesday 22nd December, checks the website for practical information including Conditions of Entry – particularly around Covid safety, public transport and parking, and keeps an eye on social media for updates.

We're committed to free open access for solstice celebrations at Stonehenge and wants to keep solstice at Stonehenge special.

To experience the Stonehenge winter solstice live stream visit English Heritage on:

For traffic, weather and news updates on the morning of solstice, please follow @eh_stonehenge on Twitter.

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