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Around 13,000 people descended on Stonehenge this morning to celebrate the summer solstice, an increase of around 1,000 on last year’s event.

English Heritage opens Stonehenge for the solstice every year, giving the public a rare chance to see it up close.

Following the recent terror attacks in London and Manchester, armed police were at the scene and additional security measures were put in place.

Wiltshire Police said the event was “a successful policing operation”, with just seven “mostly drug-related” arrests”.

Many who attended were dressed in druid robes or wore floral garlands to welcome the first day of summer at the ancient stone monument.

Stonehenge is believed to have been used as a religious site for more than 4,000 years, and has become a popular place for Pagan worshippers since the turn of the 20th century.

But what is the summer solstice, and why do people flock to Stonehenge for it?

The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and is one of four dates which determines the astrological seasons.

It represents the time at which the Sun reaches its highest point in the sky, and occurs when the Earth’s axis tilts most towards the Sun and is directly above the Tropic of Cancer.

For astrologists, the summer solstice marks the beginning of summer.

The winter solstice announces the start of winter, with equinoxes in March and September heralding the start of Spring and Autumn.

Meteorologists use a different system based on the calendar year.