It's the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge at sunrise on Thursday 21st June 2018, and English Heritage is looking forward to welcoming people to Stonehenge to celebrate midsummer at the ancient site once again. They've been working closely with Wiltshire Police to ensure that everyone who comes to Stonehenge over summer solstice feels safe, and ask that all visitors bring only small bags and essential items with them.
Stonehenge is a unique monument built along the solstice alignment of the summer sunrise and winter sunset. At midsummer, 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 sunrays are channelled into the centre of the monument. It is thought that solstices have been celebrated at Stonehenge for thousands of years.
The charity hopes that people planning to celebrate this special occasion at Stonehenge will choose to travel by bus, train or car share, using the online lift sharing community, which helps travellers to find drivers or passengers with whom to share the journey as well as fuel and parking costs. See the travel information below for travel options.
English Heritage’s Head of Historic Properties for Stonehenge, Jennifer Davies says, "Celebrating summer solstice at Stonehenge is a fantastic occasion for friends and families to come together to mark the longest day of the year in a very special place. This year, we hope that even more people will choose to either share lifts or use public transport, and help reduce the number of cars and the amount of CO2 emissions in the World Heritage Site.
As its guardians, it is our job to look after Stonehenge and everyone who visits here. We therefore ask people to please respect the stones and bring only small bags with you. Please remember that alcohol is not permitted and help us keep solstice special, so that people will be able to experience midsummer here for many years to come. Bag searches on entry might create slightly longer queues to get into the monument field so please be patient!"
English Heritage has 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 (English-Heritage.org.uk/Solstice), read the Conditions of Entry and only bring essential items with them.
Supt Dave Minty, Wiltshire Police said "Once again we have been working closely with our colleagues at English Heritage and other agencies to ensure your safety at Stonehenge for Summer Solstice 2018. Our main aim is to make sure that everyone attending can enjoy the celebration in a safe environment and the policing response at the site will be very similar to last year with officers conducting high visibility patrols. Armed officers will be attending again this year to further enhance site security but this remains a precaution only and is not in response to any specific threat.
We encourage people to chat to all of our officers if they have any concerns or questions and as always we need people to report any suspicious activity, if you are at the event and are at all worried please approach an officer or member of the security team or call 999 in an emergency."
Access to Stonehenge for Summer Solstice is free of charge and subject to ‘Conditions of Entry’ which are published on the English Heritage website. Parking charges apply (see website for details).
English Heritage would like to remind those people who are planning to come to summer solstice at Stonehenge to check weather reports in the lead up to the 20th June and to follow @EH_Stonehenge on Twitter.
By train: The nearest train station to Stonehenge is Salisbury.
By bus: The Salisbury Reds solstice service will run from Stand U in New Canal, Salisbury and from the Salisbury railway station to a drop off point near Stonehenge. The buses will also stop at any recognised bus stop along the line of the route, which is via Amesbury. This bus service will commence at 18:30 on Wednesday 20th June and run every 10-15 minutes until 1.45am on Thursday 21st June. A service taking people back to Salisbury will start again at 4am on the Thursday morning and run frequently until 10am. https://www.salisburyreds.co.uk/summer-solstice-2018/
Car sharing: https://liftshare.com/uk/community/eh
By bike: Bicycle parking is available on site.
Parking: The solstice car park will open from 7pm on Wednesday 20 June, with last admission at 6am on Thursday 21 June - or earlier if full. The car park must be vacated by 12 noon on Thursday 21 June. Parking charges apply - see website for details.
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