The National Trust and Police are urging people to stay home and not travel to Glastonbury Tor this weekend’s summer Solstice to avoid the spread of Coronavirus.
A spokesperson for the Trust said on Monday: ‘This year there won’t be any summer solstice events at our places including Glastonbury Tor, Avebury and the Stonehenge Landscape.”
“English Heritage have also cancelled summer solstice celebrations at Stonehenge. This is to comply with the government guidelines around social distancing and to ensure safety in response to coronavirus.”
“Our priority is always to ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff, volunteers, attendees and residents. This decision was made due to the on-going ban on mass gatherings, and the need to maintain social distancing – still the mainstay of measures to combat Coronavirus.”
The spokesperson continued: “We recognise the spiritual importance and relevance of the summer Solstice and understand that this will come as a great disappointment to many but also not a huge surprise given the on-going pandemic crisis and a ban on mass gatherings. We hope that this announcement will be received with the understanding of everyone who likes to celebrate this important time of year and traditional acts of worship.”
Glastonbury has been a place of pilgrimage and spirituality for centuries and attracts visitors of all faiths and none.
It normally welcomes visitors for the annual summer Solstice, with its iconic Tor crowned with St. Michael’s Tower central to celebrations.
This year, all celebrations have been cancelled and visitors are asked to respect the residents and stay away during this time.
Those who don’t have access to a dawn view from their homes can watch the Summer Solstice via a live stream on the English Heritage website. Information can be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury