Winter Solstice 2014 - Avebury or Stonehenge?

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  • Hey y'all!


    I've always wanted to go to Stonehenge for summer solstice, but that's obviously come and gone a long time ago and we're now just over a month away from Winter Solstice. I've done a bit of reading on the forum and it seems the two big places to visit are either Avebury or Stonehenge... have any of you ever been? If so, what was it like, or which did you prefer?


    And then there's the thorny issue of cost. Every time I google either 'avebury winter solstice' or 'stonehenge winter solstice', the first links are always something along the lines of "pay us £100 to drive you there on a coach and give you a tour", which is really not what I'm after. It is possible to just turn up and get involved with the druid pagan stuff, isn't it? And do you still have to pay £6 to get into Stonehenge?


    Thanks!

  • Watching this thread as I've wanted to go for some time but don't really want to go alone. Not sure but I think its free between the actual times of the solstace. I looked into summer but was late so campsites that were available were expensive.

  • Ive been to Stonehenge for the summer solstice, and although the experience was pleasant, i was gutted by the sheer volume of litter left by the crowd, and there was a heavy police presence. I'm not sure if going in winter would be different as there'd be less of a crowd due to cold weather. If you're up north, there's Castle rig stone circle. Not as imposing as Stonehenge, but the views are stunning, and there's a nice crowd of van dwelling hippies/ pagans that attend ( tis also kept spotless).


    Ps. Yeah, Stonehenge is free on the solstice xx

  • I've been to Stonehenge in the winter but not for about 5 years... It was great last time- everyone turned up and slept in their vehicles or hung out on the drove (byway that passes right near the complex) and we were in for the hour of solstice... There were persons in hi viz but it was easy to ignore them, and full Druid ceremonies for those that were interested & drumming/partying for those that weren't. I have no idea if it's still like that, but it's still free to go in the circle at the time of solstice. Courtesy of the dreaded Wiltshire constabulary.
    Because we now have a small child we go to Stanton drew these days. It's much more mellow, is a major but barely known circle of great beauty in a village field, and the only cost is a pound or so in the honesty box. And there's a pub 5 mins walk away.

  • Does anything go on at rolright stones? x


    Never been there for the Winter Solstice. Went for the Summer one, some years ago, and got there a bit late (as usual), and there were some interesting-looking people wandering about, and a nice atmosphere, complete with mist.


    Dunno whether we'd be up for the Winter one, it's so close to the Midwinter Festival, a time when there seems so much else to do.
    Parking nearby was a bit difficult; in the hedge, as it's just a narrow lane. But possible to park up somewhere in Little Rollright nearby, and walk the mile or so to the site.

  • We have never been to Stonehenge before but are considering going for the winter solstice on Monday to meet up with a friend to celebrate his birthday there. I am presuming that there will be thousands of people descending on the site so it would unrealistic to expect to drive there early and park and walk. Some practical advice for newbies. Does one need to go the day before and sleep in your car somewhere. Apparently there is no nearby parking. Also a shuttle bus from Salisbury but that surely have long queues and costs. Advice please. Or should we go Avebury or somewhere else?

  • We have never been to Stonehenge before but are considering going for the winter solstice on Monday to meet up with a friend to celebrate his birthday there. I am presuming that there will be thousands of people descending on the site so it would unrealistic to expect to drive there early and park and walk. Some practical advice for newbies. Does one need to go the day before and sleep in your car somewhere. Apparently there is no nearby parking. Also a shuttle bus from Salisbury but that surely have long queues and costs. Advice please. Or should we go Avebury or somewhere else?



    By Andraste Herewig on Thursday, 11 December 2014 at 16:14


    Winter Solstice 2014 Plan As
    promised, EH has not applied for a TRO on
    B12.There will be no public
    parking on the A344.Agreed plan
    for parking is as follows:
    Byways 11 & 12 south of the 303 will be closed from 0000hrs 18/12/14


    From 1700hrs on 21 December, Wilts Council will place a TRO on B12. By
    doing
    this, the entrance/exit from B12 onto A303 will be gated while
    the Larkhill end will be manned.
    The TRO is being applied for on safety and
    to facilitate
    parking.
    At 1700 EH will provide access to B12 via A344. Every vehicle will have a
    TRO permit for the A344.
    When B12 is full, access via the A344 will be stopped
    The New Visitor Centre Car Park can take 350 on hard-standing, up to
    c500 depending on the condition of the overflow.
    Should the NVC become full, there is contingency parking.


    Many thanks to all who helped finalise these plans. There will be a lot of
    additional
    work for Simon Rowe and the security/parking teams which
    is greatly appreciated by the
    whole meeting.
    Highways Agency confirmed that a TTRO has been applied for to reduce
    the
    A303 speed limits, to close the laybys on the A303 and to extend
    the clearway to the
    verges.
    Signage? There will be people expecting to park on the B12 after 5pm. Will there be any staff at the
    Larkhill end .

  • Stonehenge has been trashed by English Heritage , and the atmosphere will be trashed by high vis jackets . police,rubbish and the circus it has become ;(


    Cannot comment on Avebury, never been there.


    Your not wrong there, Avebury is a cool little spot but dont know wether anybody gathers there at the solstice.

  • I've been to both, many times, for both summer and winter solstice. I've also done the equinoxes at both. This is my opinion, based on recent experience...


    Stonehenge is the party place to go for summer. The people don't care for litter bins, security is ridiculous and the atmosphere isn't that great. Stonehenge at winter is beautiful. The crowd is far more chilled. It takes much more dedication to get out of bed in the cold, dark winter than it does to party all night in the summer. So there seems to be much less disrespect. It is lovely to get to be close to the stones. In the summer, the crowds within the circle itself are just immense. In the winter you can move freely within the stones and I just love it.


    Avebury used to always be my top choice, because the national trust would open up their car park for a week. I've had so many happy memories from that place! All that has changed now. I definitely prefer Avebury for summer, because the security is much less of a pain in the arse. At Stonehenge they don't even let you take in bedding. At Avebury it's fine take a full bed in with you! Which, when you have M.E. and can't cope without sleep, makes all the difference.


    I really highly recommend Beltane at Avebury, because there is a maypole and dancing and general awesomeness. It tends not to be too bitterly cold and is too early in the season for those who are only there for the party.

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain