Over 3m people watch Stonehenge solstice sunrise online

Over three million watched the sunrise over Stonehenge online as people welcomed in the longest day from their sofas.

Thousands usually gather to watch dawn over the ancient stones, with the usually roped-off stones allowed to be touched.

But lockdown forced the cancellation of the traditional event.

People take selfies in front of the stones on the longest day. Credit: PA

Instead, 3.6 million people tuned in to watch dawn break over a cloudy Stonehenge for a virtual celebration of the summer solstice.

Astronomical summer solstice is the exact moment the the northern hemisphere is tilted closest to the sun.

It also marks the first day of summer.

Despite the site being closed and the rain, small crowds did gather near the perimeter to mark the occasion.

The rain - and the closed site - did not put everyone off. Credit: PA

Security were seen moving one man away from the area.

Stonehenge director Nichola Tasker said: “It was a rather wet but nonetheless atmospheric sunrise this morning and we were delighted to see that so many people around the world were enjoying the unique experience of seeing the dawn at Stonehenge on midsummer’s day.

“We were sorry not to be able to open for solstice this year but we hope that our live stream offered the opportunity for people near and far to connect with this spiritual place at such a special time.

“We look forward to welcoming everyone back next year.”

Stonehenge will open again on 4 July.