Highgate Cemetery

Highgate Cemetery map
Highgate Cemetery, Swain’s Lane, Highgate N6 6PJ
0208 340 1834

Opening times and price

Opening hours:
East cemetery: 10 AM to 5 PM (Mon-Sun, Mar-Oct), 10 AM to 4 PM (Mon-Sun, Nov-Feb); Last entry 30 mins before closing – West cemetery guided tour: 11 AM and 1.45 PM (Mon-Fri, Jan-Dec), and every 30 mins from 10.30 AM to 4 PM (Sat-Sun, Mar-Oct) and 10.30 AM to 3 PM (Sat-Sun, Nov-Feb)
Ticket cost:
Adults £12.00; Children £6.00 (8-17)
Visiting hours and entry charges are subject to change
Time required:
A typical visit to Highgate Cemetery lasts 2 hours (approx)

Getting to Highgate Cemetery

Find car parks near Highgate Cemetery
Find minicab firms near Highgate Cemetery
143, 210, 271, C2, C11
Bus tickets 2019
Train tickets 2019
  Oyster tickets 2019
  Travelcard tickets 2019
  Contactless tickets 2019
Highgate Cemetery in London Highgate Cemetery, London Entrance to the Egyptian Avenue, Highgate Cemetery Egyptian Avenue, Highgate Cemetery The Circle of Lebanon in Highgate Cemetery The Circle of Lebanon, Highgate Karl Marx’s tomb in Highgate Cemetery Karl Marx’s tombstone

Craig’s London blog> Read Craig’s review of Highgate Cemetery  Check out my London blog for a full review and photos

Good for kids? Value for money? Worth a visit?

Highgate Cemetery is No.3 in our list of London’s best parks.

Highgate Cemetery was just one of a whole rash of cemeteries built in London during the early 19th-century. The city was suffering from a severe shortage of burial space at the time, with bodies packed in floors of chapels, crammed-in inches from their neighbours. People had started to complain of the stench during the hot summer months, so the Government stepped in to alleviate the crush.

They authorised the construction of seven large commercial cemeteries around the edge of the city, the most famous being Kensal Green and Highgate.

History of Highgate Cemetery

Highgate Cemetery dates from 1839, when the London Cemetery Company opened a 17.5 acre space to alleviate the strain. The government hoped that by making them commercial, the companies would be encouraged to build bigger and better grounds to accommodate the bodies.

Their plan undoubtedly worked, as Highgate’s grandiose layout – with fine views of the city from Highgate Hill – was designed by architect Stephen Geary and landscape gardener David Ramsay. The Victorians responded in kind by building some of the most flamboyant tombs in London. People literally couldn’t wait to die – so much so that a 19.5 acre extension was added in 1857.

As a taster for what awaits… imagine a tomb guarded by a cross-pawed lion, and a cricketer sleeping under a broken wicket. Famous graves include those of Karl Marx, Charles Dickens and George Eliot. You can also see the tombs of 18 Royal Academicians, six Lord Mayors of London and 48 Fellows of the Royal Society.

Many of the paths have been given grandiose names to match their surroundings – like the Circle of Lebanon. This is a ring of doors topped by a centuries-old cedar tree.

Friends of Highgate Cemetery

By the 20th-century the cemetery had fallen into disrepair and the graves had become overgrown. The dilapidated buildings looked like crumbling amongst the overgrowth. The Friends of Highgate Cemetery formed in the 1980s to return it to its former glory.

Awful 0% Poor 0% Okay 0% Good 33% Great 67%
  • Dr John – “I went on the tour, which is the only way you can visit it these days, and it is stunningly good. The whole place is overgrown with grass and weeds and trees, and looks a complete mess, but every now and then she will take you round a corner into a stunning location. Like the Circle of lebanon, and the tombs with huge egyptian columns. There are monuments with huge angels towering over you with moss patches on their bodies like they have been watching over the dead for hundreds of years. It is the most atmospheric place that I have ever been in London.”

Ask a question about this attraction

If you enjoy this then try: Brompton Cemetery (catch the tube from Highgate to West Brompton).

Evensong Mass at St. Pauls Cathedral If you attend a choral Evensong service at St. Paul's Cathedral then you can see a small part of the Cathedral for free.
Evensong Mass at Westminster Abbey You can enjoy a choral Evensong service at Westminster Abbey, which combines a traditional mass with a choir.
Sunday service at the Tower of London You can attend a Sunday service at the Chapel Royal in the Tower of London -- one of the most historic churches in the City.
Sunday organ recitals at St Pauls Cathedral Listen to one of the country's finest organists play on the Grand Organ at St Paul's every Sunday
Guided tour of Wrens best churches This guided walk will look at the outside of St Pauls Cathedral and at a selection of Christopher Wren's finest City churches
Bachs St. John Passion: Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey will be celebrating Holy Week with a performance of Bach's St John Passion by St James' Baroque
Craig’s review of St. Martin-in-the-Fields St. Martin-in-the-Fields is famous for helping out the homeless, and whenever you come in here you'll find a few of them kipping in the pews. There are two guys in here at the moment, gently resting their heads against the stone cold columns. The rain is knocking on the window and they've still got their hoods zipped up. I suppose when you're homeless you expect it to rain wherever… continued
Craig’s review of St. Michael Paternoster Royal This tiny little church was Dick Whittington's local. He used to live next door. (We're talking about the 1390s, around the time of Richard II, so it looked totally different back then -- it was rebuilt by Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London.) I always feel a bit sorry for Dick because he did about as much good as it's possible for one man to do: he opened an almshouse… continued
Copyright © 2019 London Drum · Contact us · Cookies / Privacy policy · Search / Site map
London city guide