Druid in waving clothes played a waltz on bagpipes in spotty shade of tree as a group of pilgrims rested on grass makes crowns of summer flowers.
Three Buddhist monks were walking past while group of men took off their t-shirts in warm sun and drank lager, promising on party until sunset and sunrise again.
After two long years of Covid restrictions, great stone circle of Stonehenge reopened for summer solstice celebration on Monday, prompting the pagans, medicine men, nature lovers and party-going to head back in Salisbury Plain in there are thousands of them.
“It’s very exciting,” said Chris Park, the piper.playing Druid. “For last for two years we couldn’t get to the stones for summer solstice. It’s so great to be back and feel like a part of this amazing scenery again”.
The park helped lead a group of pilgrims who brought water from sacred springs over United Kingdom for a ceremony at a place near the circle where people are known to have camped 4,000 years ago. Then they headed for the rocks ahead of sunset at 21:28 on Monday and sunrise at 4:49 on Tuesday.
One of pilgrims, Angela Harding, head librarian from Bedfordshire said she liked to be back in Wiltshire. “We have all pilgrimages over country, and it’s always nice to meet up, but it seems extra special here it is year. we will sing songs, we will listen to bagpipes, we will enjoy herself,” she said.
When Covid lockdowns and restrictions hit in 2020, free access right to the stone circle on the summer solstice was one of loud events which has been cancelled. In 2021 people we again were asked to stay away, although some ignored the request and jumped over the fences to see the sunrise from the circle. This year “Managed open access” was back on the charity and the police planned for 10,000 to participate.
“We planned for this moment for two years,” said Jennifer Davies, spokesperson for English Heritage. head of historical sites at Stonehenge. “A little people were desperate to get back while others might not yet be ready to be in crowd on Salisbury Plain.
Live Stream of sunset and sunrise at Stonehenge was organized for those who prefers view it’s from afar.
There was a kind, gentle atmosphere at Stonehenge Camping and Glamping, people who haven’t seen you since june 2019 caught up. “We create our own little world here, said Dan Toukrose, solstice veteran. “You meet all kinds, including people who long away with fairies – and people who know where do fairies come from.
Sarah from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, who described herself as a priestess of goddess, said: “This good to be back bind up with old friends and do new those. it special place with rather a special loving atmosphere.”
Debs, a healer from Newcastle upon Tyne, carried two badger skulls and a container. of herbs. She said she had Covid left a lot of people “broke” but believed this trip for many were chance recover, find peace and healing.
Some have been to Stonehenge for in first time including Anete, who originally from Latvia, but now lives in Burnley and traveled with her husband and two children, aged four and five. “Solstice is very big in Latvia, so we wanted to see what it was like here,” she said.
BUT group of men in their 20s and 30s enjoyed drinking beer in the sun is shining. They also applied out to be regulars at the solstice. “We love the atmosphere, we love the variety of people” said Chris Richards, a caregiver from Wolverhampton.
Return of solstice celebration good news for local towns and villages. Most hotels and boarding houses had “No vacancies” signs. outa pubs and cafes in in the nearest town, Amesbury, good business.
There were some complaints. People who camp in vans on The chase, the track close to the circle was turfed off and miles of traffic cones blocked roadsides and detours.
Arthur Pendragon, druid who considers himself current embodiment of times and future king, refused to pay for parking at the stone circle and went up by bus, not on his motorcycle.
“Prayer is free. This is wrong,” he said. “And it shouldn’t have been closed in 2020 and 21. If you can’t communicate distance on Salisbury Plain, where can you? But he admitted that it was time for glad celebration not complain. “His good to be back,” he said.