Summer-Solstice

8 places to celebrate the summer solstice

Make the most of the longest day of the year

Chloe Best

The summer solstice falls on Thursday 21 June, marking the longest day of the year. People across the UK will enjoy more than 16 hours of sunlight, with the sun expected to rise around 4:43am and not setting until around 9:21pm. So what better way to mark the occasion than watching the sunrise or sunset at one of these incredible locations around the UK?

Stonehenge

Thousands of people gather at Stonehenge overnight for the summer solstice, to watch the sun make an appearance between the stones at first light. The ancient prehistoric world heritage site is visited as a place of worship and celebration, with groups gathering to host their own ceremonies and celebrations as the sun rises. This year will also mark the tenth anniversary of the Stonehenge Solstice Festival, with music acts, spiritual workshops and yoga sessions as part of the line-up.

Parliament Hill, London

Set an early alarm for a trip to Parliament Hill, where you can sit and watch the sunrise over London. You'll have incredible views across the city skyline, with panoramic views of landmarks like St Paul's Cathedral, the Gherkin and the Houses of Parliament – the perfect way to see in the midsummer's day.

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The Shetland Islands

As the most northerly location in the UK, the Shetland Islands have even more daylight on summer solstice than anywhere else. On 21 June, sunrise is at 3:38am with sunset at 22:34 – offering almost 19 hours of daylight. Some of the best locations to watch the sunrise or sunset include Ollaberry in Northmavine, or Unst, the northernmost island on Shetland.

Haytor, Dartmoor

Enjoy a reflective start to the day at Haytor in Dartmoor. One of the area's most famous landmarks, you can expect beautiful views of the sunrise and a peaceful atmosphere here.

Rhossili Bay, Wales

A beautiful spot to watch the sun go down, Rhossili Bay was voted Wales' Best Beach in 2017, and has also been named one of the top ten beaches in the UK for the past five years. Should the weather permit, head for a picnic dinner in the evening before sitting back and watching the sunset.

The Merry Maidens, Cornwall

If you can't make it to Stonehenge, you may want to pay a visit to the Merry Maidens, a late Neolithic stone circle in Cornwall, where a summer solstice ceremony is typically held each year. Legend has it that the 19 stones were once 19 maidens who dared to dance on a Sunday, and were turned to stone.

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Avebury, Wiltshire

Located just over 20 miles away from Stonehenge, Avebury is home to England's largest Neolithic henge, and is a popular choice for visitors who gather to watch the first sun rays. This small village is home to Avebury Manor, a National Trust site, and is a scenic place to welcome midsummer's day.

Glastonbury Tor, Somerset

Another of the most popular places to watch the summer solstice is Glastonbury Tor in Somerset. With panoramic views across the ancient town, the Bristol Channel and Wiltshire, you can expect spiritual chanting, music and dancing as you celebrate the new day.

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