The first day of summer is coming! Summer in the northern hemisphere officially begins on the 21st of June this year.
The winter was long, and spring has been wet, so it’s time for the sunshine to prevail and for all the delights of summer to take their place in our lives.
How will you celebrate first day of summer?
Summer solstice has been celebrated richly all over the world for centuries – for it marks the longest day, when the sun is at its highest in the sky.
Historically, summer solstice celebrations have involved a village festival, bonfires, dancing and saluting the sun in a manner of ways.
Here are some ideas of how to greet the longest day of the year around the country…
Well, you can head to the very centre of pagan spirituality: Stonehenge. Thousands gather at this magical spot to celebrate spring equinox, summer solstice, winter solstice and other important earth-centred dates.
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument standing in the Wiltshire countryside, believed to have been there since sometime between 3000BC and 2000BC.
It has been a prominent feature in centuries worth of folklore, legends and historical tales. Whilst you can’t sit amongst the stones anymore for their own protection and preservation, you can congregate with the other sun worshippers and greet the midsummer in one of the oldest ritual sites in England.
This iconic site is under an hour’s drive from our Hallmark Hotels in Bournemouth, so how better to celebrate midsummer after a day at Stonehenge than by the sea? Enjoy glorious sea views, miles of golden sandy beaches and start the summer right!
Chester Mid-Summer Watch Parade
If you love a traditional festivals and parades with dancing, fire breathing and other terrific performing arts, marking midsummer, then head to Chester!
This festival has been going for hundreds of years, always involving a procession and wild costumes. It’s a fun two-day celebration where a parade of characters travel down from the cathedral all the way to the town hall.
Among these characters are the popular family of giants, devil and angel puppets, a flock of geese, camels, unicorns, pirates and a variety of colourful minstrels. Children from local schools get involved and the whole city comes out to celebrate, so it’s really a trip worth making this year.
Stay with us at Hallmark Hotel Chester The Queen – a truly spectacular brick and stucco Italianate hotel in the heart of the city, offering stunning accommodation and award-winning food! Start your summer with the mini-break of your dreams and enjoy everything that glorious Chester has to offer.
Scandinavian Midsummer in London
Fans of Scandi culture rejoice! Scandinavian celebrations of the summer solstice take place across the capital every year; from the glorious Scandinavian midsummer market to the Swedish Midsummer supper club.
Enjoy a mixture of foodie events, dancing, drinking and midsummer merriment. Make sure you check out the midsummer market for arts, crafts and Nordic treats. And let’s not forget the biggest night of the year: Beautifully Midsummer, taking place by the River Thames and the yacht Battersea Barge in Vauxhall. There will be live music, a maypole, flower crowns, Swedish cider and foods and an unforgettable atmosphere.
While in London, stay in a beautiful oasis of calm just 30 mins from central London at Hallmark Hotel London Chigwell Prince Regent. Enjoy luxury accommodation, stunning food and peace and quiet in a Grade II Georgian mansion and gardens away from the hustle and bustle of the capital.
Mazey Day, Cornwall
The Cornish can be depended on to continue to uphold traditions and strong local rituals so midsummer is celebrated with bonfires set all along the coasts of Cornwall.
There’s also a week-long celebration of the Feast of St John the Baptist every year followed by the famous Mazey Day parade in Penzance, attended by thousands of locals and tourists each year.
Midsummer in Stratford-Upon-Avon
Where better to celebrate midsummer than in the birthplace of he who wrote an iconic play on the very subject?
Stratford-Upon-Avon is such a gloriously pretty town, steeped in culture and history, offering so much to visitors and locals. Wander down the cobbled streets, see a play at one of the theatres, visit Shakespeare’s house and attend the splendid Poetry Festival.
Be inspired by William Shakespeare himself, hear the poets recite their work, try some of the great workshops that are running throughout the festival and make sure you don’t miss A Midsummer Celebration at Anna Hathaway’s cottage on the 22nd of June!
While soaking up such wonderful midsummer nights dream celebrations, be sure to book your stay at Hallmark Hotel Stratford-Upon-Avon the Welcombe.
This hotel is a treat for all the senses and is the only place you’ll want to start your summer. Everything from the richly decorated rooms to the grand staircase and the landscaped grounds to the 18-hole championship golf course is a joy to behold.
Explore Britain this summer and be sure to stay with us every step of the way. We welcome you at 26 different locations across Great Britain, so check our special offers page for up to date discounts and package deals.