Summer solstice celebrations at Stonehenge cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic

Around 10,000 people flock to Stonehenge to celebrate the longest day of the year. Credit: PA images

The 2020 summer solstice celebrations at Wiltshire's Stonehenge have been cancelled as England's coronavirus lockdown continues.

Around 10,000 people commonly attend the annual event, which takes place every midsummer - usually on or around the 21 June.

Instead, it will be live streamed by English Heritage to give people at home a "rare view of Self-isolation Solstice".

The Stonehenge Director is also reminding people who may still want to visit the monument on the longest day of the year, to stay at home.

A statement from Stonehenge said:

Dawn breaks at Stonehenge on the summer solstice. Credit: PA images

Organisers tried to find ways of carrying on with the tradition, but ruled it could not be done safely while current social distancing rules are in place.

The Stonehenge Director, Nichola Tasker, said the announcement will not necessarily come as a "huge surprise" to people given the current circumstances.

But, she said, it will be disappointing for many and it is hoped the "live stream offers an alternative opportunity for people near and far to connect with this spiritual place at such a special time of year".

The English Heritage site has been closed to visitors since 18 March as part of measures to try and limit the spread of coronavirus.

This year's solstice, on Sunday 21 June, will be streamed live for free on all English Heritage social media channels.