The cemetery opened in 1839 as part of a plan known as the “Magnificent Seven”. It went into decline in the 1970s before being rescued by a charity, the Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust. The cemetery has two separate wings, the West Wing and the East Wing and access to the West Cemetery is normally only possible if you are part of an organised tour (the entrances are opposite each other in Swain’s Lane).
This event was first advertised in the Retiree News in January 2020 but it had to be postponed due to the pandemic. If you were booked on the original tours in April last year and have rebooked for 13th October, there is no need to book again. If you are not already booked and would like to, then please do. We are offering places on the afternoon 90-minute tour of the West Wing, commencing at 2pm. You may wish to arrive in the morning and visit the East Wing, follow this with lunch at a local pub or restaurant (at your own cost) and then join your organised tour at 2pm (if you choose to do this, please arrive by 11am at the entrance to the West Wing). During our guided tour, you will see iconic graves and the first ever plot in the cemetery. It is home to the most impressive architectural features – the Chapel, Colonnade, Egyptian Avenue, Circle of Lebanon, Terrace Catacombs and Mausoleum of Julius Beer.
The East Wing, which can be explored on your own (and is open from 11am to 5pm), includes the graves of many well-known figures such as world-famous philosopher and sociologist, Karl Marx. Our visit will gain you access to the hidden corners of this beautiful, historic site which contains over 53,000 graves.
NOTE: If you have limited mobility, you should contact Ros Patrick before booking your places on this visit. In the West cemetery the paths are steep and the tour route includes two flights of stairs. The East cemetery is on a gentler slope with no steps and predominantly tarmac paths and is more easily wheelchair accessible. Limited disabled parking is available outside the cemetery’s entrance.
Confirmation of your booking and further information about this event (including maps and directions) will be sent via email. If you prefer to receive this by post, please enclose a stamped addressed envelope.