It's an ad hoc celebration that brings together England's New Age Tribes (neo-druids, neo-pagans, Wiccans) with ordinary families, tourists, travelers - usually about 100 people+!
For many the impulse to arrive at Stonehenge in time for the Solstice and Equinox is a little like all those people drawn to the strange rock in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It's akin to a spiritual experience. Anyone who has witnessed the crowd become silent as the sky begins to brighten can attest to that. There will only be a handfull of people at the Equinox
This is the second of the four ‘sky points’ in our Wheel of the Year and it is when the sun does a perfect balancing act in the heavens. At the Spring (or Vernal) Equinox the sun rises exactly in the east, travels through the sky for 12 hours and then sets exactly in the west. So all over the world, at this special moment, day and night are of equal length hence the word equinox which means ‘equal night’. Of course, for those of us here in the northern hemisphere it is this equinox that brings us out of our winter.
Here in Wiltshire (as with the rest of rural Britain), it was traditional to drink dandelion and burdock cordials at this time as these herbs help to cleanse the blood and are a good tonic for the body after its winter hardships.
As the Vernal Equinox heralds the arrival of spring, it is a time of renewal in both nature and the home, so time for some spring-cleaning!
This is more than just a physical activity, it also helps to remove any old or negative energies accumulated over the dark, heavy winter months preparing the way for the positive growing energy of spring and summer.
As with all the other key festivals of the year, there are both Pagan and Christian associations with the Spring Equinox.To Pagans, this is the time of the ancient Saxon goddess, Eostre, who stands for new beginnings and fertility.
The small group 'non-obtrusive' nature of this tour means you can have a real athentic experience, a great photo opportunity and valuable insight into ancient Britain.
The exact time for the Spring (or Vernal) equinox at Stonehenge 2014 is:
March 20th 2014 @ 11.02am BST
Depart central London at approx 4.30am. Mini Coach Travel to Stonehenge with guide and spend 1 - 2 hours inside the circle and witness the sun rising, Druid Ceremony and festivities. Back to London by 11am
* This time may vary depending on the access time granted by English Heritage
This is not like our traditional guided 'Private Access' tour. Although this tour is guided it does not visit other attractions and is not everyone's cup of tea, however those who do participate will never forget it and will surely 'tell the tale' for many years to come...... Please take the time to view our images / video of previous 'Equinox Tours'.
For those of you who have not visited this sacred site, we should mention that the complex is roped off. Visitors observe the stones from a distance and are not permitted within the temple complex..........our 'Spring Equinox ' tours allow you to be amongst the stones before the site is open to the general public.
N.B. With this exception English Heritage do not allow any other 'private access' tours during this period
English Heritage work works closely with agencies, and people from all sectors of the community, in order to create a peaceful occasion - ensuring an event that can be safely enjoyed by all and protects Stonehenge and its surrounding Monuments.
(Includes return transport from London, expert guide services and entrance to Stonehenge
N.B This tour is operated by 'Solstice Events UK')
PRIVATE TOUR FEEDBACK FROM 2013 EQUINOX TOUR: As you foreshadowed, it was just fantastic. Keith picked us up right on time at 4am and took us out to Stonehenge for the sunrise Autumn Equinox ceremony. We were walked in by all the druids who had gathered accompanied by bagpipes and drums – the atmosphere was amazing. And as you said you expected, there were relatively few people there compared to the 23,000 who turned up for the Summer celebration. So no problems re crowds and getting in amongst the stones. We then went on to Bath and Lacock. Saw all the sights. Keith did not rush us through – indeed we were back at our hotel at more towards the 5pm mark rather than the 2pm booked. I think Keith had a great day as well and we appreciated him hanging around with us longer than he was contracted for. And his driving was superb – right throughout the trip.
So 5 out of 5 star rating. I’ll post a report on Trip Adviser about you guys in the next couple of days. The key point I think which I picked up about Stonehenge Guided Tours is not only you deliver what you say you will, but you genuinely go the extra distance and effort to really look after your customers and try to accommodate what they are after. For other tour companies I contacted in London before being so fortunate to get in contact with you, it was all too hard.
Well done and again my great thanks. It sure was the highlight of our recent trip to the UK!