Summer Solstice 2024: What Is It and Best Places to Celebrate
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Summer Solstice 2024: What Is It and Best Places to Celebrate

Each summer, thousands of people gather around the country to celebrate one of the UK’s oldest festivals – the summer solstice. But what actually is the summer solstice, when does it take place, and where are the best places to celebrate it? Take a look at our guide and plan your summer camping trip to one of the stunning locations below.

What is the summer solstice?

Occurring once every year, the summer solstice is the longest day of the year and marks the end of spring and the start of summer.

Despite it being widely thought to last a whole day, the summer solstice represents an individual annual moment when the sun is at the northernmost point from the earth’s equator.

The summer solstice is not to be confused with the winter solstice, which is when the exact opposite occurs. The Sun is at its lowest in the sky, giving us our shortest day of the year. This usually takes place around six months after the summer solstice – on December 22nd.

When is the summer solstice 2024?

Typically, the date of the summer solstice rotates between the 20th and the 21st June, and this year the summer solstice will take place in the UK on Thursday 20th June 2024.

On this date, in the northern hemisphere, the sun will rise at around 4:44am.

Despite being the longest day of the year, the summer solstice doesn’t actually have the earliest sunrise of the year. Generally, the earliest sunrises of the year occur before the summer solstice.

Where are the best places to celebrate summer solstice 2024?

Across the UK, the summer solstice is celebrated in different ways. Take a look at our list of the best places to enjoy the longest day of the year and find the best campsite nearby.

  1. Stonehenge, Wiltshire
  2. Stonehenge

    Over the course of many years, the summer solstice has become synonymous with Stonehenge. It’s arguably Britain’s most recognisable landmark and an important ancient monument.

    Each year, tens of thousands of people set their alarms early and gather around the prehistoric stones to cheer the sunrise at the start of the longest day of the year. Tourists travel from around the world to participate in this event which has become a common feature on most people’s bucket list.

    On the morning of the solstice, the sun rises behind the Heel Stone, and rays of sunlight shine directly through the centre of the monument, creating a magical scene.

    Nearest campsite: Salisbury Club Site.

  3. Little Moreton Hall, Cheshire
  4. Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire

    Hosting midsummer celebrations each year, Little Moreton Hall has become a tourist hotspot during the summer solstice. Nestled near the town of Congleton in rural Cheshire, Little Moreton Hall is a timbered manor house with a surrounding moat.

    Each year, Little Moreton Hall pays tribute to the Tudor celebration of midsummer. During the Tudor times, it was a significant festival and was celebrated by decorating your house and planting your crops.

    Taking place throughout the weekend, Little Moreton Hall has lots to see and do, including hobby horse racing, parades with giant puppets, and live music from historical instruments such as shawms, crumhorns, rauschpfeifen and bagpipes.

    Nearest campsite: Leek Club Site.

  5. Glastonbury Tor, Somerset
  6. Glastonbury Tor

    After Stonehenge, Glastonbury Tor receives the most tourists to celebrate the longest day of the year. Overlooking the Somerset countryside, Glastonbury Tor is an imposing hill with a roofless tower sat at the summit.

    Like the summer solstice, Glastonbury Tor is intrinsically linked to paganism and mythology. The Tor is said to be a magic mountain, an Arthurian hill-fort that once hosted Druid initiation ceremonies. It’s no surprise then that this place is filled with tourists waiting to see the sunrise on the longest day of the year.

    With an elevation of over 500ft, you can see as far as the Black Mountains of Wales on a clear day. These panoramic views make it a great location to watch the sunrise.

    Nearest campsite: Cheddar Mendip Heights Club Site.

  7. Ben Nevis, Scotland
  8. Hiker at the top of Ben Nevis

    Where better to watch the sunrise from than the highest point in the UK? Start your escorted excursion to the summit of Ben Nevis at 11:30pm, reaching the top at around 4:00am, just in time for sunrise at around 4:44am. The experienced mountain leaders lead this daunting challenge at Rich Mountain Experiences.

    Once you reach the top, celebrate with a piece of cake and a drop of scotch whilst enjoying the sunrise up above the towering Munros. Then, descend via the Pony Track, marvelling at views of mountains and lochs soaked in the morning sunshine.

    Nearest campsite: Glencoe Club Site.

  9. Avebury Henge, Wiltshire
  10. Avebury Stone Circle

    Despite often being thought of as the lesser-known neighbour of Stonehenge, Avebury Stone Circle is larger than Stonehenge and just as mysterious. When the summer solstice comes around, druids, pagans and other sun worshippers congregate at the small Wiltshire village.

    With people visiting from all over the world, Avebury is one of the busiest places to celebrate the summer solstice. Set your alarm early, walk up to the stone circle and watch the sunrise above the Neolithic stones.

    With so many people visiting such a small village, finding somewhere to stay after the celebration can be difficult. Be sure to check out our campsites in Wiltshire to book your stay.

    Nearest campsite: Devizes Club Site.

  11. Calanais Standing Stones, Isle of Lewis
  12. Rock formation

    The Calanais Standing Stones predate Stonehenge and were a place of ritual activity for over 2,000 years. There are 13 main stones arranged in the shape of a cross, with the tallest stone sitting at about 4.8 meters high.

    Although the significance of this stone circle is unknown, it’s believed that the site had ceremonial and astronomical purposes. A key feature of this stone circle is that it aligns with the solstice sunrise and sunset – attracting visitors from all over to appreciate the magical event.

    Nearest campsites: Skye Club Site.

  13. Durdle Door, Dorset
  14. Durdle Door

    One of the most famous stone arches in the world, Durdle Door, is a spectacular location to spend the summer solstice in 2024. Although it may not be directly associated with the solstice, the arch, surrounded by the beach and ocean, is a popular spot for people to gather around and enjoy scenic coastal views.

    Nearest campsites: Moreton Club Site.

  15. Castlerigg Stone Circle, Cumbria
  16. Rock formation

    Castlerigg Stone Circle is located near the town of Keswick and is considered one of the best megalithic monuments in Northern England. It consists of 38 stones of differing heights, mostly composed of local volcanic rock. Similarly to other stone circles, the reasons behind this are unknown.

    It’s believed that Castlerigg Stone Circle was constructed around 3000 BC, during the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age and had ceremonial and ritualistic significance. Again this makes for a popular spot during the summer solstice, and best of all, with the Lake District as a stunning backdrop, you’ll be sure to get spectacular pictures of the area.

    Nearest campsites:

  17. St. Michael's Mount, Cornwall
  18. sunset at St Micheals

    Situated on a small island just off the coastal town of Marazion, St Michael’s is home to ancient cobbles, medieval castle walls and picturesque coastline views. Although it’s not directly linked to the summer solstice, St Michael's Mount is a unique place to spend the day, as the views are sublime.

    Nearest campsites: Sennen Cove Club Site.

  19. Arbor Low Stone Circle, Derbyshire
  20. rock formation

    Referred to as ‘the Stonehenge of the Peak District’, Arbor Low Stone Circle is a Neolithic henge that sits near Bakewell. It’s believed to have been constructed in 2500 BC, and, unsurprisingly, the reason behind it is uncertain. It could be for ritual and ceremonial purposes, astronomical observations or even a sacred burial ground.

    It’s a fun visit during the summer solstice as many arrive there in the early hours of the morning to witness the sunrise illuminating the ancient stones and surrounding landscapes.

    Nearest campsites: Bakewell Club Site.

  21. Snowdonia (Eryri) National Park, Wales
  22. sunset behind mountains

    The Snowdonia National Park is roughly 823 square miles of stunning landscape, mountain ranges, coastline, culture and history. Although it's not directly linked to the summer solstice, it's a great place to visit. You can hike to the peak of Snowdon during the late hours of the night and make your way to the top ready for an exquisite panoramic view of the sun rising over the park.

    Nearest campsites:

  23. Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh
  24. Golden sunset over arthur's seat

    Another great place to spend the summer solstice is at Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh. The extinct volcano towers over Edinburgh and has panoramic views of the city. The walk-up isn’t as exhausting as the likes of Snowdon or Ben Nevis, but the views are breathtaking.

    Nearest campsites: Lauder Club Site.

Looking for more exciting things to do this summer? Check out our Discover page for fun activities to take part in whilst camping.

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