WINTER SOLSTICE: Everything you need to know

WINTER SOLSTICE: Everything you need to know

Published by The Spire FM News Team at 12:53pm 21st December 2017.

Planning on going up to the stones to mark the shortest day tomorrow morning (Dec 22nd)? Here's all the info you need.

Final prep's being made at Stonehenge ready for the Winter Solstice to be celebrated first thing tomorrow morning (Friday December 22nd).

Thousands are expected to descend on the famous stone circle to mark the sunrise on the shortest day of the year - which happens just after 8.00am.

The winter solstice happens every year when the North Pole is tilted farthest away from the Sun, delivering the fewest hours of sunlight of the year, and therefore giving us the shortest day of the year.

On the shortest day, we'll get a total of 7 hours 49 minutes and 41 seconds of daylight!

English Heritage has tweeted about the event:

VITAL INFORMATION:

  • Monument Field opens at 7.45am on Friday morning (approximately, depending on light levels)
  • Sunrise itself is at 8.09am
  • Monument Field closes at 10.00am
  • English Heritage is hoping to re-open around Friday lunchtime, once the area's been cleared

PARKING:

As with the summer solstice, there will be a charge for people to park at the site to attend the monument field.

The car parks will open at 6.00am on Friday December 22nd - prices for that are:

  • £5 for general parking for cars, private hire minibuses (up to 17 seats) and live-in vehicles
  • £2 for motorbikes
  • £100 for commercial coaches and minibuses (over 17 seats). That needs to be pre-book through bookstonehenge@english-heritage.org.uk

Disabled parking and accessible transport to the stone circle is available from the Stonehenge visitor centre from 6.30am.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT:

English Heritage is encouraging people to car share where possible or use public transport.

There's a special bus service running from Salisbury and Amesbury through the morning.

Salisbury Reds has given us details of when those buses will run - here's the timetable for that:

Salisbury Reds Stonehenge Service (Salisbury Reds)

Prices for using that from Salisbury are £10 adult return, £6 for single way tickets. Children up to 14 years old are priced at £5 return or £3 single.

From Amesbury, it's £5 return or £3 single for adults and £3 return or £2 single for children.

SUPPORT FOR REVELLERS:

Salisbury's Street Pastors will be on an extra special patrol at Stonehenge early tomorrow morning, to provide support to people going along to the Winter Solstice celebrations.

Volunteers will be working alongside English Heritage and Wiltshire Police at the stone circle.

Brian Percey is Salisbury's Street Pastors co-ordinator and explains how they got involved:

"One of the security guards at Stonehenge happens to be a Street Pastor in Chippenham. He said to a few of his mates that he reckoned it would be a good place for Street Pastors to be involved in and it's well received by English Heritage.

"It's a great fun time to be involved in. The atmosphere is really a family event now, but because we haven't been to a winter solstice yet, I don't quite know how many people there'll be and what the atmosphere will be like."

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