Featured • May 05, 2023 • Author, Sharon Watkins
The summer solstice, which marks the longest day of the year falls on Tuesday 21st June (this year). If you’re going to be in Anglesey for the midsummer celebration there are some pretty amazing places where you can witness the power of nature up-close while experiencing something truly unique! From pagan celebrations at prehistoric ruins to watching the sunset whilst perched on the highest hill there’s an activity to suit everyone.
What is the Summer Solstice?
The summer solstice is an astronomical event that marks the longest day of the year. It occurs when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is most inclined towards the sun, resulting in the sun reaching its highest point in the sky and providing the most daylight hours of any day in the year.
When Will The 2023 Summer Solstice Take Place
According to the Royal Museums Greenwich, the 2023 summer solstice will take place on June 21st 2023 at 15:58 BST.
What time will sunrise and sunset be on the longest day in Anglesey?
Early birds can catch the Anglesey sunrise at 04:48 on Tuesday 21st June 2023, while the sun sets at 21:43, according to the UK Hydrographic Office. This is a total of 16 hours and 55 minutes of daylight.
How Do People Celebrate the Summer Solstice?
It is celebrated by various cultures around the world as a time of renewal, abundance, and spiritual significance. The occasion is linked with many religious and cultural festivals. Pagans used the summer solstice as a market for planting and harvesting crops, celebrating the God and Goddess coming together.
Others go up hills or head to the beach to watch the earliest sunrise or latest sunset of the year. Whilst some stay up late and stargaze or partake in other activities around the island.
So, Where Can You Celebrate the Summer Solstice in Anglesey?
Bryn Celli Ddu Burial Chamber
The obvious place to celebrate the summer solstice on Anglesey has to be at Bryn Celli Ddu, an ancient Neolithic burial chamber located near Llanfair PG.
Bryn Celli Ddu, which means “the mound in the dark grove”, was built over 5,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest known structures in Wales. There are lots of tombs on Anglesey but this tomb differs as it’s the only one which is accurately aligned to coincide with the rising sun on the longest day of the year. At dawn on the midsummer solstice, shafts of light from the rising sun penetrate down the passageway to light the inner burial chamber for just 20 minutes.
This site has been used for solstice celebrations for thousands of years and attracts visitors from around the world who come to witness the stunning sunrise over the surrounding countryside.
Members of the Anglesey Druid Order lead celebrations of the summer solstice.
South Stack Lighthouse
Perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Irish Sea, this historic lighthouse offers panoramic views of the coastline and is an excellent spot to watch the sunrise on the longest day. There’s a lovely walk between Porth Dafarch and South Stack that you might like to incorporate into your day.
This stunning beach, within Newborough National Nature Reserve, is one of the most popular spots on Anglesey, with its pristine dunes and incredible views of Snowdonia. It’s a great place to watch the sunrise over the water on the summer solstice.
After you’ve watched the sunrise or before you watch the sunset why not go on one of the many walks or bike trails in the reserve?
This former copper mine is now a popular hiking spot with an otherworldly landscape of colourful rock formations and rolling hills. It’s a great place to watch the sunset on the longest day and there is a network of walks around the weird landscape.
Why not pay a visit to the Copper Kingdom whilst in the area? It tells the story of the transformation from a sleepy fishing village into an 18th and 19th-century industrial powerhouse.
Located at the western end of Anglesey, this mountain offers breathtaking views of the surrounding coastline and is a popular spot for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. During summer, both sunrise and sunset can be witnessed at their fullest from this mountain making it the perfect place to enjoy the sun’s long stay on the 21st of June. There’s a wonderful walk to the summit from the Holyhead Mountain circular walk if you want to make a morning of it.
This one might seem a bit out there, but who doesn’t like to be up at the crack of dawn riding waves until the sun sets? You can surf or take part in many other water sports in Anglesey for more hours than you can any other day of the year. So why not make the most of it?
Watch the sunrise or sunset at the local beach
Wherever you’re staying on the island, you’re not far from a beach. If you want to avoid the crowds head to your nearest beach. We’re quite biased but the sunset from Rhosneigr’s beaches is spectacular.
Other places where you can celebrate the summer solstice near Anglesey
If you fancy a drive, the Great Orme in Llandudno or at the summit of Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) offers spectacular sunrises and sunsets as well.