Long associated with mystic celebrations, ancient monuments and the Green Man (whose face crops up all over the place in medieval architecture), the Summer Solstice is celebrated across the UK. It’s a great excuse to visit some of Britain’s most magical and mysterious places and, well, have a party near them. If you prefer a more tranquil day out, these places are great to visit all year round:
Steeped in the legends of King Arthur and other assorted mysteries, Glastonbury is definitely a top spot to celebrate the Solstice. The top of Glastonbury Tor – the hill with the tower in the photo – is the preferred place to see in the sunrise on the longest day. It’s a slightly calmer affair than the Solstice party at Stonehenge, so you can take in the spectacular view with an air of tranquility.
Probably Britain’s most famous ancient monument, Stonehenge is also the most popular spot to celebrate the Solstice. On this day, visitors are allowed to get much closer to the stones than usual, and usually a fairly wild party ensues. For the rest of the year, it’s an extremely tranquil spot, and the views over Salisbury Plain are gorgeous.
The stone circle at Avebury is the largest in England, so there’s plenty of room for Solstice parties. You can walk in amongst the stones at all times of year, explore the village of Avebury itself, and then settle in the nearby pub for a drink or two. Just as the ancient Britons did (probably).