Thousands of revellers gathered as usual to mark the summer solstice at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, UK. Traditionally druids and pagans gather at Stonehenge, the instantly-recognisable prehistoric monument, each year to watch the sun rise on the longest day.
This year was more a ‘soggy solstice’ as the dawn broke with heavy rain and overcast skies, effectively obscuring the sunrise. Usually the occasion is marked by around 20,000 visitors but the figure is thought to be a lot lower this year, probably around 14,500. Those that braved the elements though joined in playing tambourines, singing and banging drums. And when 4.52am arrived, mobile phones and watches were at the ready in place of the sun.
Stonehenge is one of the UKs most famous landmarks and is instantly recognisable. The site’s original construction has been the subject of hot debates for centuries. The stone structure is believed to have been built somewhere between 3000 BC to 2000 BC, despite years of research a more exact date cannot be pinpointed. The site is carefully managed and preserved and was listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites back in 1986. The site is controlled by English Heritage and is open all year round (although the times vary). There’s an audio tour available and a visitor’s center on site and you can actually walk around the outside perimeter of the site but visitors are not permitted to cross inside the stones. A pass currently costs 7.80 GBP (around 12 USD).
By Julie Bowman