This intrinsic link between the winter solstice and Stonehenge means that the stone circle plays host to what is potentially the most famous solstice celebration worldwide. On the first morning after the shortest day of the year, people of all sorts of backgrounds and religions gather among the stones to witness the sunrise and perform sacred rituals. Visitors aren't usually permitted within the stone circle for conservation reasons, but English Heritage
, who now care for Stonehenge, welcome people into the circle to celebrate the special moment of the first sunrise after the winter solstice.
The winter solstice lands on a different day each year but always between the 21st and 23rd of December. Winter solstice 2018 will fall on the 21st of December. If you make the journey from Bath to Stonehenge on the dawn of the 22nd and pay the ancient monument a visit, a joyful atmosphere and a very unique experience will await you.
Find yourself in the centre of the stones and you’ll be immersed in a deep-rooted spiritual celebration dating back millennia. You’ll join locals, spiritualists, historians, environmentalists, tourists and travellers and people from all sorts of religions, not least the modern day Druids and Pagans, as they unite to celebrate.
It’s a celebration that spans the globe, but there’s nowhere better to experience the solstice than Stonehenge, with its unquestionable tie to our history. Revellers sing, dance, pray, play instruments, connect with the stones, do yoga and perform religious rituals as the sun rises over the monument. As the crowd grows calm and quiet to witness the sun emerging, it’s not unusual to feel the celebration is akin to a religious experience. It’s a truly worldly and wondrous occasion.
With a palpable feeling of authentic connection with the earth and its movements, the morning instantly remedies our detachment from nature. It’s a unique chance to glimpse into our history. Stand in the same spot many ancestors before have; welcome in the joyous sunrise that meant so much to them. As you gaze through the stones, watching the sun as it finally peeks up over the horizon, you may find yourself contemplating the mystery of the area and of our histories – how it came to be all those years ago and how you came to be stood here today, taking it all in.
The whole morning is a true celebration of the universe and rather an incredible experience; one that you’ll be sure to retell over and over again. It's well worth a visit for winter solstice 2018, in our opinion. Of course, visiting Stonehenge at any time of the year is always a worthwhile and wondrous adventure. Why not join us on a journey from Bath to Stonehenge and lose yourself in the mysteries of the area on our Stonehenge & Secret Somerset in Winter