Joining the druids at Longstone

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions


Everyone has probably seen the media pictures of the druids and other people welcoming the summer solstice at Stonehenge.

With just under a week to go now until the longest day, you might have thought of an early wake-up call to catch the sun rising. But have you considered going to the Isle of Wight to welcome the solstice?

At Longstone – unlike Stonehenge this is a solitary stone – druids and their followers gather well before dawn (so you probably should be there just after 4am) for a ceremony that will take place about half-an-hour later.  It involves the breaking of bread and supping of mead, that well-known, Celtic sweet alcoholic drink made from honey. At midday as well, more mead is drunk if you stay around for that length of time.

Most people will leave after the sun is up and return to where they are staying for a hearty breakfast and to explore other parts of the island. You could spend some of the day at Carisbrooke Castle which once held Charles I during the civil war or Osborne House – the holiday retreat of Queen Victoria. You could bask on one of the many beaches or drive to see the sun setting over the Needles or even walk around the island if you are feeling energetic and have more than a day to hand!

For those arriving earlier than the day then you might consider visiting the Isle of Wight Midsummer Night’s Steam celebration before heading to Longstone or joining the people who will go to Mottistone Manor Garden to take part in the walk along the sunken path in search of the murderer on Midsummer Eve.

And the other good thing about Longstone is you won’t have to put up with all the media and cameras who head to Stonehenge!

For more about the Isle of Wight, click here.

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