"The winter solstice, which I prefer to the summer event, has always been less well attended – but that may not be the case this year, because of the visitor centre and with it falling at the weekend. It is the more significant ceremony because it coincides with our Christmas festivities and is about the return of light. I just want people to be respectful."Sunrise takes place at 8.09am that Saturday and people will be allowed rare access to the stones as soon as it is light enough to do so safely. Entrance is free and access will continue until 9am, when the site will close, before re-opening as usual to paying visitors at 9.30am.The solstice, regarded as the beginning of the winter season, occurs when the Earth's axial tilt is farthest away from the sun. This will actually happen at 17.11pm on the 21st, but celebrations customarily take place at dawn, so access is arranged for the morning.

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A quote saved on Dec. 8, 2013.


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