Results 1-10of 10 Reviews
Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
November 30, 2011
From journal Our Weekend In London
London, United Kingdom
May 17, 2011
The Highs and Waterlow of Highgate,
Low Cost London
by Cindy Grant
October 12, 2010
From journal Ghostour
London, England, United Kingdom
February 15, 2010
From journal Things to Do in London
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
March 1, 2008
November 15, 2006
I have lived in London for five years, and the Highgate Cemetery must be one of my very, very favourite attractions. I love it because it is not glitzy and commercial - the Friends of Highgate Cemetery operates only to make money to reinvest back in order to complete conservation works on the tombs. The entrance fee is minimal, and the walking tours of the West Cemetery are kept deliberately small - and therefore very intimate.
When I was last there, standing in the cemetery in the midst of its unkempt trees and fallen-over tombs, a large branch cracked and broke overhead and fell...it was only then when I realised how quiet the Cemetery is - especially as it is still within London. Very atmospheric - I love it!
From journal London
May 20, 2005
The cemetery has two sides; one requires a tour guide, as it is exceptionally overgrown and confusing inside, but the tour is well worth it. The guides are fun, knowledgeable, and passionate about the history of the cemetery. The experience was not as creepy as we had been hoping (no ghosts!), but it was fascinating to visit.
A tip for getting there: Even though it will require you to buy a zone 3 underground pass, go to the Highgate stop, not the Archway stop. Archway leads to a rather seedy neighborhood and a steep hill. Highgate will take you into a better neighborhood and allow you to avoid the hill, and the way to the cemetery is lined with pubs and shops. Lots of fun!
From journal Often-Missed London Cemetary
March 23, 2002
Other notable denizens include eccentric traveler James Holman, who roamed the globe in the early 19th century with nary a hitch despite being completely blind; Elizabeth Siddall, a famous Pre-Raphaelite model; Michael Faraday, one of the most famous scientists of the 19th century; novelist George Eliot AKA Mary Ann Evans, author of that English lit staple, "Middlemarch"; William Friese-Green, the first man to make moving pictures on celluloid; writer and philosopher Herbert Spencer, who coined the phrase "survival of the fittest"; famed Orientalist and translator Arthur Waley; and notorious lesbian novelist Marguerite Radclyffe-Hall.
Highgate is also associated with a famous episode in Bram Stoker's Dracula. Don't miss the "Egyptian Avenue" of elaborate vaults, featuring obelisks and lotus-flower columns. The atmosphere in Highgate is definitely gothic, and there's a surprise lurking around every corner. If you enjoy English eccentricity - and who doesn't? - then an outing to this cemetery will be just your cup of tea.
From journal Footloose Female Off the Beaten Path in London
March 25, 2001
From journal 48 Hours in London
December 30, 2000
To reach it from Central London take the Northern Line to Archway tube station. There take the exit leading to Highgate Hill. Walk past the Lloyds bank, Whittington Stone pub, (with a statue of Whittington's cat dating back to 1393)and uphill. When you reach the neo-gothic dome of St Josephs church (opposite 'The Old Crown'pub) take a left and it will take you to Waterlow Park. This is a beautiful park rolling downhill with lawns, gardens and lakes containing coots and mallard ducks. We visited when the first snows of winter had fallen and the park was full of snowmen and tobogganists. Cross the park to the South west exit and you will find yourself in Swains Lane. Here are the entrances to the East and West Cemeteries.
Highgate cemetary dates back to 1839 and it soon became the preferred resting places of Victorian families. Their tombs and graves became even more ornate and by the turn of the century the cemetery was full to bursting point. Thirty years ago it was take over by 'The Friends of Highgate Cemetery' who restored it to its former glory. They now do tours each day (£3, 11-3pm) where you can follow the trail around the cemetery and see how it inspired Bram Stoker and his tale of 'Dracula'
While waiting for the tours to start it is often better to visit the East Cemetery (£2). Here you can wander at will amongst the tombs and graves. The are usually decked in clinging ivy and lichen, and when we were there there was a light sprinkling of snow on the statues of angels and celtic crosses making it very photogenic. Most people head for the great bust of Karl Marx, where he and his family are buried. The great monolithic bust which would not look out of place in Minsk or Moscow was put there in 1954 by the British Communist party. It reads 'workers of each lands, unite'. His wife, the patrician, Jenny Von Westphalen, is buried nearby. And they all used to live in a house not far away in Hampstead. For a social revoloutionary, Marx had very bourgois tastes. While we were there there were fresh flowers under the statue and East European women were there to pay their respects.
But the highlight is undoubtedly the West Cemetery which resembles the creepy set of a horror film. The tour we joined was led by an old lady in her seventies who was a 'friend of Highgate cemetery'. Her black and white cat, Domino, followed the group along the trails as she led us into the cemetery. This was probably more overgrown and was full of graves, statues, tombs and mausaleoms. One of the most amazing was the Egyptian avenue guarded by obelisks and pyramids. Inside were the tombs of numerous Victorian families which led to a wide circular array of tombs arranged around a central catacomb. This was the most ornate section of the cemetery and contained the coffins of the lesbian novelist Radcliffe Hall and her lover Mavis Batten.
But if you ask a Londoner what they remember about Highgate cemetery - they will answer vampires. In the 1970s, the leader of the British occult society was caught trying to open the graves at the far back of the cemetery. When questioned he answered that he was there to defeat the 'Highgate' vampire and he was armed with stakes and crucifixes. Was there a vampire or was he just a crackpot? We will never know - but do you dare to visit Highgate Cemetery.
From journal London - Cultural Powerhouse of Europe