Over 30,000 people are expected to greet the dawn at Stonehenge on the longest day of the year, but you don’t have to don white robes and travel to Wiltshire to celebrate the summer solstice.

For the first time ever the National Trust in Wales is opening its doors in the dark of night for people to enjoy midsummer sunrise at a few selected locations.

Special walks have been organised to allow the public access to parts of the National Trust’s property on June 21st that would normally be closed off outside opening hours.

Stackpole Estate Warden Dai Jarman said, “The sunrise can be so dramatic. If we get a thin cloud layer we’ll get a stunning red sky and see the sunlight play on the sea.

“Even if it’s cloudier we’ll still see the sky changing colour from grey to orange to gold.”

Wardens at Stackpole in Pembrokeshire will take visitors along the beaches in the dark to a plateau above the cliffs where they can watch the sun rise over Caldey Island, and appreciate the other advantages of a 3am start.

“It's so quiet at that time in the morning you hear the birds and waves more keenly, and the walk goes through the usually busy Barafundle Beach when it is completely empty,” said Dai.

“On the cliffs we’ll watch the guillemots and razorbills wake up and leave their perches to go out to feed. Later we’ll go across to the Devil’s Quoit, a druidic standing stone.”

One special guest joining the Stackpole Wardens on their dawn walk will be S4C presenter Leni Hatcher, as part of her 12,000 mile trek around Wales. Her three month journey is one element of the National Trust’s Love Wales Campaign that aims to get more people out to make the most of the Welsh countryside.

“I’ve seen the sun rise in many parts of the world, but surprisingly, never seen the sunrise in Wales,” said Leni.

“I’ve been doing some amazing things in the past few months, but I think this could well be a highlight in my travels around Wales.

“Midsummer’s day is a fantastic day to enjoy nature to the full and I would encourage people to come to Stackpole, or any other National Trust property to make the most of the solstice.”

But for some, midsummer is about more than glorious dawns, for pagans it is a very significant date.

Steve Ludford of the Pagan Federation explained: “In essence it is a time to celebrate the strength of the sun, which is the masculine element in paganism, and obviously in midsummer the sun is at its strongest.”

“The word solstice actually comes from the Latin meaning to stand still, because at midsummer the sun appears to stand still in its path.”

Although thousands of pagans will head to Wiltshire to celebrate the occasion, Chair of the Druid Network Phil Ryder believes most will head to our own monuments to mark the occasion “Most druids would rather avoid Stonehenge like the plague. The land where we reside is most important to us, so for that reason, people are most likely to navigate towards the ancient sites near them. In many cases the ancestors built the stone circles and burial cairns oriented towards the solstice which makes them a good place to see the dawn and celebrate.”

The walk at the Stackpole Centre (3am – 6am) is £2 and breakfast is available at extra cost. Booking is essential on 01646 661425 for the Stackpole Centre.

You can follow Leni’s journey, find out where she’ll be popping up next and watch the videos of her journey on www.walesonline.co.uk/nationaltrust, www.facebook.com/NTWales and Twitter@NTWales