Every year, the summer solstice sees thousands of people gather around Stonehenge as they mark the annual event.

The day, often referred to as the 'longest day of the year' is often highlighted in people's calendars as it's the day with the most sunlight and the least amount of night.

So you're prepared for the day, here's everything you need to know about the summer solstice, including what time the sunset is near you.

What is the summer solstice?

Known as the longest day of the year, the summer solstice occurs in the Northern Hemisphere in June every year, typically on the 20th or 21st of the month.

As the name suggests, it is the day of the year which will experience the most sunlight.

The Royal Museum Greenwich states it's the day when "the number of hours of daylight are at their maximum, while the number of hours of night are at their minimum."

While many people believe that the summer solstice is a day-long event, according to the Royal Museum Greenwich, it is an exact moment that falls upon that day.

The Museum adds: "While most people consider the summer solstice to be a day, it is in reality an exact moment in time that falls upon that day.

"This moment comes when whichever hemisphere you're in is most tilted towards the Sun."

When is the Summer Solstice in 2024?

The summer solstice will take place on Thursday, June 20 across the UK.

According to the Royal Greenwich Museum, the exact time of the solstice will take place at 21:51 BST (British Summer Time).

What time will the sunset be on the summer solstice?

If you're wondering when the sun will set near you on the longest day of the year, you can find out the exact time via the Time and Date website here.

  • London sunset: 21:21
  • Aberdeen sunset: 22:08
  • Birmingham sunset: 21:34
  • Leeds sunset: 21:40
  • Canterbury: 21:15
  • Cardiff: 21:33
  • Manchester: 21:41
  • Liverpool: 21:44

Why do solstices happen?

Solstices occur due to the Earth rotating on its axis, producing the day and night cycle, whilst it also orbits around the Sun.

Royal Museums Greenwich states: "However, the axis of rotation of the Earth is not lined up with the axis of motion around the Sun. Instead, it is tilted slightly at 23.44°.1.

"This tilt means that during one half of the year the North side of the Earth is tilted slightly towards the Sun and the South is tilted away. For the other half of the year the reverse is true.

"At the exact moment that the northern hemisphere is most tilted towards the Sun, the northern hemisphere experiences its summer solstice. The southern hemisphere, by contrast, has its winter solstice."