Saturday, 15 December 2012

Stonehenge Winter Solstice 2012 - Conditions of Entry


English Heritage will once again allow people access to Stonehenge for the celebration of the Winter Solstice, the first day of the winter season. Sunrise is at 8.09am on Friday 21 December and visitors will be able to access the monument as soon as it is light enough to do so safely. Entrance is free and will be available from roughly 7.30am until 9am, when the site will close - before re-opening as per usual to paying visitors at 9.30am.

The exact time of the Solstice this year, when the Earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun, is at 11.11am on 21 December, however it is generally accepted that the celebration of this special event takes place at dawn and therefore access is permitted at Stonehenge earlier that morning.


  • When thinking about what to bring with you, remember your personal possessions are your responsibility and you will have to carry them with you at all times. Therefore, travel as light as you can. Large bags or large rucksacks will not be allowed at the Monument although small bags and rucksacks (similar size to hand luggage on airlines) will be permitted.
  • Think carefully about what valuables you normally carry and leave all non-essential items at home. Whilst there is a lost property system, the nature of the access means that if you drop/mislay something at Stonehenge it might not be easily found or handed in. If you are bringing your mobile phone with you please keep it safe. Think of the hassle you would have if you lost it, or it was stolen.
  • Glass is not allowed at the Monument as many people walk barefoot and, in addition, livestock and wildlife also graze in the area. If you bring any glass items with you, they will be confiscated. This also includes any other objects that could cause damage to the Monument or people there. No plastic bottles will be available for decanting purposes.
  • Please do not bring dogs, pets or other creatures – they are not permitted into Stonehenge, with the exception of registered assistance dogs. Apart from potentially upsetting wildlife and stock in the area, animal faeces present a health risk to children and also to people walking barefoot.
  • Due to the large number of people in attendance, naked flame is extremely dangerous and it infringes local bylaws/regulations and constitutes a potential fire hazard, so please do not light any fires – this includes BBQs, flaming torches, candles, night-lights, Chinese lanterns or fireworks.
  • Stonehenge is a world renowned historic Monument and it is seen by many who attend the access as a sacred site. Amplified Music is inappropriate and will not be permitted at the Monument or in the surrounding landscape so please do not bring any sound systems or portable amplifiers. Acoustic instruments will be permitted.
  • Drunken, disorderly, and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated; ejection, possibly by the Police without return, will be the outcome.
  • Illegal drugs are still illegal at Stonehenge as they are anywhere else. The police will be on site during the access period and will take immediate action against anyone flouting the law.
  • Do not climb or stand on any of the stones – this includes the stones that have fallen. This is in the interest of personal safety, the protection of this special site and respect for those attending. As well as putting the stones themselves at risk, climbing on them can damage the delicate lichens. 
  • In order to ensure personal safety, random searching may be undertaken, but we hope that self-policing and personal responsibility will prevail. Any items that might be used in an illegal or offensive manner will be confiscated.
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