Winter Solstice at Stonehenge


The Winter Solstice is celebrated at Stonehenge around 21 December. Thousands mark the shortest day and longest night.

The exact time of the winter solstice varies each year and it can be on any day from 20 to 23 December.

View photos of Winter Solstice 2019

The last December 23 solstice was in 1903 and won’t happen again until 2303.

The solstice is the point in time when one hemisphere of the planet reaches the point tilted most towards the sun and the other is tilted furthest away. In the northern hemisphere, that gives us the winter solstice in December whilst in the southern hemisphere it is the summer solstice.

After the shortest day, the days start getting longer and the nights shorter.

Stonehenge is carefully aligned on a sight-line that points to the winter solstice sunset.

2019 celebrations

English Heritage have confirmed that the 2019 official celebrations will take place at dawn on Sunday December 22.

Visitors are able to access Stonehenge as soon as it’s light enough to do so safely.

6am: Limited car parking opens (chargeable)

7.45am (approximately depending on light levels): Monument field opens

8.11am: Sunrise

10am: Monument field closes