No extra solstice opening of Avebury National Trust facilities 

By Barrie Hudson - 26 May 2021

AttractionsCommunity

The National Trust has announced that there will be no extended or overnight opening of its Avebury facilities over the Summer Solstice weekend.

This means that the visitor car park, toilets, and catering outlets will only open for their standard daytime opening hours from 19-21 June, and  there will be no camping facilities in the village. 

The celebrations, which take place every midsummer, regularly attract many additional visitors to the ancient site and its standing stones. 

Jan Tomlin, General Manager of the National Trust Wiltshire Landscape, said: “We recognise that this is a spiritually important time of the year for many people and we’re sad and disappointed that for a second year we’re unable to facilitate the celebrations. 

"Our priority is always to ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff, volunteers, attendees and residents, and we believe the best way to do this is to continue to follow the guidance on mass gatherings, which will remain in place until at least the Solstice weekend.” 

The trust says it has consulted widely with partners including local communities, the police and Wiltshire Council and joins them in asking people not to visit Avebury and the surrounding areas for Solstice celebrations. 

This, it says, is in line with current Government guidelines and to protect the local community from the impact of large gatherings of people.  

Inspector Al Lumley of Wiltshire Police said: “Public safety is our priority and whilst we are seeing a gradual lifting of Government restrictions, I would ask anyone considering celebrating Solstice at Avebury this year to follow the guidance on large?gatherings in order to protect yourselves and others.” 

Jan Tomlin added: “We thank everyone for their understanding during these difficult and uncertain times and we look forward to welcoming Summer Solstice celebrants again in 2022.” 

Those who don’t have access to a dawn view can watch the Summer Solstice sunrise at Stonehenge via a live-stream by English Heritage.  Information about this can be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury.  

 

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