THE SUMMER solstice takes place on the morning of June 21, and thousands of people are expected to travel to Stonehenge to watch the sun rise over the stones.

The stones align with the movement of the sun and when the sky is clear, the sun visibly rises behind Heel Stone and sunlight shines into the centre of the monument.

The sun is scheduled to rise at 4.43am, and there will be around 16 hours of daylight.

The solstice is celebrated in many different ways with festivals, picnics, people watching the sun rise and singing.

10,000 people have been known to gather at Stonehenge and to cheer or meditate as the sun meets the ancient entrance to the monument.

It is important to check out the rules if planning to travel to Stonehenge at this time. Normal admissions to the monument will stop at 1pm on June 20 and all visitors must leave by 3pm that day.

This is to enable preparation for the solstice car park which opens at 7pm.

The car park will remain open until 6am on June 21 or, will close once full. Cars must vacate the car park by noon on June 21.

Due to the traffic issues along the A303, National Highways has suggested that people plan their journey, car sharing where possible or to use public transport. Buses will be available from Salisbury.

Pedestrians have been advised to use the temporary pedestrian crossing at Stonehenge Cottages.

Stonehenge is around 5,000 years old and English Heritage has stressed how vulnerable the stones are. Some stones have prehistoric carvings and rare lichens too.

People are asked to be respectful and to not stand or climb upon the stones.

For those who do not wish to travel to Stonehenge, Avebury makes a popular alternate venue but there are some road closures to be aware of.

Dr Mark McClelland, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for transport stated previously that The Ridgeway would be closed from June 13 to 30 following concerns about damage to the landscape within the site.

Access to the High Street in Avebury will be restricted to residents’ only from 6am on June 20 until 12 noon on June 22.

The summer solstice is a time filled with energy and joy and English Heritage has announced that they will livestream the sunrise and sunset at Stonehenge. This will enable people to embrace the full spectacle while at home.

More details can be found at English Heritage and at the Wiltshire Council website.

Get more Salisbury news

You can also like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date, as well as signing up for one of our newsletters.

If you want online news with fewer ads, unlimited access and reader rewards - plus a chance to support our local journalism - find out more about registering or a digital subscription.

Email with your comments, pictures, letters and news stories.