Watching the sun rise is always a special moment, but watching the sun rise on summer solstice is just that little bit more magical. Whether you have your own quiet spot to watch the sunrise or you are planning on heading to a well known spot, summer solstice is one early morning worth getting up for.
What is the summer solstice?
Summer solstice takes place between the 20th and 22nd June every year marking the longest day of the year with over 17 hours of daylight, and is the point where the sun is at the most northerly point in the hemisphere. It also signifies the end of spring and the start of summer. Commonly mistaken as having the earliest sunrise which is in fact before summer solstice.
When is summer solstice this year?
Summer solstice will be on Monday 21st June 2021 at 4.32am. Sunset will be at about 9.21pm.
So where are the best places to watch the summer solstice sunrise?
The most recognisable and famous site for watching the summer solstice sunrise in England, steeped in a mysterious history and has been a site of worship and celebration for thousands of years. Watching a sunrise at Stonehenge is often a bucket list thing to do and it is no wonder why when you see the sun rise behind the Heel stone and the rays shine through the middle of the monument. Due to the event being so popular you will often find catering facilities on site throughout the night.
Want to stay nearby? We recommend The Lodge at Cobweb Cottage, sleeping 2 and is from £405 for 7 nights. About 20 miles from Stonehenge this is definitely a bucket list holiday.
Glastonbury Tor, Somerset
Once host to Druid initiation ceremonies and linked to paganism and mythology it is no wonder that Glastonbury Tor is also a popular spot to watch the summer solstice sunrise. It is said that beneath the tor there is a cave that will lead you to the fairy realm of Annwn. It is also said that the Holy Grail was brought to rest here by Jesus’ uncle. If you are lucky you can see all the Black Mountains in Wales on a clear day. The tower on top of the tor is the remains of the 14th century church of St Michael, before then the Romans made good use of the 158m tall tor.
To stay nearby we recommend The Cowstall, near Shepton Mallet, which sleeps 4 and is from £413 for 7 nights. The Cowstall is just over 8 miles away from Glastonbury Tor.
Haytor Rocks, Dartmoor
Haytor Rocks and Saddle Tor on Dartmoor are popular with the locals due to the panoramic views over Dartmoor and the magical feeling you get as the sun comes up over the horizon. Whilst there, look out for some of the remains of prehistoric round houses and burial cairns and don’t forget the camera for some gorgeous shots.
For somewhere to stay check out The Old Post Office. It sleeps 6 and is from £561 for 7 nights. The Old Post Office is about two miles from Haytor, the perfect distance for watching the summer solstice.
Merry Maidens, west Cornwall
Located near Lamorna in west Cornwall the Merry Maidens is thought to be one of the best preserved stone circles in Cornwall. Another name given to these circles is ‘Dans Maen’ which translated from Cornish means ‘dancing stones’. Folk tale has it that there were 18 or 19 dancing maidens that were turned to stone for merrymaking on the sabbath. It is also very likely that the church made this up to deter people from carrying out pagean practices.
Stay nearby at The Nod, sleeping 2 and from £470 for 7 nights. The Nod is less than two miles away, perfect for walking to watch the sunrise in a special location.