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Things to do for the Summer Solstice

After seeing some of the wettest months since the early 1900s so far this year*, we’re finding it hard to stay optimistic about Britain having a suntastic summer. However, with the longest day of the year (21 June’s summer solstice) on the way, we’ve got our fingers crossed.

As the big day approaches, we’ve been mulling over the best way to spend the day in Blighty and the rest of Europe. Being outdoors is the name of the game and with that in mind, we’ve come up with some ideas for places with sweeping and sometimes elevated views of natural beauty. For one day only, you’ll have longer than usual to admire them:

  • Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire: an 800-year old estate in 800 acres of countryside on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. When you’ve finished admiring the views, retreat to the comfort of a cosy coaching inn, with this deal
  • Beachy Head, East Sussex: towering white cliffs holding back rolling hills (with a few pubs nearby to retreat to when the sun finally goes down)
  • Giant’s Causeway, North Antrim: geological marvel of 40,000 volcanic columns in hexagonal form
  • Pontcysyllte Aqueduct,  North Wales: a navigable aqueduct -- the longest and highest in Britain
  • Stonehenge, Wiltshire: perhaps the quintessential solstice destination, this collection of prehistoric monoliths is thought to have once been a place of lunar and solar worship

If you fancy something a little further afield, here are a few late-June events in Europe. Be sure to snag a window seat if you’re flying between 8:30pm and 10pm. Wouldn’t want to miss that late sunset! 

  • Flag Day, Romania: a great time to see Romanians in full swing on their national holiday (26 June)
  • Sao Joao Festival, Porto: a mixture of lively street celebrations, paying tribute to Saint John the Baptist (23 June). Be sure to seek out the miradouros (viewpoints) in Porto and Lisbon -- a selection of designated spots for gazing over the city. You could always combine the festivities with this 2-night 5-star wine-tasting escape
  • Tromso, Norway: considered one of the best places in the world to view the “midnight sun”. The city is also home to the world’s northernmost university, brewery and cathedral

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Tips by

Deal Expert, Manchester
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
See more Tips from
Martin Cropper