Need an excuse to head into the great outdoors this weekend? Look no further than the summer solstice, which will happen on 20 June. Here’s seven ways to celebrate it
1. Go on a microadventure
Serial adventurer Alastair Humphreys is encouraging folks to go on a microadventure to celebrate the solstice, which involves anything from bivvying on a hillside to wild swimming a river. You can tell your story (through a blog post, Instagram, photo essay or video) and enter it online to stand a chance of winning awesome sleeping bags, jackets and backpacks.
For more details and plenty of inspiration head to Alastair’s website.
2. Build a teepee on the beach
Spend the summer solstice on the beach
It’s one thing spending the night in a tent or bivvy, but quite another in a shelter you’ve made all on your own. Follow our step-by-step guide to building a teepee, pitch it on the beach and chill in the sand while the sun slowly sets on the horizon. Do remember to check tide timetables and follow all the usual wild camping guidelines, though.
3. Make a bonfire
A good fire is a Midsummer must |Photo @ Jonny Crockett
Make like the Finnish do on Midsummer’s Eve and get an almighty bonfire burning to ward off those pesky evil spirits… Plus it makes a good excuse for honing your firelighting skills and roasting marshmallows. Need some help getting the fire started? Check out the next issue of OAG in which bushcraft expert Jonny Crockett shows us how to lay a fire like a pro.
4. Get baking…
Make like Ray Mears and bake Bannock Bread this Sunday | Photo Goh Iromoto
Now you’ve got the bonfire burning, embrace your inner bushcrafter and whizz up some tasty fire-cooked treats. We like this Bannock Bread recipe from Ray Mears, which works brilliantly on open fire, and will keep you going all night long.
5. Go skiing
You could fly all the way to Sweden and ski under the midnight sun at the resort of Riksgränsen, or you could head to Scotland, where Nevis Range is opening the Quad chair from 10am-2pm so that skiers can celebrate the summer solstice on the infamous Goose run (yes, there’s still snow!). Tickets cost £15 (except season pass holders), but skiers must be experienced and properly equipped.
6. Hit the water
Take to the water this midsummer
The Windermere Summer Solstice Lake Race sees paddlers of all abilities completing either the half or full length of Windermere. It’s open to all sorts of boats, from whitewater rafts and dragon boats, through to sit-on-top kayaks and handmade wooden canoes. What better way to spend the summer solstice than on England’s longest lake?
7. Stay traditional
Celebrate summer solstice the pagan way |Photo Fotolia.com
Druids and tourists alike flock to Stonehenge to see in the summer solstice, with English Heritage giving free access to the site from 7pm on the 20th June to 8am on the 21 June so you can watch the sun rise. They have plenty of advice on their website, but plan to get there early to guarantee a spot.