Highgate Cemetery.

When my love came down to London to see where I'm living nowadays, we visited the amazing Highgate Cemetery in the north-west of the city, not far from me.

The images above were taken during a tour of the West Cemetery - the older side, where a guided tour is compulsory, and very much worth the while (£5 students, £7 standard ticket).

A visit to Hightgate was the one concrete thing on our agenda for the weekend - which may make us seem (not unjustiably) morbid, but was mostly because he had spent a long time researching the vampire sightings of the 1970s which purportedly took place there. There's also a rumour that Bram Stoker took some inspiration for Dracula from the atmosphere of the Highgate catacombs.

I would recommend a visit to Highgate to anyone. It is unlike anywhere I have ever been. Established in 1839, it's a Victorian landscaped cemetery, and the older West side is a wild, overgrown and ornate space. Some of the gravestones are so elaborate, and the guide had several stories about them for us on the hour-long walk around the cemetery.

Words feel a bit clumsy to describe what it was like beyond the gates - it's a little like stepping back in time, a little like entering a dark fairytale. The atmosphere is totally enthralling - and all I can do is recommend a visit if you're in London.

It's a little off the tourist trail - but arguably all the more enchanting for that.

1 comment:

dianne tanner // icefloe said...

WOMAN i live very near here and try to go all the time but life keeps getting in they way. I feel like we need to align out schedules! I want to go sooo bad. Let me know next time you are in london doing something this coool!!!'