Winter Solstice - Sunrise at Stonehenge
A one off once a year chance to experience Stonehenge on the morning of the magical winter solstice.
Witness sunrise on the morning of December 22nd amongst a gathering of members of England's new age tribes, including Druids and Pagans. Winter solstice, according to many archaeological experts, was the more significant of the two solstices. Archaeological evidence discovered around the Stonehenge landscape, points to great feasts and celebrations that would have occurred at this special time of year. In the Bronze age, this was a time when clans would slay cows, finish fermenting their wine, and mark the start of a new year.
Stonehenge Winter Solstice tour
Along with the summer solstice, winter solstice is one of only two days of the year when the calculated layout of these ancient stones appears to align. At sunrise, the sun casts a line of sunlight connecting the altar stone, the slaughter stone and the heel stone.
We invite you to join us and our expert guide on a Stonehenge Winter solstice torch light morning tour, approaching the stones through the incredible prehistoric landscape of the surrounds of Stonehenge.
On the way to the stones you will pass first the Stonehenge cursus - an elongated earthwork enclosure with a ditch and a bank that defines an area more than 100m wide and 2.7km long, built in the early Neolithic period in about 3400 BC, predating the site of Stonehenge itself. Then beyond the cursus barrows, bronze age burial mounds dating from 2300 BC, past the Avenue - constructed around 2300 BC and probably a ceremonial approach to Stonehenge, before you finally reach the site of Stonehenge itself.
Join the masses at Stonehenge in the build up to sunrise, gather amongst the neo-druid and neo-pagan pilgrims and witness their annual ceremony marking this special day. At winter solstice, access to the stones themselves is free and without restriction, so you will have the opportunity to get up close and touch the stones themselves.
As with our regular tours, this tour will begin from our London Eye departure point, near the corner of Belvedere Road and Chicheley Street, Waterloo – SE1 7BP. Please see the departure point page for more information.
Please note this option will be the only one shown on the booking page - please let us know by email as soon as you can where you would like to be picked up.
Pickup at the bus stop by the south entrance to Green Park underground station, next to the Ritz hotel on Piccadilly
Pickup outside the front of the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo theatre in Hammersmith, West London
Before our arrival at Stonehenge we will make a stop for the chance to get a quick bite to eat and a cup of hot tea or coffee to prepare us for the morning's events. You are also welcome to bring food and drink with you to eat on the bus if you prefer
On our arrival at the Stonehenge landscape you will be given your own torchlight to prepare us for the torchlit walk to the stones to arrive before sunrise. Prior to starting our walk, we will make a short torchlit visit to Woodhenge, another prehistoric site in the vicinity of Stonehenge. After a 5 minute drive from Woodhenge, your expert guide will then begin the walk with you up to Stonehenge, to witness the celebrations taking place. Don't forget it will likely be cold, so wrap up warm and bring suitable footwear for walking across uneven and possibly wet ground.
Witness the eclectic celebrations at sunrise on the winter solstice.
We will begin our journey back to London, through the countryside of Wiltshire, Hampshire and Surrey.
On arrival in London you will be offered the option of multiple drop off points in central London to make your journey as easy as possible. Drop off locations typically feature Hammersmith, Earls Court, South Kensington, Victoria, Green Park and Waterloo. Your guide will speak to you regarding where you would like to be dropped off on the day.
Please be aware, as winter solstice occurs in the middle of winter, the weather can be extremely cold and wet, and if it is cloudy we may not be able to see the sun. Please come fully prepared for spending potentially 3 hours outside in very cold, wet and windy weather - if you dress appropriately, you will be fine.
Please email us after booking with your chosen departure point.