- Enter the inner circle of Stonehenge at Sunrise on the Winter Solstice
Witness the Druidic ceremony and Pagan Celebrations
Visit Salisbury Cathedral* and medieval City
See Old Sarum Hill Fort
Luxury Coach, expert guide services
Each year in December visitors from around the world gather at Stonehenge early in the morning to mark the Winter solstice and to see the sunrise above the stones. The sunrise on the 22nd of December at 8.04am. We will be there for sunrise!
The Winter Solstice is the most important day of the year at Stonehenge and a truly magical time to be there. It's an ad hoc celebration that brings together England's New Age Tribes (neo-druids, neo-pagans, Wiccans) with ordinary families, tourists, travelers and party people - 100's of them!
For many the impulse to arrive at Stonehenge in time for the Solstice is a little like all those people drawn to the strange rock in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It's akin to a spiritual experience. Anyone who has witnessed the crowd become silent as the sky begins to brighten can attest to that.
After we will visit Salisbury. Explore the historic city of Salisbury. Wander around the picturesque streets of this ancient market town viewing the magnificent black and white Tudor houses or visit the traditional local market that has been a feature in the city for over 800 years.
There will be time for breakfast and explore the magnificent medieval Cathedral crowned with the tallest spire in Britain and built by medieval craftsmen back in the 13th Century. Salisbury probably has the finest medieval cathedral in Britain. See one of the only four surviving original texts of the Magna Carta in the Chapter House. The Magna Carta is one of the greatest constitutional documents of all times, showing the agreement reach between King John and his barons in 1215 AD.
The Solstice and Stonehenge. Stonehenge is carefully aligned on a sight-line that points to the winter solstice sunset (opposed to New Grange, which points to the winter solstice sunrise, and the Goseck circle, which is aligned to both the sunset and sunrise). It is thought that the Winter Solstice was actually more important to the people who constructed Stonehenge than the Summer Solstice. The Winter Solstice was a time when most cattle were slaughtered (so they would not have to be fed during the winter) and the majority of wine and beer was finally fermented.. The sunrise on the 22nd of December at 08.04am. We will be there for sunrise!
The small group nature of this tour means you can have a real personal experience.
Depart central London / Bath at approx 4am* December 22nd 2018. Coach Travel to Stonehenge with guide and spend 2 hours inside the circle and witness the sun rising, Druid Ceremony and festivities. A 1 - 2 hour vist to Salisbury and back to London / Bath at noon
* This time may vary depending on the access time granted by English Heritage
This is not like our traditional guided 'Private Access' tour. Although this tour is guided it does not visit other attractions and is not everyone's cup of tea, however those who do participate will never forget it and will surely 'tell the tale' for many years to come...... Please take the time to view our images / video of previous 'Solstice Tours'.
For those of you who have not visited this sacred site, we should mention that the complex is roped off. Visitors observe the stones from a distance and are not permitted within the temple complex..........our 'Winter Solstice' tours allow you to be amongst the stones before the site is open to the general public.
N.B. With this exception English Heritage do not allow any other 'private access' tours between 19th December and 25th December
English Heritage has not confirmed the date for Open Access for Stonehenge on the Winter Solstice yet, but most likely this will be dawn on the 22nd of December. Expect a short period of access, from approximately 7.00 to 9.00am. They work closely with agencies, and people from all sectors of the community, in order to create a peaceful occasion - ensuring an event that can be safely enjoyed by all and protects Stonehenge and its surrounding Monuments.
Due to the nature of this 'special access' tour and the strict entry conditions that English Heritage impose please register your interest for this tour by using the 'book now' button or email us. We will then contact you with booking details and terms and conditions. This is on a first come first serve' basis.
There may be a 20- 30 minute walk to the monumnet so bring a torch!
This tour is designed for people staying in London without their own transport and offers great value. Visiting Stonehenge for the Solstice from London would be virtually impossible by public transport.*Entrance to Salisbury Cathedral is optional and is not included in the tour price