Want to know where to spend the longest day of the year? We’ve found the best places to spend the summer equinox. Read on for Europe’s best midsummer spots…
Where to celebrate the longest day of the year across the UK
In a cabin in Cornwall – Kudhva
An off-grid glampsite near Trebarwith Strand, Kudhva means ‘hideout’ in Cornish and this former quarry site truly immerses you in the natural world. Clamber up a ladder to get inside your cabin and spend the midsummer gazing through the full-length windows that offer views of the surrounding greenery.
The lush setting means it’s a great spot for foraging (ask at reception for the site’s foraging guide), so make the most of the long day and hunt for wild strawberries or pick wood violets for cocktails.
In a hot tub in north Cornwall – The Scarlet
Make the most of the longest day of the year and book a stay at The Scarlet, a hotel perched on the edge of Mawgan Porth. Every corner of the hotel has been designed with its location in mind, meaning floor-to-ceiling windows look out over sea and the goosebump-inducing outdoor pool is a place to see sunsets of every shade.
Spend your summer solstice celebration in one of its private sunset hot tubs. The only interruption you’ll have is the natural landscape – birds, the ocean, the weather – oh, and maybe a glass of something bubbly.
In a light-filled dining room in Herefordshire – Pensons
Celebrate the longest day of the year with a visit to Pensons, a new destination restaurant for Herefordshire, that’s redefining the modern, rural fine-dining experience. Housed in a previously derelict 15th-century barn, the space has been dramatically restored and renovated using as many materials from its surrounds, the Netherwood Estate.
Lunchtime is worth a venture, just for the light, which pours through the stylish Crittal windows, or if you’ve a night-time booking it’s hard to resist the glow of the open kitchen. Either way you’re in for a good meal.
Where to celebrate midsummer in Scandinavia
By a lake in a Swedish forest – Stedsans in the Woods, Halland
Stedsans in the Woods offers an idyllic, food-centred experience in the heart of West Sweden. Set on the edge of a lake, guests are encouraged to explore the outdoors – read a book beneath the trees on the boathouse bench or take the floating sauna (lit with iconic Solstickan matches, used by the Swedes since 1936) on a little adventure to the middle of the lake.
Smart glass-fronted wooden cabins dotted amongst the trees and round the lake mean, even when it’s time for bed, the sun can still stream through.
In a bath tub in Norway – Canvas Hotel, Treungen
A unique camp, far from any road and surrounded by granite outcrops and birch forest, this is a cluster of ten stylish yurts that makes the ideal place to spend midsummer.
Each tent looks onto the peaceful water, but, make the most of the tin bathtubs and celebrate the summer solstice with a glass in your hand as you look out over the lake.
In a greenhouse on Gotland – Rute stenungnsbageri, Larbro
Stylish Stockholmers head to this charming café for its excellent coffee and possibly the best cardamom buns on the island, but its huge greenhouse is where the spend midsummer.
Sit outside and share picnic-style benches, or hunker down in the airy greenhouse complete with rustic wooden tables, pots of lavender and, for the night, a roaring fire.
Where to celebrate the equinox in Europe
In a hot tub in the Rambouillet forest – Le Barn, France
Set within a 200-acre estate near Bonnelles, in the heart of the Rambouillet forest, yet only a 45-minute drive from Paris, Le Barn is a super-sybaritic rural escape, complete with stables, sauna, hamam and yoga shala. Celebrate summer solstice in its outdoor hot tub which boasts views of the woods.
On a colourful rooftop terrace in Lisbon – Portugal
Ascend four levels of concrete stairway at the far end of LX Factory’s main street to find this trendy bar, set over numerous higgledy-piggledy levels. Climb higher to the upper level and venture outside onto graveled terraces. Sip pineapple rum sours under the shade of the colourful Christ the Redeemer mimic to celebrate the longest day of the year.
In a yurt in Abruzzo – Italy
Perched on the side of a hill among the mountains in Abruzzo, a little settlement of yurts look out over the rolling hills. On the longest day of the year, pull a bottle of wine out of the makeshift wine cellar built into the ground, sit out on the terrace and soak up the peaceful surroundings, or, keep cosy in the snuggly yurts and watch olive tree branches cast dramatic shadows across the canvas roof.
When darkness does come, the resident fireflies carefully creep up and surround the tents with an ethereal glow.
Where to celebrate midsummer in London
In a West London greenhouse restaurant – Petersham Nurseries, Richmond
Set within a glasshouse and adorned with jasmine, antique mirrors and Indian blinds, this tranquil west-London restaurant is flooded with natural light. Spend the longest day of the year eating seasonal Italian-inspired dishes and sipping strawberry bellinis in the sun-dappled shade.
Dig into roast chicken with king cabbage, pancetta and hazelnut before a dessert of coffee mousse with hazelnuts and crème fraîche.
On a rooftop in East London – Boundary, Shoreditch
In summer, the Boundary Rooftop is the ideal spot to rise above the streetside hustle and sip cocktails as the sun sets over a slightly hushed, 360-degree view of London. Shelter under the pergola for a summer solstice celebration and share plates of octopus and chorizo skewers, or fish or meat dishes cooked on a Robata grill.
Or, make the most of the longest day of the year and sit by the outdoor fireplace nursing a digestive glass of vielle prune.
Drinking negronis al fresco in North London – Westerns Laundry, Drayton Park
A residential road in Drayton Park might not seem the obvious choice to spend the summer equinox, but Westerns Laundry outdoor area is the perfect spot to settle down with punchy negronis and bowls of olives among the olive trees.
Long wooden benches come strewn with blankets, while trees and lush greenery add a sense of calm. Floor-to-ceiling doors draw back, so, even those sat indoors have natural light and warmth. Small plates and seafood are the focus, so expect salted sardines, pickled mussels, baked cuttlefish fideo pasta and crispy ray wing with aioli.
Compiled by Ellie Edwards
Words by Tatty Good, Alex Crossley, Hannah Guinness, Ben Love, Laura Rowe