Ever since my friend Alene told me about Highgate Cemetery, I’ve been wanting to visit it. She actually told me about it right before my last trip to England in 2008, but we never made it there. It’s a little out of the way and when you read the instructions on their website, it seems somewhat complicated to get to. It doesn’t help that it also holds kind of odd hours. But since I love cemeteries and this one seemed so incredible, it was one of my top priorities for this visit to London and we went there on the first day.
Turns out, it wasn’t that hard to get to, really. You just have to make sure to catch the right buses and then it really is a pleasant walk through Waterlow Park. There are two sides to the cemetery – the East and the West. The West Cemetery, I believe, is the older part of the cemetery and it is accessible by guided tour only and the tours are only once a day on the weekday. Plus, the website explains that you aren’t free to take photos except as part of the tour. We opted to visit the East Cemetery so we could wander freely and take as many photos as our hearts desired.
One of the things that I love so much about cemeteries is the sculpture you find there. Highgate had some exceptional examples of sculptures depicting grief. I find them so sad and beautiful.
There are actually a few famous people buried in Highgate, although the gatekeeper told us we probably wouldn’t know most of them because we were American. And you know, he was right. We hadn’t heard of most of the people on the list. But this guy needs no introduction:
How great is this huge head of Karl Marx? I think it might be one of the coolest memorials ever. I would like a huge head of myself when I die. Just so you know. (Maybe… I haven’t quite made up my mind, but it would be pretty rad.)
This lady is also buried there:
I also found a few really beautiful gravestones. I especially love this book one. Maybe that’s what I want when I die.
But this one is also pretty cool. I like how straight-forward it is.
But mostly, you can get lost wandering the little mossy paths and looking over the ivy-covered gravestones. It was very peaceful and lovely.
Next time I would love to visit the other cemetery. I’m dying to know what I would find.