Where to spend the Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, has been a significant event in various cultures throughout history, marking the moment when the sun reaches its lowest point in the sky before beginning its gradual return. Occuring in December in the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice brings with it traditions, celebrations, and a sense of wonder. Around the world, various locations host unique observances and festivities that attract people seeking to experience the solstice in a special way.

  • Newgrange Tomb, Ireland

    Newgrange Tomb, Ireland

    The Newgrange Tomb, a prehistoric monument in County Meath, Ireland is older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. Newgrange aligns perfectly with the rising sun on the solstice. A narrow beam of light illuminates the tomb’s inner chamber, creating an awe-inspiring spectacle that draws visitors from around the globe. This rare event symbolizes rebirth and the triumph of light over darkness.

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  • Glastonbury, England

    Glastonbury, England

    In Glastonbury, the Tor and Chalice Well become centers of solstice celebrations. Glastonbury, known for its Arthurian legends and spiritual significance, sees a gathering of people at these ancient sites. The Tor, with its panoramic views and historical ties to Celtic mythology, offers a serene spot for watching the sunrise. Nearby, the Chalice Well becomes a place of reflection and renewal during the solstice.

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  • Stonehenge, England

    Stonehenge, England

    This prehistoric monument in Wiltshire is renowned for its alignment with the solstices. During the Winter Solstice, people gather at Stonehenge to witness the sunrise and sunset, framed perfectly by the stones. This event is a blend of historical appreciation and contemporary celebration, attracting druids, pagans, and curious visitors alike.

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  • Brighton, England

    Brighton, England

    Brighton offers a unique solstice experience with its blend of traditional and modern celebrations. Winter Solstice events in Brighton often include lantern parades, bonfires on the beach, and music performances during the celebration called “The Burning of the Clocks.”

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  • Orkney, Scotland

    Orkney, Scotland

    The Orkney Islands, with their rich Neolithic history, provide a beautiful backdrop for Winter Solstice observances. Ancient standing stones and archaeological sites across Orkney are gathering points. The stark landscapes and long nights create a profound setting for experiencing the solstice, often accompanied by traditional Scottish music and storytelling.

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  • County Cork, Ireland

    County Cork, Ireland

    The Drombeg Stone Circle, often referred to as the "Druid’s Altar," is a striking prehistoric monument located in County Cork. This small but well-preserved circle consists of seventeen standing stones, thought to date back to around 1100-800 BC during the Bronze Age. During the Winter Solstice, the setting sun lines up precisely with a pair of the stones, creating a captivating interplay of light and shadow.

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