The Highgate Cemetery in London is easily accessible via the tube. Get off at ‘Archway’ (High Barnet branch of the Northern Line) and then either take a bus (210, 143, 271) for two stops or walk. The walk is only about five minutes long and the stroll through Waterlow Park is definitely worth it. It might even be a great place for a picnic before or after your visit to the cemetery.
The cemetery is divided into two sides. The East Cemetery is where Karl Marx is buried. Visitors are allowed to roam freely, and the entrance charge is only £4. The West Cemetery is by guided tour only and a bit more expensive at £12 (however entry to the East side is included). The weather wasn’t the best so we decided against the tour and only visited the East side. From what I could see though the West side is definitely well worth a visit if you’ve got the time. The tour lasts about an hour.
I love graves. I love seeing the architecture and the tombstones. Look at that wonderful Penguin book. How creative!
There are approximately 170’000 people buried in around 53’000 graves in the whole cemetery. The East side was an extension and opened in 1860. The cemetery originally opened in 1839. Highgate Cemetery was an attempt to build more modern and bigger cemeteries around London because the inner-city cemeteries could no longer cope with the number of burials.
Today the grounds are full of wild trees and plants. Nature is almost taking over. Some of the graves are almost lost in the wilderness and completely overgrown. We stumbled over a baby fox while we walked along the paths.
Karl Marx is buried here, though I’m not sure he would like the big monument they built in honour of him. His actual grave, hidden, very subtle and plain would probably be more to his liking.
We took E. a friend from Switzerland who does not like the cold. However she loves cemeteries, so we spent a good 3 hours just wandering around, looking at the graves. As a Doctor Who fan I discovered quite a few angels that made me shiver though.
It’s a very peaceful place and one you should definitely put onto your list if you have the time.