Summer Solstice 2022 – what does it mean when 6,000 flock to Stonehenge

The summer solstice is here to mark the start of summer – when revelers head out to historic sights like Glastonbury Tor and Stonehenge, where 6,000 people have reportedly gathered overnight

People gather to celebrate the Summer Solstice at Stone Henge, Wiltshire on June 21st 2018
People gather to celebrate the Summer Solstice at Stone Henge, Wiltshire on June 21st 2018

Summer is finally here when Britain sheds its jumper, puts on its shades and slips on its next pair of flip-flops.

Across the country, people flock to parks, beaches and gardens (beer or otherwise) to soak up the rays.

There were test matches for cricket, ascot and queens. Wimbledon is just around the corner and England’s football team has been beaten by Hungary – summer is really here.

But in the pink haze of long days with a Pimm’s in hand, it’s important to remember that there are indeed some interplanetary forces at work keeping the weather nice (ish).

One such event is the summer solstice, which is directly related to the positions of the earth’s poles and the sun. Read on to find out more.

What is the summer solstice?

A glorious orange light bathes Stone Henge at Solstice



The summer solstice occurs on the longest day of the year. On this day it stays light the longest, the sun rises early and sets late.

For many, the solstice marks the beginning of summer and the end of spring, heralding that the warmest months are finally here.

For others, it may be a bit more melancholic, because because it’s the longest day of the year, the days get shorter from this point in the countdown to winter.

In more scientific terms, the solstice is caused by the North Pole as its position points closer to the Sun as the Earth circles its orbit.

Somewhat confusingly, the solstice can also be called midsummer.

When is the summer solstice?

Sunrise at Glastonbury Tor in June


Michelle Cowbourne / SWNS)

The summer solstice always occurs on June 21st.

This year, the sun rose at 4:43 a.m. and set at 9:21 p.m. in London. That means a whopping 16 hours, 38 minutes and 22 seconds of daylight for people in the south.

The further north you go, the later it gets.

In Inverness, the sun rises at 4.17am and sets at 10.19pm; If you drive all the way to Shetland’s only town, Lerwick, you have 18 hours and 55 minutes as the sun rises at 3:38am and sets at 10:33pm.

What are the traditions of the summer solstice?

The Glastonbury Festival begins at the time of the summer solstice



The summer solstice in Britain is associated with a spiritual element as druids often gather at spiritual sites such as Stonehenge or Glastonbury Tor during the summer to see.

Reports have already come in from the UK that around 6,000 people flocked to the mystical Stonehenge to watch the sun rise.

This year the legendary Glastonbury Festival, famed for its mystical and spiritual colouring, opens its doors at midnight on the night of the solstice, ushering in the festival along with the official start of summer.

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Fry Electronics Team

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