Summer Solstice at Avebury

It was a bit of a last-minute decision to go to the Summer Solstice celebration, even though I’d always wanted to go. I’d toyed with the idea of going to Stonehenge for a bit, but quickly forgot about it, especially considering that Alex had work the next day anyway. It was only after someone in the pub convinced me, that I decided to go to Avebury. I called my friend down from Cardiff, and agreed that Alex would leave earlier in the night as he wasn’t allowed the day off. (It transpired that the three of us left together anyway, not camping was a bit short-sighted.)

I didn’t really know what to expect. When we got there, we went for a quick stroll around the area before going over to the pub, a little place called the Red Lion, to get a drink. Everyone seemed so chilled, and the vibes were good right from the start. As the sun began to set, we headed back inside, and came across a girl who made us free vegan wraps! They were huge, filled with chickpeas, quinoa, couscous, grated carrots, red cabbage, everything you could think of and they were wonderful, really filled us up!

After a little bit of hooping on my part, we snuck back to the pub, which was a lot busier. Given our drinks in takeaway cups which was great, since it meant we could do a bit more exploring!

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We’re just walking around the above field, with all the sheep, when we hear this huge drum beat, and people cheering, we go back to the first field, and everyone’s standing around the stones, some people with torches…

IMG_6134There’s a performance starting! All these wonderful things are going on, including some fantastic fire hooping! All the costumes are amazing, and the people themselves were so lovely and cheerful.

In all honesty, that might well have been the best thing about the Solstice celebration. Everyone was so friendly, approaching people was easy and we met so many wonderful souls that night. People would come over, say hi, sit down, have a chat, anything! I’ve never been anywhere quite like it. Even the festivals aren’t as open. Everyone was very much connected that night.

Oh! It was also a full moon, the first to land on the Solstice since 1967!

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You could see it, just above the hill. It’s a shame I didn’t have my proper camera with me, though…

After that, we wandered around a bit more, then went to relax on the grass. It had luckily dried up fine from the rain earlier that day. As it got darker, more and more people started fire dancing, all different bits of equipment coming together to look absolutely beautiful. Even a child was doing it, and he was brilliant! One of the fire hoopers came and sat with us, and she’d only been hooping for two years, she said. She was incredible, and her sister was into fire flow arts as well! She was another hooper, and had brought with her the LED hoops I got to have a go with later.

It’s a shame we didn’t get to stay until the end, really. We needed a bit more planning, I think. That being said, I don’t entirely regret it, as I’ve been tired throughout the entirety of Tuesday! I’m so glad I went, though. It was a truly unforgettable experience, I’ve never been anywhere where everyone was so in tune with each other. It was like we were all one big, summery, free-spirited family.

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a couple of the wonderful fire artists
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Zara Robinson

Twenty-year-old trainee teacher, hippie and weird jewellery collector living in Brighton.

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