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 21st of December at 8.04am. We will be there for sunrise!
Imagine the day: picked up from a central location in Salisbury – with its magnificent cathedral sporting the tallest spire in England, one of the best preserved copies of the Magna Carta, and the oldest working clock in Europe – you are transported to the world-famous Stonehenge ancient monument, where you can greet the winter solstice dawn as pilgrims have done for millennia. Then you will be taken through picturesque villages and quintessentially English countryside to Stonehenge’s sister site, Avebury. Here, you’ll be able to walk freely among the largest stone circle in Europe, and explore the other mysterious monuments that comprise a vast temple landscape. To finish off, time to visit the charming National Trust tearooms, giftshop, or the only pub inside a stone circle! Finally, you’ll be taken ‘back to the future’ and to Salisbury with plenty of time to enjoy the Cathedral, shopping and fine-dining on offer. Five thousand years in a day. Imagine
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!
WINTER SOLSTICE TOUR ITINERARY
The mighty, mysterious 5000 year old Neolithic monument of Stonehenge is one of theseven wonders of the world; and its sister site, Avebury, close by, is equallyas significant, but off the radar for most visitors. On this exclusive accesstour led by experienced, knowledgeable guides you will be taken into the heart of the stones, and into the heart of their mystery.
Our company is the only one that specializes in private access tours to Stonehengeand has built up, over twenty years and more, a vast body of knowledge informedby cutting-edge research into the secrets of the stones. Many of our satisfied clients come back again and again, and stay in touch – because once the solstice or equinox is experienced at Stonehenge you are part of aninternational fellowship of pilgrims. Friendships can be forged on our toursthat last a lifetime. All are united by the unique experience – for you are noordinary tourist, and this is no ordinary tour. We love taking our pilgrims tothe stones, because we love going ourselves. We want to share the magic ofthese special places with you.
Winter Solstice Tour Highlights:
·Pick up from Southampton or Salisbury in a luxury mini coach at 6am
·Watch the winter solstice sunrise at Stonehenge – a truly breath-taking moment!
·Take part in a druid ceremony, or just enjoy the festival vibes.
·Scenic route toA vebury, UNESCO World Heritage Site, including photo opportunities of white horses (chalk hill figures) and thatched cottages.
·Guided walks to the key sites in the Avebury landscape: West Kennet Neolithic long barrow (probablythe best preserved and biggest), Silbury Hill (the largest man-made mound inEurope), the Ridgeway (the oldest trackway in Europe), the Avenue (sacredprocessional route of standing stones) & more – the choice is yours.
·Optional vsit the Alexander Keiller Museum and learn about the fascinating history of Avebury’s rescue.
·Enjoy the picturesque National Trust tea-rooms, village pond, and charming historic buildings.
·Great souvenir & gift shopping at the Stonehenge Visitor Centre, and the local shops in Avebury.
·Visit the only pub inside a stone circle!
On our tours the emphasis is quality, not quantity – and we will as much as possible go at your pace, and offer you as much or as little as you want, in terms of guiding, itinerary, and content. This is your special day out – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with these unique sites.
The adventure starts here..........................
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 21st of December at 8.04am. We will be there for sunrise!
The small group nature of this tour means you can have a real personal experience.
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 27th 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 21st 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
Click here for London departure