Tuesday 17 May 2016

Solstice Celebrations Tour - From London June 20th 2016

Stonehenge Sunset Tour - Solstice Celebrations

The most famous prehistoric monument in the world, and now a world heritage site, Stonehenge stands alone in the vast empty tract of Salisbury plain. Its origins date back nearly 5,000 years, and it has been home to pagan religion and spiritual worship, not to be mention public debate ever since. What was this vast collection of stones intended for? Was it observatory of the moon, a temple to the sun, or an elaborate cemetery? Who were the people who carried and carved these 40-ton rocks? Come and unlock the secrets for yourself and marvel at this remarkable and mysterious feat of ancient engineering and design, as we enjoy the wonderful celebrations that take place to mark the summer solstice.
The tour:
Join our Premium Tour that departs London at lunchtime and heads west towards the site, taking time to enjoy the ancient stones at Avebury, before heading to picturesque Lacock for an early evening supper, included in the price. From here we journey to Stonehenge itself arriving at roughly 7 pm, as it begins it’s annual celebration of the summer solstice. Huge crowds gather, and there will be plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere of this historic event, walk amongst the stones, and observe the pagan rituals and ceremonies that take place at varying intervals throughout the evening. Please note there are two twenty to thirty-minute walks involved during the day to see the celebrations at Avebury and Stonehenge.
Summer solstice:
The solstice itself is an astronomical event that occurs twice each year as the Sun reaches its highest or lowest excursion relative to the celestial equator, with the sun appearing to have reached its highest or lowest annual altitude in the sky above the horizon.
The word solstice is comes from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun, as seen from earth stands still in declination before reversing it’s direction. Thus, after the summer solstice, the sun does not appear as high in the sky and daylight reduces. The solstice is therefore seen as the midpoint of summer in many cultures and is cause for celebration.
Pagan celebrations:
Like other religious groups, Pagans are in awe of the strength of the sun and the divine powers that create life. For many pagans, they believe that the Goddess took over the earth from the horned God at the beginning of spring and she is now at the height of her power and fertility. The summer solstice marks the marriage of the God and Goddess and see their union as the force that creates the harvest's fruits. To celebrate many Pagans and non Pagans head to ancient religious sites including Avebury and Stonehenge, to conduct fascinating and colourful ceremonies throughout the night enjoying the last sunset and sunrise before the sun alters it’s direction once more.
Additional information:
Please note that as a responsible tour operator we have a duty of care towards the places we visit and in this case we ask you to be take great care when visiting the historic site. It is important that Stonehenge and its surrounding Monuments are preserved for future generations and we ask you not to touch the stones, and not to leave any litter at the site.
Visitors are requested to dispose of their rubbish carefully at the designated recycling and rubbish points located in the Solstice Car Park and at Stonehenge. Clear recycling bags will also be handed out on arrival.. Please do not drop litter - bag and bin your rubbish so the recycling team can gather them up. It is a very sensitive landscape and still used by local farmers so please respect their crops and livestock.
There are authorised catering facilities on the site and some personal food and drink is allowed to be brought onto the site. Please bring them in a small bag – large rucksacks are not permitted. Glass is not permitted and will be confiscated – many people walk barefoot and the livestock graze in the area throughout the year. Due to the large numbers of people who attend the vent, naked flames are strictly forbidden. Small ground sheets and blankets are allowed.
The tour will return London around midnight terminating at Victoria Station. We will make a few drop-off's including Gloucester Road Underground Station, Hyde Park Corner and Trafalgar Square. Trafalgar Square is the central hub of London's excellent night bus service that will have a frequent service to your Central London hotel district if you miss the last Underground and finally tour ends at Victoria Station.

Alcohol is not permitted on the coach or at Stonehenge.

·         Admissions to Stonehenge
·         Professional Guide
·         Transportation by Luxury Air-Conditioned Coach
·         Free Wi-Fi on board
·         1-course dinner

·         Gratuities (optional)
·         Hotel Drop Offs (the tour will finish at Victoria Coach station approx 12 am)

Please note:
·         This tour will depart promptly at 12 pm on 20th JUN
·         Please note there is a twenty to thirty minute walk involved in order to get from the coach park to the event.
·         Please note that there will be a lot of walking on grass involved and we recommend bringing warm clothing, sensible footwear and a small umbrella if rain is forecast
·         Due to the nature of this special event, we cannot guarantee exact arrival or departure times from Stonehenge so all timings are approximate.