As the winter months roll in, the nights are drawing longer and the days shorter - meaning the winter solstice is just around the corner. 

The winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year in the UK when we have the fewest hours of daylight. 

The good news is that after it's over, the days continuously get longer until the summer solstice in June. 

Here's what you need to know about the shortest day in the UK in 2021...

When is the winter solstice in 2021?

The winter solstice will take place on Tuesday December 21 2021. 

Across Scotland on Tuesday, the sun will rise after 8am and set before 4pm, marking the shortest day of the year. 

Why does the winter solstice happen? 

The winter solstice occurs in the UK when the north pole reaches its maximum tilt away from the sun. 

While it only happens once a year in the UK, it happens twice a year across the globe, once in the northern hemisphere and once in the southern hemisphere. 

The term winter solstice actually refers to the exact moment the earth is tilted furthest away from the sun, however it is also sometimes used to describe the day this occurs.

During the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, the further north you travel the darker it will be. 

On December 21 2021, the north pole will remain dark for the entire day. 

From this day onwards, the days will gradually grow longer until the summer solstice six months later, following which the days will again begin to shorten.

When is summer solstice? 

The next summer solstice will take place on Tuesday June 21 2022 in the northern hemisphere, marking the longest day of the year. 

Summer solstice is when the earth is tilted closest to the sun and is the opposite of the winter solstice.