Man in hat playing pipe

It’s the longest day of the year – the day when henges come into their own. The Summer Solstice. People wishing to greet the rising sun gather at ancient sites and cluster around age-old stones. But there is more than one way to celebrate the astronomical beginning of summer.

Whether it’s “enjoying” a pre-drawn dip or having a whirl on the London Eye, here are some more unusual ways people across England marked the day.

food stonehenges

And if you cannot get to the real thing, why not make one? Clonehenge, a website dedicated to henge reconstructions, offered up these tasty morsels. Stonehenges made from (clockwise from left): Wotsits, fudge, butter, and sausage with flank steak lintels and a base of kale pesto

Solstice Cup
Sefton Park CC

Sefton Park Cricket Club in Liverpool held its yearly Solstice Cup, the first ball being bowled at 04:43 BST. For the first time in nine years, the Long Shadows beat the Early Risers – by one wicket with one ball remaining

Ilkley Lido
Julia Bryson

It’s the fifth year solstice swimmers braved the water at Ilkley Lido, with particularly keen participants turning up at an eye-watering 04:30. The early hour wasn’t enough to put people off, and a record number of 276 bathing beauties enjoyed a bracing splash

Pells Pool
Pells Pool

People who missed out on the Solstice swim at Pells Pool in Lewes, East Sussex, can take advantage of a starry skies swim between 23:00 and 01:00 on 7 July

Orchard Eagles
Orchard Eagles

The Orchard Eagles, a running club in Eaglescliffe, Stockton-on-Tees, has an annual solstice night ultra jog of 32 miles

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London eye
Jonathan Hordle

The London Eye blinked open especially early this morning, watching the dawn for the first time in its 18-year history

Arbor Low

Arbor Low, known as “Stonehenge of the north”, attracted its share of sensibly wrapped-up visitors….


… while the “Stonehenge of the south”, Stonehenge, was overrun by people in tie-dye jerkins, cloaks and hats with earflaps

Handout drone footage issued by Wiltshire Police of crowds of people gathering to watch the sunrise to celebrate the summer solstice at Stonehenge
Wiltshire Police

Wiltshire Police provided some images from their drone, which used heat-sensitive technology to pick out dawn revellers




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