Highgate Cemetery

Top choice cemetery

in North London

A Gothic wonderland of shrouded urns, obelisks, broken columns, sleeping angels and Egyptian-style tombs, Highgate is a Victorian Valhalla spread over 20 wonderfully wild and atmospheric hectares. On the eastern side, you can pay your respects to the graves of Karl Marx and Mary Ann Evans (better known as novelist George Eliot). The real highlight, however, is the overgrown West Cemetery, which can only be visited on a guided tour. Tours of the East Cemetery (adult/child £8/4) depart at 2pm some Saturdays.

Highgate remains a working cemetery. The most recent well-known interment was that of singer George Michael, who died on Christmas Day 2016 and was buried alongside his mother (in the private section closed to the public) in March 2017. Also of note is Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, who died under sinister circumstances in 2006 when the radioactive isotope Polonium 210 somehow made it into his tea in a Mayfair hotel. As his body was still so radioactive, the unfortunate Russian had to be buried in a special lead-lined coffin.