It's official... summer's here

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The Independent Online

Thousands of revellers gathered at Stonehenge in the early hours yesterday to watch dawn break on the longest day of the year.

The summer solstice attracts an eclectic mix – druids, hippies, sun worshippers and those who are simply curious to experience the ancient festival. Nearly 20,000 people attended the event, and a spokesman for Wiltshire Police said there were 15 arrests for minor public order offences.

As the sun rose at 4.52am, a cheer went up from those gathered overnight at the stone circle on Salisbury Plain. The crowds were treated to clear views of the sunrise – whearea previous years have seen the spectacle obscured by mist and cloud.

Last year a record 36,500 people attended, causing traffic chaos and road closures. It was announced last week that £10m of funding for a proposed visitor centre at the prehistoric site had been axed by the Government, putting the plans on hold indefinitely.