A sparkling lake is dappled with sun and has green trees covering part of the image. In the background is Le Barn

The best places to spend the summer solstice in Europe

From greenhouses in Gotland to hot tubs in a French forest, read our guide to the best places to spend the summer solstice

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…

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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.

Click here for the coolest cabins for foodies

A cabin on stilts in woodland at Kudhva Cornwall
Gaze through the full-length windows of Kudhva’s cabins to soak up the surrounding greenery

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.

Book a room at The Scarlet here

Read our full review of The Scarlet here

The Scarlet, North Cornwall - Spa - indoor pool
Swim on the longest day of the year at The Scarlet, a hotel that perches overlooking the sea

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.

pensons.co.uk

A old barn has been turned into a restaurant with exposed wooden beams and floor to ceiling windows
Lunchtime at Pensons is worth it for the light alone, which pours through stylish Crittal windows. Credit: John Carey

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.

Read our full review of Stedsans in the Woods here

Floating Sauna at Stedsans in the Woods, Sweden
Take Stedsans’ floating sauna on a little adventure to the middle of the lake

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.

Click here for the best places to eat in the wild in Scandinavia

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Celebrate the summer solstice from the comfort of a tin bath tub overlooking a Norwegian 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.

Read our full foodie guide to Gotland here

Rute stenungnsbageri, Larbro
Stylish Stockholmers head to this huge greenhouse for its excellent coffee and, arguably, the best cardamom buns on Gotland

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.

Book a stay at Le Barn here

These are the best affordable foodie hotels in Europe…

A sparkling lake is dappled with sun and has green trees covering part of the image. In the background is Le Barn
Surround yourself with wood-dappled sunlight at Le Barn, outside Paris

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.

Find more places to eat in Lisbon here

Rio Maravilha Lisbon Best Bar
Make sure you get to Rio Maravilha in time for sunset

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.

Read our full review of Fireflies and Figs here

The inside of a yurt with shadow of an olive tree cast over the roof
Snuggle down in a stylish yurt and watch olive branches cast dramatic shadows across the canvas above your pillow

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.

Click here for the best restaurants with a view in London

A glasshouse filled with tables, chairs and lush greenery
Spend the longest day of the year eating seasonal Italian-inspired dishes and sipping strawberry bellinis in the sun-dappled shade

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.

Click here for the best rooftop bars in London

Boundary Hotel Rooftop, Shoreditch
Shelter from the sun under a pergola and share plates of octopus and chorizo skewers

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.

Try Westerns Laundry’s recipes for yourself here

White washed walls with long sharing tables. Vases of flowers are sat on the tables
White-washed walls set with vases of flowers make for a light-filled dining space at Westerns Laundry. Credit: Patricia Niven

Compiled by Ellie Edwards

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Words by Tatty Good, Alex Crossley, Hannah Guinness, Ben Love, Laura Rowe