Teaching resources
Stonehenge in Winter

Learn: Celebrating Solstice at Stonehenge

We've created this guide to the solstice at Stonehenge to help you and your learners celebrate wherever you are: at home or in the classroom. 

Explore the story of the solstice and why Stonehenge is important. Build your own prehistoric monument, position it to align with the sun, and celebrate in prehistoric style. 

This guide is intended to help anyone learning about the solstice and Stonehenge, but the activities featured will be of particular interest to National Curriculum Key Stage 2 learners. 

Image: Stonehenge at the winter solstice (courtesy of Historic England)

Solstice 2020 Livestream

Watch the solstice live from Stonehenge wherever you are, and join people around the world in witnessing the unique sight of the sun rising in line with the stones.  

Encourage your learners to consider how people throughout history have viewed this spectacle. Stonehenge has been considered a special ancient monument for thousands of years – the Romans used to visit, as have people from every period since.

Read more about watching the solstice live

What is solstice?

The shortest (winter) and longest (summer) days are known as the winter and summer solstices. They occur in the northern hemisphere around 21 December (winter) and 20 June (summer).

Explore what the solstice is and why it happens with space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock. Then watch the summer and winter solstices unfold in our timelapsed and real time videos. You can also check this year's solstice timings to make sure you tune in to experience this special event live. 

  • Maggie Aderin-Pocock Explains the Solstice

    Space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock explains what the solstice is and why it occurs. 

  • Summer Solstice at Stonehenge

    Watch a timelapsed video of the 2019 summer solstice at Stonehenge.

  • Winter Solstice at Stonehenge

    Watch a real-time video of the 2017 winter solstice at Stonehenge.

  • Summer Solstice Timings

    Check here for the timings of this year's summer solstice. 

How Was Stonehenge Created?

Watch our animation to find out more about the myths and legends around the building of Stonehenge. Discover how the monument was really created and what it might have been used for. 

Stonehenge and Solstice

A large group of people gathering to celebrate the summer solstice at Stonehenge

The stones of Stonehenge have marked the summer and winter solstices for thousands of years. 

Discover more about the links between the monument and the solstices by taking a virtual tour, investigating our skyscape and reading about our research into this ancient site. 

Your learners could use their new knowledge to create a poster or presentation for their class or adults and siblings at home to share information about Stonehenge and the solstice. 

Build Your Monument

A boy using building blocks

Now it's time to build your own prehistoric monument. 

Use our activities to build your own Biscuit Henge or small-scale Stonehenge model. Find out more about the building of Stonehenge to inspire your creations and raise the stones virtually using our interactive game. 

Don't forget to share your monuments with us @EHEducation.

Position Your Monument

Stonehenge's position in the landscape is crucial to its role in marking the solstice. 

Search our interactive maps of the monument and explore our reconstructed drawings to find out more about Stonehenge's environment through history. Study our site plan and carry out further video research into prehistoric life to better understand Stonehenge and its landscape.

Learn about the area around Stonehenge and use your new knowledge to position your own monument within a prehistoric-style landscape. 

Celebrate!

Although we don't know exactly how Stonehenge was used as a monument, we do know something about what the people who built it were eating. 

Uncover the story of prehistoric feasting and use our videos and articles to inspire your own celebratory solstice feast.

Find out more about feasting in the prehistoric period and learn how to make prehistoric cheese. Then discover what people visiting Stonehenge through history would have been eating with our food timeline. 

  • Food and Feasting at Stonehenge

    Find out what the people who built and used Stonehenge ate, how they cooked and served their food, and the cutting-edge science behind these discoveries.

  • Stonehenge Feast: What did the Stonehenge Builders Eat?

    Watch as we shed light on the diet and lifestyles of the people who built and used Stonehenge, drawing on recent archaeological discoveries and ground-breaking science. 

  • How to make prehistoric cheese

    Discover how cheese was made in prehistory through this video demonstration.

  • Timeline of Food in Britain

    Use this timeline to find out when different foods became widely available in Britain.

Three boys each holding a small Lego set

Teaching Prehistory

Read advice from our historians and learning experts on how to tell your Neolithic from your Bronze Age, the pitfalls to avoid, and suggested activities to try with your students at home, in the classroom, or on a school trip. 

Discover more about teaching prehistory

Help with Home Learning

In these challenging times many parents and carers are home schooling their children for the first time, and often in difficult circumstances. 

We've gathered together advice from our team of teachers and education experts on how to approach home learning during the crisis. 

Read more about Home Learning
'step into englands story