The summer solstice 2018 at Avebury
The summer solstice is always very busy at Avebury – this year is likely to be no exception. If you are coming to mark midsummer at Avebury, do plan in advance. Please consider coming for a shorter time so you don’t need to stay overnight and use public transport if at all possible.
Planning your visit during the solstice
Solstice this year will be sunrise on Thursday 21 June.
Avebury Manor will be closed from Wednesday 20 June to Friday 22 June. The museum, café and shop will be open as usual.
Please note that over the summer solstice the car park can become full early.
The main car park is situated on the A4361 just south of the stone circles, 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 surrounding landscape.
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 fined and even find your vehicle is removed. Silbury Hill car park will also be closed overnight during this period.
Height limit – there is no access to the car park for any vehicle over 2.1 metres high due to a height barrier.
This will include camper vans, coaches and some 4x4s and people carriers. Because of a planning enforcement, there is no parking for any vehicles converted for sleeping, regardless of their height.
Coach parking and drop off
There is no coach parking in Avebury for the solstice.
Any coaches bringing visitors to the solstice will be directed to drop passengers off at the bus stop but will not be allowed to park in the World Heritage Site.
Parking needs to be arranged in advance elsewhere and pick up times planned for your passengers.
There are a few spaces for coaches available at a nearby farm. Pre-booking is essential and details of this can be found on Eventbrite (Please note: this is not a National Trust facility).
Camping for solstice
Please be aware that the only campsite close to Avebury has very limited space with room for just under 100 tents. It opens at 9am on Wednesday 20 June The campsite closes and must be cleared by 2pm on Friday 22 June.
There is no charge for camping, but campers who also bring cars will need to buy a valid parking ticket for every day that they stay.
Dogs are not permitted on the campsite during summer solstice, except assistance dogs.
Avebury is a World Heritage Site so alternatives for camping are very limited.
We would recommend you consider using the other official campsites nearby, or just make a short trip for the main celebrations on the early hours of 21 June to save having to camp overnight.
Camper Vans and Mobile Homes
Due to local authority regulations, vehicles built or adapted for sleeping and all other vehicles over 2.1metres are prevented from entering the car park during solstice. This includes campervans, mobile homes, vans and coaches.
No camping is allowed in vehicles in the car park during solstice.
If vehicles are parked illegally elsewhere they are likely to be given fines and moved on.
There will be enforcement of illegal parking in Avebury village and nearby roads where there will be no parking or waiting except for local residents with permits.
To tackle the growing numbers gathering on the Ridgeway there will be patrols by the Police and Wiltshire Council before, during and after Solstice this year.
Regular patrols of the Ridgeway will ensure safety, keep access along the byway open and prosecute and remove those found to be breaking the law.
The changes have been supported by all those on the Avebury Solstice Planning Group. The Ridgeway has no water or sanitation and there have been concerns for the safety of people there in previous years.
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 the focus for celebrations, it is especially important as it will help to 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.
Route 49 (http://www.swindonbus.info/tts/049.htm) runs hourly from Swindon and Trowbridge from early morning until early evening.
A bookable service is provided by Connect2Wiltshire to Calne and Marlborough via Avebury. Advance bookings only: 08456 52 52 55
To plan your journey or download up to date timetables visit www.traveline.info or call traveline on 0871 200 22 33. (Lines are open 364 days a year from 7am – 10pm. Calls from a landline cost 10p per minute).
Fires, fire staffs etc
Avebury is not an appropriate place for fires, fire pois, fire staffs and other displays involving naked flames.
Please do not bring such items into the henge with you.
The Kings Drums are the only display approved for the use of fire and carry public liability insurance and have met the safety requirements of the National Trust licence to perform during solstice. Please enjoy watching their display but don’t join in.
The only fire allowed in the campsite should be in small self-contained camping stoves or barbecues supported at least six inches off the ground.
Information for people with disabilities
The stone circles are around 300m from the main car park. It is a further 150m to the Old Farmyard, where the Alexander Keiller Museum, shop, café 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 stone circles.