Winter Solstice at Stonehenge

English Heritage is looking forward to welcoming people to Stonehenge to celebrate Winter Solstice on Sunday 22 December.  Visitors will be able to access the monument as soon as it is light enough to do so safely.  Please read the information below before planning your visit. 

Essentials

  • DATE AND TIMES

Sunday 22 December 2019

The following timings are subject to change. Please do check back nearer the time for the confirmed schedule.

6am: Limited car parking opens

7.45am (approximately depending on light levels): Monument field opens  

8.11am: Sunrise

10am: Monument field closes 

Access to Stonehenge for Winter Solstice is free and is subject to the Conditions of Entry. Please read these before deciding whether to attend.  Stonehenge is in a field on Salisbury Plain and the weather in December will be cold and wet.  Even if it isn’t raining, the ground will be wet from the dew and there may also be frost. Sensible footwear and warm, waterproof clothing is essential. Please note, parking charges apply.

  • USEFUL INFORMATION

Planning your journey

Parking and Blue Badge parking

Conditions of Entry

Come Prepared

What is Winter Solstice?

Conditions of Entry

Stonehenge is an ancient prehistoric site which has been a place of worship and celebration at the time of Winter Solstice for thousands of years and is seen by many as a sacred site. 

English Heritage is pleased to provide free Managed Open Access to Stonehenge for Winter Solstice and ask that if you are planning to join us for this peaceful and special occasion that you read these Conditions of Entry and the information provided on the following pages before deciding whether to come.

Winter Solstice at Stonehenge will take place on Sunday 22 December 2019. Admission is free of charge.  Entry to the monument will be from approximately 07:45 (or when it is light enough to safely enter) until 10:00.

All vehicles must vacate the car parks by 11am.

Please help us to create a peaceful occasion by taking personal responsibility and following the Conditions of Entry and guidelines.  We have a duty of care to ensure public safety and are responsible for the protection of Stonehenge and its surrounding monuments.  If we are to ensure that future access is sustainable, it is essential that everyone observes and abides by these Conditions of Entry.

These Conditions of Entry are written to ensure enjoyment and public safety for everyone.  Contravention of any of these conditions may result in entry being refused or your removal from Stonehenge.  English Heritage reserves the right to refuse entry.

  • Stonehenge is a world renowned historic monument and part of a World Heritage Site. It is seen by many who attend as a sacred place.  Please respect it and please respect each other.
  • Amplified music is inappropriate and will not be permitted.
  • Drunken, disorderly, and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated; ejection, by security staff and/or Police, without return, will be the outcome.
  • Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Illegal drugs are still illegal at Stonehenge as they are anywhere else.  The police will be on site during the access period and will take immediate action against anyone breaking the law.  
  • Please do not bring dogs, pets or other animals into Stonehenge, with the exception of registered guide dogs or other assistance animals.  Apart from potentially upsetting wildlife and stock in the area, animal faeces presents a health risk to both people walking barefoot and children
  • Glass is not allowed at the monument as many people walk barefoot and, in addition, livestock and wildlife also graze in the area.  
  • Camping is not permitted at Stonehenge, in the Visitor Centre car park or on the surrounding National Trust Land. Please do not bring duvets or sleeping bags.
  • Do not climb or stand on any of the stones – this includes the stones that have fallen.  This is in the interest of personal safety, the protection of this special site and respect for those attending.  As well as putting the stones themselves at risk, climbing on them can damage the delicate lichens.
  • To help us reduce the amount of litter on site, leafleting or flyering is not allowed. 
  • Please do not light fires or bring flaming torches, candles, night-lights, fireworks, or any other type of real flame.  Do not bring flammable substances or fuel.  This applies to the stones and to the land that surrounds them.  The nature of this access makes real flame extremely dangerous. It constitutes a potential fire hazard and is against stringent Health and Safety guidelines which must be observed. It also infringes local bylaws and regulations.
  • There is a No Fly Zone in place over Stonehenge during Winter Solstice which makes the flying of drones and remote controlled aircraft illegal. If you attempt to fly a drone or remote controlled aircraft from anywhere on site, including the Visitor Centre Car Park, you will be stopped and asked to leave.
  • For traffic, weather and other updates on the morning of solstice, please follow @eh_stonehenge on Twitter.

For further information about Managed Open Access for Winter Solstice at Stonehenge, please call English Heritage Customer Services Solstice Information Hotline on 0370 333 1181.

 

 

Planning Your Journey

Parking for Winter Solstice is very limited and we cannot guarantee that there will be space in the two Winter Solstice car parks. We strongly recommend car sharing or using public transport.

Parking and parking charges

Limited parking is available in the Winter Solstice car parks, which will open at 6am on the 22 December.

Signs will direct you to the Solstice car parks – please ensure that you follow these.  If directed to parking away from the Stonehenge Visitor Centre, motorists will have access to Park & Ride transport to the Visitor Centre included in their parking charge.  

We cannot guarantee entry to the car parks and recommend car sharing or coming by public transport as cars will be turned away when the car parks are full. Last year this happened at around 7am.  Please do not arrive early as there is no waiting on the roads in the area and you will be moved on. 

  • £5 - General parking for cars, vans and live in vehicles 
  • £2 – Motorbikes
  • £50 – Commercial minibuses (up to and including 16 seats)
  • £250 – Commercial coaches (17 seats and over). Commercial vehicles must pre-book via BookStonehenge@english-heritage.org.uk and terms and conditions apply. Limited availability. Booking deadline 13 Dec 2019. 

Please note, car parking charges apply to all users of the Winter Solstice car parks, including Blue Badge holders, and members of English Heritage and National Trust.

The parking charge helps the charity cover the costs of providing additional staffing and lighting in the car parks and is designed to encourage people to car share or travel by bus.

Blue Badge parking

Parking for Blue Badge holders is available at the Stonehenge Visitor Centre Car Park. No pre-booking is required.  Visitors are asked to highlight their Blue Badge to stewards on arrival so that they can be directed to an appropriate parking space. 

A shuttle will run from the Visitor Centre to the Monument and visitors with accessibility requirements will have priority.  

Come Prepared

  • Stonehenge is in a field on Salisbury Plain and the weather in December will be cold and wet. Even if it isn’t raining, the ground will be wet from the dew.  There may also be frost.  Sensible footwear and warm, waterproof clothing is essential. 
  • There is at least a 30 minute walk in low light or darkness, from the Visitor Centre to Stonehenge itself.  You are strongly advised to wear strong, waterproof footwear, and to bring a torch with you. 
  • A shuttle will run from the Visitor Centre to the Monument and visitors with accessibility requirements will have priority.  All other visitors should be prepared to walk.  
  • There are no catering facilities in the monument field but the café at the visitor centre will be open for hot drinks and breakfast rolls from 6am.
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