Dates, times, entry and access, travel directions and more for this year’s Summer Solstice festival
Thousands are set to descend on Wiltshire’s ancient world-famous stone circle ahead of the Summer Solstice festival 2022. As the longest day of the year approaches, druids and pagans alike flock to Stonehenge to perform ancient rituals, while others congregate for the spectacular views of the sunrise over the sacred site.
The UK’s most famous prehistoric site is gearing up for this year’s Summer Solstice Festival weekend. Crowds have been returning to Stonehenge in numbers since a huge dip encurred by the pandemic. Pre-Covid, up to 30,000 people regularly gathered to see the sun rise over the monument on the longest day of the year.
Tuesday (June 21) will mark the astronomical start of 2022 summer with festivities at the 5,000 year old stone circle, near the village of Avebury, getting underway on Saturday (June 18).
After peaking at 1.6 million in 2019, visitor numbers fell to just 315,000 last year, according to the Statista website. Traditional gatherings – including last year’s summer and winter solstices – were banned and the site closed due to Covid social distancing restrictions.
So, for anyone who has never witnessed the mystery and splendour of Stonehenge, this year may be the time to tick it off your bucket list. To help with your plans, here is a guide to everything you need to know about Summer Solstice at Stonehenge 2022.
Tickets, access and opening times
Entry is free of charge and you won’t need tickets to attend. Usually, tickets to the site cost £17.50. English Heritage says on its website: “We are pleased to provide free Managed Open Access to Stonehenge for Summer Solstice. We ask that if you are planning to join us for this peaceful and special occasion that you read the Conditions of Entry and the information provided before deciding whether to come.”
There will be free ‘managed open access’ to all, provided during Summer Solstice 2022. English Heritage said: “Please note that the last normal day of admissions to Stonehenge is on Monday (June 20) at 1pm, and the site will close at 3pm in preparation for Summer Solstice Managed Open Access.”
Stonehenge will be ‘closed’ on Tuesday (June 21) for normal admissions and will re-open again at 9am on Wednesday (June 22). On Monday (June 20) the Solstice Car Park opens at 7pm. Access to the monument field will also be from 7pm, in time for sunset at 9.28pm.
Sunrise on Summer Solstice day (Tuesday June 21) itself is at 4.49am, with the last admissions to the Solstice Car Park at 6am – or “when full”. The monument field will shut at 8am and the car park cleared by noon.
Travel directions – bus/train/car
BUS – English Heritage also recommends that bus travellers thinking of heading to Stonehenge check the Connecting Wilshire travel information page prior to their trip for the latest service updates. National Express operates services to Salisbury from many of the larger UK cities.
Many visitors choose to travel to the site on an organised coach tour. There are many operators running day trips from London and other big cities. These also have the advantage of visiting other visitor attractions in the area, such as Evan Evans Tours, which offers a Stonehenge Express tour from London from £59, as well as other tours which also take in other popular tourist attractions such as Windsor Castle and the city of Oxford.
For those travelling to the stones from the nearby city of Salisbury, local bus company Salisbury Reds announced that they will be operating their 333 bus service to Stonehenge. Leaving the city between 6.30pm and 1.20am on Monday (June 20) and returning between 4am and 10am on Tuesday (June 21). For more information on timetables and fares, click here.
TRAIN – Taking a train to Salisbury is one of the easiest ways to get to Stonehenge. From there, there are numerous local transport options to the site. Salisbury railway station is also the hub for the Stonehenge Tour bus, which runs directly from the station.
Anyone thinking of visiting Stonehenge by train is “strongly” advised by English Heritage to check Wiltshire County Council’s Connecting Wiltshire travel information website before planning their trip. The site contains the latest guidelines and travel information.
CAR – The site is clearly signposted for motorists from the A303, off the A360. The postcode for the site is SP4 7DE, with English Heritage also providing sat nav coordinates to the site. The coordinates are: 51.1831565223, -1.85887471623 (latitude and longitude).
Parking is available at the attraction. During peak periods, however, there is a parking charge for non-members and anyone who has not pre-booked tickets. These are fully refundable on purchase of a ticket to Stonehenge.
There are dedicated parking spaces at the site for anyone travelling in a motorhome. A visitor bus service also regularly runs from the visitor centre. It takes about 10 minutes to travel from the visitor centre to the monument.
Travelling from London – Stonehenge is about 88 miles by car from London. The route is also reached on relatively fasts roads, although traffic jams and incidents can affect journey times. When the roads are clear, you can expect the drive from the capital to take about two hours.
The quickest route, according to the AA’s route planner, is to use the M25, M3 and A303. Train services from the capital to Salisbury leave from London Waterloo Railway Station. Journeys take about 90 minutes. On arrival at Salisbury, you can jump on the shuttle bus to Stonehenge.
National Express runs daily services to Salisbury from London Victoria Coach Station. Anyone who wants to see the sunset or sunrise at Stonehenge is advised to book an organised coach tour. For more information visit the Stonehenge page on the English Heritage website.
Hotels near Stonehenge
If you’re looking to visit Stonehenge and planning to stay the night, there are plenty of places to stay, even if you left booking accommodation to the last minute. Here are five hotels that are close to Stonehenge as you plan to celebrate the changing seasons at the Wiltshire-based festival on June 18.
Holiday Inn Salisbury-Stonehenge – This is a contemporary hotel near Stonehenge based in the heart of Wiltshire. The hotel takes the Summer Solstice seriously – it has an eatery called The Solstice Bar & Grill which is dedicated to the annual event.
Travelodge Amesbury Stonehenge Hotel – This hotel is just five miles away from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stonehenge. All standard double rooms in this Travelodge hotel feature a king size bed with four pillows and duvet.
Fairlawn House – This family-run guesthouse is set in a Georgian Grade II listed townhouse in Amesbury town center. It is just two miles from the historic site of Stonehenge making it a good potential choice when planning your Summer Solstice trip.
The Rose & Crown – This hotel is steeped in history, having been built in the late 1800s. They serve classic pub food, a wide selection of beers, wines, spirits and ales, and have four comfortable guest rooms.
The Riverside Manor House Hotel – This Best Western hotel is set in beautiful grounds on the river Avon and Nadder. This manor house hotel is filled with character, is a short walk away from the heart of the city and a quick drive approximately 8 miles away from Stonehenge.
English Heritage said: “Stonehenge is a significant World Heritage Site and to many it is sacred – please respect the stones and all those who are attending. Admission to the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge is free of charge.
“We hope the weather will be kind and wish you a peaceful and celebratory solstice.” For anyone who can’t make it, there will be a live streat of the sunset and sunrise on English Heritage’s Stonehenge Facebook page and YouTube channel.
What is summer solstice? When is this year?
What kind of day is the summer solstice? When is the summer solstice of 2022? Regarding the relationship with the winter solstice … I will introduce the bean knowledge of the summer solstice that you should know.
The day of the summer solstice in 2022 is June 21st.is. In the Northern Hemisphere, the daytime (the time from sunrise to sunset) is the longest in the year, so it is familiar as “the longest day of the year”.
On the day of the summer solstice, the position of the sun is the highest in the year, so it takes a long time from the rising sun to the setting sun. Since the sun passes almost directly above at noon, many people may feel the summer solstice by seeing a very short shadow
Summer solstice is one of the 24 solar terms
The summer solstice is one of the twenty-four solar terms. It refers to the period from the summer solstice (10th of the 24th solar term) to the small heat (11th of the 24th solar term), which is from June 21st to July 7th every year, but it may also refer to the day when the solar term begins. .. Especially in the case of the summer solstice, it is often regarded as “the day with the longest daytime in a year”.
Also, the summer solstice is right in the middle of summer and autumn. There are many areas during the rainy season, but from this time on, we are heading toward the height of summer, as if we were to write “summer”.
Relationship between summer solstice and winter solstice
The pair with the summer solstice, which is the “longest day of the year,” is the winter solstice (around December 22), which is the “shortest day of the year.” The angle between the sun and the horizon when it comes to the south and rises highest is called the “south-middle altitude”, but the summer solstice has the highest south-middle altitude, so the sun is shining longer. .. Dongzhi is the opposite.
From such a state of the sun, the summer solstice has been regarded as “the day when the power of the sun is the strongest”, while the winter solstice is regarded as “the day when the power of the sun is the weakest”. The reason why I go to Yuzu bath and eat pumpkin at the end of the winter is because the sun goes on at the end of the winter and it was thought that it was the day when the sun was reborn. For more information”When is the winter of this year? Why pumpkin and yuzu bath? “please look at.
Since the Southern Hemisphere is reversed from the Northern Hemisphere, the “longest day of the year” is the winter solstice, and the “shortest day of the year” is the summer solstice.
Summer solstice festival
In the Northern Hemisphere, there are many places where festivals are held at the summer solstice. It is especially popular in Northern Europe, but the most famous is the Swedish summer solstice festival, which is considered to be the most important day.
In Japan, the “Midsummer Festival” held at Futamiokitama Shrine (Futamiokitama Jinja / Ise City, Mie Prefecture), which is known as a place to cleanse yourself by visiting Ise, is famous. Amaterasu Omikami, the deified sun, is enshrined at Ise Jingu, and on the day of the summer when the power of the sun is thought to be maximum, a festival where Misogi is performed while bathing in the rising sun from between the Meotoiwa rocks in Futamiura. is.
Summer solstice customs and food
As mentioned above, it has long been thought that the power of the sun will be maximized at the summer solstice. Therefore, I began to thank the blessings of the sun and pray for a good harvest, and I was able to practice planting rice from the summer solstice to the 11th day of Hangesho.
Since there are half-summer students during the summer solstice, the practice of eating food for a good harvest can be seen in various places during this period. Also, since it is about to finish harvesting wheat, some people use wheat-based foods.
- There is still a tradition of making wheat rice cakes after planting rice and offering them to the gods of the rice fields. In Kansai (especially parts of Nara and Osaka prefectures), this wheat rice cake is called ” Hangesho mochi”.
- In Kansai, we eat octopus , hoping that the roots of rice will take root in the ground as strong and deep as the legs of an octopus .
- In Ono City, Fukui Prefecture, the lord of the Ono domain encouraged grilled mackerel in order to recover from the fatigue of farm work and survive the hot and humid summer peculiar to the basin .
- In Aichi, there is a place to eat figs , which are said to be the fruit of immortality and longevity, at Miso Dengaku, which is derived from Dengaku dance.
- In Kagawa prefecture, we use the harvested wheat to make udon noodles and serve the people who helped with the farming work. (Kagawa Prefecture Noodle Business Cooperative has established July 2 as “Udon Day”.)
“Short night” of the fashionable summer solstice
The length of the night changes as the seasons change. The daytime is longer from spring, when the lengths of day and night are almost the same, and the night is the shortest at the summer solstice. So, I would like to talk about a short summer night.Short night(Mijikayo) “, and it has become popular as a summer season word.
During the Heian period, the aristocrats enjoyed a short night and enjoyed firefly hunting. Sei Shonagon also said, “Summer is night. The moon is dry, the darkness is dark, and many fireflies fly away. Also, only one or two, etc., shines faintly. It rains. It is spelled out in “The Pillow Book”.
Even now, there are places where you can hunt fireflies as if you were messing around with the short nights of the summer solstice, and there are also events such as light-downs and candle nights to spend the short nights with the minimum amount of light. For more information”Let’s enjoy firefly hunting! See also ” Firefly Travel Tips and Famous Places / Spots “.
In contrast to “short night” in summer, there are words such as “long night” in autumn, “hinaga” in spring, and “tanjitsu” in winter.
The first, second, and last solstice of the summer solstice
The 72nd Hou, who divided the 24 solar terms into three, changes in this way during the summer solstice. The date is the date for 2022.
■ First Hou: Noto withered (Natsuraku Sakaru) around June 21st
Around the time when the flowers of summer dead grass (Heal-all, Kagoso) seem to be darkened and withered. Summer dead grass is a synonym for moray eel.
■ Next: Ayame Hanasaku around June 26th
Around the time when the iris flowers begin to bloom. Ayame here is not the iris used for the Dragon Boat Festival, but the iris with beautiful flowers.
■ Sue Hou: Half-summer student (Hange Shozu) around July 2nd
Around the time when half-summer begins to grow. In the old days, it was used as a guideline for finishing rice planting. Half-summer is a synonym for Pinellia ternata.