Winter solstice 2021: when is the shortest day of the year in the UK?

·2-min read
Winter solstice 2021: when is the shortest day of the year in the UK?

If you were thinking that the days have been exceptionally short recently, don’t be alarmed as the winter solstice has arrived.

The days have been getting shorter and the nights longer for the past six months, that is about to reverse.

This year, the solstice will happen on Tuesday when we will experience a measly seven hours and 49 minutes of daylight, with the sun due to rise at 8.03am and set at 3.53pm.

When is the shortest day of the year in the UK?

The shortest day of the year in the UK is on December 21 this year. Some years this shifts to December 22, as it did in 2019.

This is the day when the northern hemisphere is tilted the furthest away from the sun, effectively shortening the amount of light that we get.

Conversely, on the summer solstice, which usually falls on June 21, the opposite effect takes place and we get our longest day of the year.

Where is the best place to watch the sunrise and sunset on the solstice?

The summer solstice has always been associated with Stonehenge, but the winter solstice is also highly significant here as they say the stones were carefully aligned to frame the sunset on the shortest day of the year.

The winter solstice is also a significant event at Newgrange in Ireland, with a lucky few allowed inside its hallowed chambers to witness the sunrise on this day – when the light is perfectly aligned to illuminate the rich interiors of the 5,000-year-old burial ground.

Anyone planning to attend Stonehenge on Tuesday has been asked to take a lateral flow before making the journey to the monument and the organisers have stressed that the event will take place subject to public health guidelines.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting