Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice takes place this Wednesday, 21st December and Dorset boasts some of the most beautiful locations from which to watch the sunrise.

Did you know that the Winter Solstice is when the sun is closer to the horizon than at any other time of the year?  This is the shortest day and lasts 7 hours, 49 minutes and 41 seconds. And then of course the days get longer and we can start to dream of our summer holidays…

The word “solstice” comes from the Latin word “solstitium” and means “Sun Standing Still”. Now, there’s a fact for a Christmas pub quiz!

If you want to watch the sun rise in style why not join the organised walk along Studland Beach to Old Harry Rocks, followed by a full English breakfast.  Or maybe enjoy a bacon roll whilst watching the sun come up from the spectacular ruins of Corfe Castle. You can get a fantastic view from Durdle Door or perhaps, for a more peaceful welcome to the shortest day why not take a walk in the Dorset countryside where you are very likely to stumble across a Barrow or two! Dorset is full of Long Barrows and Round Barrows which are mostly Neolithic burial sites and you can also find the longest Neolithic monument in Britain; the Dorset Cursus which runs through some of our best named places such as Sixpenny Handley, Gussage St Michael, Pimperne and Gussage St Andrew.  So, no need to go to Stonehenge for a Neolithic sunrise, Dorset is the place to be to mark the Winter Solstice.

Nadine Evans


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