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What We’re Doing This Weekend – Highgate Cemetery

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Highgate Cemetery

To many, the idea of visiting a cemetery on a beautiful summer's day might seem maudlin but given the flux of devotees who descend on Paris' Père Lachaise each year, to pay homage to the likes of Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde, we think its time for a rethink. Highgate Cemetery, in North London, is a sprawling, emerald green sanctuary that is home to 53,000 graves where 170,000 people are buried. It's a beautiful nature reserve where honey bees are housed alongside some of the Cemetery's most famous luminaries which include Karl Marx, Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy author, Douglas Adams, and recently murdered Russian dissident, Alexander Litvinenko.

The 37 acre plot is split into East and West Cemeteries, with the latter only accessible by guided tour. The price for a tour includes access to The East Cemetery which you can roam freely. The tours last roughly an hour and cover the cemetery's rich history, beginning in 1839 when it largely functioned as an area to ease the rapidly growing number of illegal grave sites in London.You will also learn plenty about the Victorian attitudes towards burial and all manner of amazing snippets about the remarkable array of residents that have been laid to rest there.

At certain times of year you can also take part in an evening tour of the cemetery which starts at dusk, so there is a fleeting chance you could encounter the legendary Highgate Vampire (no evidence of the creature's existence has been proven, but wear garlic just in case).

At weekends there is no need to book for entry or a tour, simply turn up on the day. For more information see the link below:

http://highgatecemetery.org/

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