Ever since I read Her Fearful Symmetry, set in and around Highgate Cemetery in north London, I’ve wanted to visit. It’s not your regular tourist destination, but is a well loved and beautiful area of the city, split into two sections.
The east cemetery is known for having a number of famous people buried there, the most notorious of which is Karl Marx.
Most poignant for me was Douglas Adams – one of my favourite authors. In front of the gravestone is a pot of pens; I frantically rummaged in my bag and was relieved to find a biro I could add to show my respects.
Weirdly there are a number of headstones that are pretty funny! I think it shows a massive strength of character to create your legacy with a sense of humour, potentially when you’re on your deathbed.
The west cemetery is larger and more ornate. For £7 you get a guided tour full of stories, mysteries and history. I was worried I’d be a bit bored but it was so interesting! And it is all so quiet and secluded, hidden behind a mass of trees and shrubs.
It may be unconventional, but Highgate Cemetery is well worth stretching your Oyster card to Zone 3, and Highgate itself is gorgeous too. Next time you’re looking for a cheap day trip within the city, don’t underestimate it!