You may have visited Stonehenge during the day, but you will not have experienced its true aura and beauty unless you have visited on its most important day — the winter solstice.
Early in the morning on December 22, people from across the globe converge on the Wiltshire site to watch the magical rising of the sun over the renowned stones.
For a really amazing experience, the attraction that even attracted US President Barrack Obama to make an impromptu stop during his last UK visit plays host to a special Stonehenge Winter Solstice Tour. This takes in the sunrise and a trip to the nearby medieval city of Salisbury.
Sunrise is set for 8.04am this year, but this will be just one spectacle of the day. Tour guests can take a trip into Stonehenge’s inner circle, where members of the public are not normally allowed, and watch pagan celebrations and the famous Druidic ceremony as well as meet members of many New Age tribes such as the Wiccans, neo-pagans and neo-Druids.
The visit to Salisbury includes a trip to the annual Christmas market and the spectacular medieval Salisbury Cathedral, which boasts Britain’s tallest spire, dating back to the 13th century, and is home to one of only four surviving Magna Carta original texts.
The Christmas market itself is a magical experience and comes complete with twinkling fairy-light-strung chalets selling a range of unique gifts and, of course, its very own Santa’s Grotto. There will be gourmet food aplenty and a great atmosphere that could get even Scrooge in the mood for the festive season. Even if a trip to Stonehenge is not on the cards, both Salisbury and its market are well worth a visit.
To find out more about Stonehenge and its history, go to the English Heritage website.