- Visit Stonehenge at Sunset on the Winter Solstice
Stonehenge Expert, Astronomer and Local Historian
Approach to the monument the same way the ancestors did
See Bronze Age Burial Mounds
Look inside the reconstructed Neolithic houses
Stand in the 360° theatre and watch the solstice sunset
Hear about recent findings from the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape project
Explore the astronomy, archaeology and mythology of the site
Archaeologists are now confident that the main alignment at Stonehenge was towards the Winter Solstice Sunset.
On this walk we'll follow in the footsteps of people from 4,500 years ago as the made their way across the landscape and up the ceremonial Avenue towards Stonehenge as the Sun set into the centre of the monument before the longest night of the year.
Your guide for this experience is a local historian and astronomer who has spent the last 15 years researching Stonehenge and its surrounding area.
He has an in-depth understanding of the solar and lunar alignment theories as well as a passion for the archaeology and history of the World Heritage Site.
We'll rendezvous at the Stonehenge Visitor Centre for a brief orientation of the available facilities and to collect our tickets before seeing the exhibition and the reconstructed neolithic huts.
Then we'll take a short shuttle bus ride down to the Fargo Wood drop off point where we'll being our exploration of the landscape.
The route from Fargo Wood takes us past the Cursus Barrow group - a superb collection of Bronze Age burial mounds containing spectacular grave goods - and then eastwards along a stretch of the Cursus, an enigmatic monument over a mile and three quarters in length which dates back 5,500 years.
We'll walk down to the bottom of the valley where the Avenue begins its final clim up the slope towards Stonehenge and then make our approach to the monument the same way the ancestors did, towards the setting Sun.
After passing through the monument entrance gate we'll walk around the outside of the stone circle and talk about the history of Stonehenge and the latest discoveries and theories before stopping by the Heel Stone to watch the sunset from the best vantage point.
As night falls we'll take the shuttle back to the Visitor Centre in time for some souvenir shopping and a well-earned hot drink in the cafe before we say farewell.
This tour will take approximately 4 hours and the total walking distance is about 3 miles across fields and along paths. Please wear suitable clothing and sensible footwear and remember that the weather on Salisbury Plain is unpredictable.
The Winter Solstice and Stonehenge. Stonehenge is carefully aligned on a sight-line that points to the winter solstice sunset (opposed to New Grange, which points to the winter solstice sunrise, and the Goseck circle, which is aligned to both the sunset and sunrise). It is thought that the Winter Solstice was actually more important to the people who constructed Stonehenge than the Summer Solstice. The Winter Solstice was a time when most cattle were slaughtered (so they would not have to be fed during the winter) and the majority of wine and beer was finally fermented.
Sunset at Stonehenge is at 03.54pm.
We will be there for sunset!
The cost is £25 per person plus the cost of the entry Stonehenge entrance tickets.
Rendezvous time: 1pm
We can help with ransport from London, Salisbury or Bath