English Heritage is once again welcoming people to Stonehenge to celebrate the 2013 Summer Solstice. Sunrise will occur at 4.52am on Friday 21 June, on what is the longest day of the year.
Peter Carson, Head of Stonehenge at English Heritage, said: “This is the 14th year that English Heritage has provided free access to the stones and we are looking forward to a peaceful celebration enjoyed by thousands of people. This ongoing success is due to English Heritage working closely with the key partners and communities and together delivering an enjoyable and safe solstice. And, as with every year, we will balance the needs of those attending the solstice with our duty to protect the Stone Circle and its surrounding monuments.”
“The opening of the new Stonehenge visitor centre in December this year with its museum-quality exhibitions, a spacious café, and dedicated education space, will herald an exciting new era for Stonehenge. The way in which people visit Stonehenge in the future will change: we will be uplifting the whole experience to a level that befits this extraordinary and important monument.”
Over the night, people have the opportunity to celebrate the Solstice and this includes spontaneous drumming within the stone circle, playing of acoustic instruments and dancing in the performance area. There will be a number of druid, pagan and other spiritual ceremonies throughout the night and especially at sunset and sunrise at various places around the monument, in particular the Heel Stone.
Stonehenge will be open from 7pm on Thursday 20 June to 8am on Friday 21 June. The solstice car park, just off the A344 near Airman’s Corner, will open from 7pm on Thursday 20 June, with last admission at 6am on Friday 21 June.
Access to the stones and the car park is free of charge and subject to ‘Conditions of Entry’ which are published on the English Heritage website http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/summersolstice