Summer Solstice at Avebury 2015

This can be a dramatic place to celebrate the Solstice

This can be a dramatic place to celebrate the Solstice

The Summer Solstice at Avebury

The Summer Solstice is expected to be particularly busy at Avebury this year. If you are planning to attend, we would strongly advise you to plan well in advance, consider coming for a shorter time so you don’t need to stay overnight and look into coming by public transport if at all possible.

The Solstice will be marked at the Avebury stone circle over 20 – 22 June 2015, culminating with the sunrise on Sunday 21 June.

Please be aware that the only campsite close to the henge itself has very limited space indeed with room for just under 100 tents. It opens at 9am and last year was full shortly afterwards.  There is nowhere for cars to queue prior to the campsite opening at 9am.

Since Avebury is a World Heritage Site, alternatives for camping are very limited. We want you to come and enjoy a peaceful Solstice but would ask you to consider using some of the other official campsites nearby, or perhaps just making a short trip for the main celebrations to save having to camp overnight.

Since the Solstice coincides with Father’s Day, if you were planning a Father’s Day trip, please read the guidance below carefully, and expect the car park to be busy.

For more information about provision for camping overnight, please see below.

Planning your visit during the Solstice

Avebury Manor will be closed from Saturday 20 June to Monday 22 June. The museum, café and shop will be open as usual.

Car Parking

Please note that over the summer Solstice the car park can become full very early – especially when the Solstice falls on a weekend.

The main car park is situated on the A4361 just south of the stone circle, and is a pay and display car park. National Trust and English Heritage members can park for free. All proceeds from car park charges go towards the care of Avebury and the surrounding landscape

Parking Charges:

• £7 all day (0930 to 1830 in summer)
• £4 after 1500
• Motorbikes can park for free
• The car park will be open as usual from 0930 on Saturday June 20 2015

There is no on-road parking in Avebury itself or the neighbouring villages of Beckhampton, West Kennet or Winterbourne Monkton. If you park illegally you may be subject to penalty fines and even find your vehicle is removed by the local authorities. Silbury Hill car park will also be closed overnight during this period.

Height limit - Please note that there is a height barrier in operation on the main car park over Solstice, and there will be no access for any vehicle over 2.1 metres high. This will include camper vans, coaches and some 4X4s.

Coaches - There is no coach parking in Avebury for the Summer Solstice.  Any coaches bringing visitors will be directed to drop passengers off at the bus stop in the centre of the village, but will not be allowed to park in the World Heritage Site.  Parking needs to be arranged elsewhere.

Information for people with disabilities

The stone circle is around 300m from the main car park. It is a further 150m to the Old Farmyard, where the Alexander Keiller Museum and other facilities are based. Blue Badge holders in cars can park for free in the main car park and the high street car park, which is closer to the celebrations in the stone circle.

Public transport

If you’re visiting Avebury at any time of the year we encourage you to enjoy a car-free day out.  During the summer Solstice, when the ancient stones are a tremendous focus for celebrations it is especially important to reduce our impact on the environment and the locality and ease the expected congestion.

Avebury is just half an hour away from Swindon train station by bus, and is also on the National Cycle Network.

Regular buses serve Avebury from Swindon, Devizes and Trowbridge.

Route 49 runs hourly from Swindon and Trowbridge from early morning until early evening. Further information is available from Stagecoach.

A bookable service is provided by Connect 2 Wiltshire to Calne and Marlborough (advance bookings only, on 08456 525255).

Camping at Avebury

Camping spaces are extremely limited (just under 100 tents) and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. The campsite is at the far end of the main car park in Avebury and opens at 9am on Saturday 20 June. The campsite closes at, and must be cleared by, 2pm on Monday. There is no charge for camping but campers with vehicles are obliged to purchase a valid parking ticket for every day that they stay.

Camper vans and mobile homes

Due to local authority regulations enforced on the site since January 1, 2007, vehicles converted for sleeping - campervans, mobile homes, vans, coaches and other high-sided vehicles are prevented from entering the car park during Solstice.

This affects all vehicles over 2.1m in height – which may include some 4x4s and People Carriers, so please check before setting off.

Please consider using public transport.

No camping is allowed in vehicles in the main car park during Solstice.

While we do not provide anywhere for camping in vehicles overnight, the following information may help you source available accommodation locally:

Nitrous Oxide

Avebury stone circle and henge and wider Neolithic landscape are important archaeological treasures, part of a World Heritage Site and sacred to many people. Please treat them with respect during summer Solstice, do not climb on the stones and please do not leave litter.

In particular, we are appealing to people not to bring nitrous oxide (N2O) canisters with them to Solstice at Avebury. Recently, increasing numbers of canisters have been found littering the henge and, in line with many festivals we are urging Solstice celebrants not to bring them. Nitrous Oxide is a greenhouse gas far more damaging than Carbon Dioxide gas, and the canisters not only cause unsightly litter but can be dangerous.

We want everyone who comes to Avebury to enjoy their visit. If you have any queries, please give us a ring on 01672 539250 or email us.