UK Weather Forecast: Summer Solstice in the West Country shaping up to be clear and sunny

Summer Solstice at Stonehenge in Wiltshire. Credit: David Jensen/EMPICS Entertainment

The summer solstice has been celebrated in Britain for thousands of years.

People stay up all night to watch the exact moment the sun rises on the longest day of the year.

The exact time of this year's solstice at Stonehenge will be 04:52 on Thursday 21 June and we'll see the sun go down at 21:26.

If you have the stamina to stay awake overnight, here's ITV West Country's top places to watch the first rays of the Midsummer's day.


The most popular place in the UK to watch the solstice.

Last year, Stonehenge drew in crowds of 13,000 people to the heart of the Wiltshire countryside.

It is one of the rare times people visiting the monument can access the inner stone circle, although English Heritage asks people not to touch them.

Access to the Monument Field opens at 19:00 today and closes at 08:00 the tomorrow morning.


Sun worshippers holding hands during the sun rise at Stanton Drew Credit: ITV West Country

Stanton Drew has its own Neolithic monuments known as The Great Circle.

Some of the stones are still upright, but the majority are now lying down.

In 2017, more than 100 people gathered to pray by the Somerset stones.


Avebury is England's largest Neolithic henge Credit: Tim Ireland

Avebury may have fewer people come to celebrate the first sun rays than it's bigger cousin Stonehenge, but it is by no means quiet.

As Midsummer arrives druids and other fans of the solstice descend on the village to visit England's largest Neolithic henge.

The car park will be open from 09:00 today and parking costs £7, dropping to £4 after 3pm.

However, it gets busy quickly and there is no street parking for people who don't live in the village.

An alternative option is to catch the 30 minute bus out from Swindon.


Enjoy 360° views across the county of Somerset as the sun rises Credit: Ben Birchall

Glastonbury Tor is probably the second most popular place to watch the summer solstice after Stonehenge.

The Tor overlooks the ancient town and is crowned by a 15th century church.

Looking out from Glastonbury Tor there's a 360° view of Wells, the Bristol Channel, Wiltshire, the Polden Hills and Exmoor.

Seen as one of Britain’s most spiritual sites expect plenty of music, drumming, dancing and chanting as you see in the new day.


These solstice-watchers certainly went to great lengths in 2017 Credit: Richard Fox

Arguably Dartmoor's most famous landmark, this is the place for some to witness the first rays of the day in Devon.

While attention might be on places like Stonehenge, a small group will enjoy a more peaceful celebration of the longest day of the year.

After years of honesty boxes, 2018 marks the first summer solstice where the National Trust have put parking charges in place.