Avebury closed for Summer Solstice 2020

sunrise

Unfortunately, due to the restrictions caused by Covid-19, Avebury remained closed to visitors for Summer Solstice 2020. All facilities, including the campsite, the village pub, car parks and toilets were closed.

Summer Solstice

The celebrations which take place every midsummer, on or around 21 June, regularly attract many people to Stonehenge and the surrounding areas, including Avebury. 

Our priority is always to ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff, volunteers, attendees and residents. The decision to remain closed for Summer Solstice 2020 was made due to the on-going ban on mass gatherings, and the need to maintain social distancing - still the mainstay of measures to combat Coronavirus. Before making this decision we consulted widely with partners, including English Heritage, Wiltshire Council, the police, ambulance services and Avebury Parish Council.

 

Virtually experience the Summer Solstice

English Heritage, who manage Stonehenge, also announced that they were not able to host the Solstice at the World Heritage Site, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all attendees, volunteers and staff. They did, however, live stream from Stonehenge for free on their social media channels, so people could stay home and watch the solstice online. 

 

Thank you for your understanding

We recognise the spiritual importance and relevance of the Summer Solstice and understand that this came as a great disappointment to many, but also not a huge surprise given the on-going pandemic crisis and a ban on mass gatherings. We hope that this announcement was received with the understanding of everyone who likes to celebrate this important time of year and traditional acts of worship. We thank everyone for their understanding and hope to welcome summer solstice visitors back next year.

Brimham Sunrise

Summer solstice traditions and sun worship 

The longest day has been marked as the high point of summer – or midsummer – since the Neolithic era. Curator Catherine Troiano looks at the traditions and folklore of this ancient festival and explores how the it was observed at the places we care for in days gone by.