More than 6,000 people gathered overnight at Stonehenge to mark Summer Solstice and watch the sun rise over the ancient stone circle.

This is the first time since the Covid pandemic began that the event has been able to take place at the stone circles at Stonehenge and Avebury.

This year’s event, which was marked at both locations, was a success, with only two arrests by Wiltshire Police officers.

Modern day druids and pagans joined around 6,000 visitors from all over the UK and other countries to mark the longest day of the year at the 5,000-year-old Neolithic sites.

Heather Sebire, English Heritage site manager Stonehenge, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to welcome everybody back again.

“These are people who are modern day druids and pagan groups who treat this as a place of worship.”

Watching the sun rise at 4.49am over the ancient stone circles is often a profound experience for those who take part.

The druids and pagans conduct sacred rituals inside the circles as the sun rises to welcome the dawn of the longest day of the year.

At Stonehenge on the summer solstice, the sun rises behind the Heel Stone in the north-east part of the horizon and its first rays shine into the heart of Stonehenge.

Superintendent Phil Staynings, of Wiltshire Police, said: "This year’s Summer Solstice – the first one celebrated as a public gathering at Stonehenge in three years - has been a success on many levels.

"Inevitably, there were some traffic delays approaching Stonehenge due to the sheer number of vehicles wanting to visit the site.

“But overall the whole event has passed off with no major incidents and the atmosphere remained convivial throughout - no doubt helped by the weather which has been incredible this year.

"It’s good news that only two arrests were made, showing that the good relationship we have with our partners, including English Heritage at Stonehenge and the National Trust at Avebury, does work to make large-scale events like this run smoothly."

A 49-year-old man from the London area was arrested on suspicion of common assault.

A 41-year-old man from Trowbridge was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A and Class B drugs.

They are both currently in police custody