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Highgate Cemetery - London

Ever since reading a novel set in/around Highgate Cemetery, I have been obsessed about visiting. Hubby and I on a RS Best of England tour this spring, and plan to stay in the London area an add'l day, to make our way there. So pumped to visit!

No set agenda other than getting there at this point, but would love to hear from other 'tapophiles' - insights, things not to miss, etc. Given our RS tour dates, we would likely be making the trip to Highgate on a Saturday, which we feel would be best achieved by taking the 1+ hr tube ride from the Radisson Blu Edwardian.

Would be appreciative of any feedback. Many thanks!

Posted by
2660 posts

Which Radisson Blu Edwardian? There are at least 6 throughout London. It appears the closest tube stop is Archway on the northern (black) line. I haven’t been, but maybe the tube ride is shorter than you think.

Posted by
90 posts

Ive been twice.

Archway station is (example) a 15 minute tube ride from Leicester Square station, then a very short bus ride or walk along Highgate Hill, walk through Waterlow Park to the cemetery lodge.

You need to take a guided tour of the west cemetery, entry is only by a tour, the ticket includes the later established east cemetery.

If the system is the same, at weekends just turn up for the hourly tours, I arrived at 12:55 got onto the 13;00 tour.

The older original and more atmospheric west cemetery is on a steep, wooded, sloping site, you are shown the grave of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko who was assassinated by poisoning in London during 2006, George Michael had a house locally and has a grave in the west cemetery, but you cannot see it.

The east cemetery to me was the least interesting, relatively modern and could have been any where.

See link for the locations you are shown.

https://highgatecemetery.org/

Posted by
4654 posts

The west cemetery is access by guided tour only and is the most atmospheric and architecturally spectacular part. The east cemetery is less architecturally spectacular but has more celebrities (Karl Marx, now with security camera protection following some right-wing vandalism last year, George Eliot, Douglas Adams, and others).

You may be interested in visiting some of the other less internationally-famous London cemeteries - Brompton, Kensal Green and West Norwood are well-kept, Nunhead, Tower Hamlets, and Abney Park are impressively overgrown. Note that Tower Hamlets is in a mildly questionable area and I wouldn't go alone as a recognisable tourist or have any valuables visible.

Posted by
5817 posts

If you have an interest in cemeterys its worth looking out for this building around the back of Waterloo station, by Lambeth North station. I travelled past it for years without realising what it was.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Necropolis_railway_station

Also Phillip's comment on Tower Hamlet is a bit "sweeping" especially as the borough covers a wide and varied area. Apply the normal common sense you would apply in any big city, or over grown cemetary for that matter, and you will be fine.

Posted by
4654 posts

Emma, I'm not talking about the entire area of Tower Hamlets, I'm talking about specifically the cemetery, which I've personally been to.

Posted by
5817 posts

Sorry Phillip, It did read like you were saying the entire of Tower Hamlets was questionabl:-)

Posted by
3304 posts

Near Highgate Cemetery there are a few other things to see...walk by Holly Village. It was built by Charles Dickens and a wealthy heiress (whose name escapes me) just across the road from the cemetery. It's absolutely lovely and very unique! You can't go in but you can see the beautiful cottages and the entranceway. Hard to describe. There is a really nice pub for lunch nearby if you want to walk through the pretty Highgate neighborhood. The Lord Palmerston...very much an upscale neighborhood place. It's just up the street from the Tufnell Park tube station for your ride back into town. Do take the time to walk on Hampstead Heath...it's a unique urban park with ancient oaks and wild foxes. So fantastic!

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you for all of your comments and suggestions! Can't wait to take it all in!