We all know where people congregate in Wiltshire around the time of the summer solstice. Stonehenge and Avebury get very busy on the longest day as they wait for the sun to rise early in the morning, just as the ancients did ( maybe ).
But on the long summer nights in June and July, Wiltshire is a perfect place to find those quiet spots with uninterrupted views of the sun rising and falling against the horizon. The vantage point offers views that are as close as we can get to those enjoyed by the old civilisations. With vast areas of open countryside, a little bit of exploration can take you to some interesting sites to sit and watch the sunset. I often say I'm not a spiritual person, but these moments have definitely touched me.
In the picture at the top of this post you can see a group of people enjoying the sunset whilst sat on the ramparts of Barbury Castle. This 2,500 year old iron age site feels distinctly rural but it is easily accessible from Swindon and Avebury with a short walk from the car parks.
Another great vantage point to see the sun go down is the top of Milk Hill, the highest point in Wiltshire. If you look towards the Lansdowne monument at Cherhill Down, you can see the sun set on the horizon.
You do encounter other sunset chasers late at night. In fact, I've been astonished at how many people are out walking in the hills at dusk on a hot summers night. There is no better place to cool down, and breathe in the atmosphere of this ancient place.