Highgate? Closedgate.

I didn’t break into a cemetery.


It wasn’t for lack of trying, though. I have long desired to visit Highgate Cemetery, a Victorian graveyard overrun with dark green twists of ivy and derelict stone. Maybe it’s a bit odd, but I do love walking through old cemeteries, the kind where the newest inhabitants are wildflowers, not shiny gravestones. I love reading the old-fashioned names and studying the designs on the headstones.


Highgate Cemetery is a dream of an old cemetery, complete with crumbling stone angels guarding the narrow, twisting path. It is also fairly far on the edge of London, so it took a good 45 minutes on the Tube and another 15 minutes walking uphill through a suburban neighborhood, to reach it. And when I finally arrived… it was closed. The high iron gates were locked.


Somehow I had not anticipated that a cemetery might have a closing time. This was my one chance to see it! I got a little desperate. Looked cautiously left and right… and tried to boost myself up over the gate.


Now, I cannot recommend breaking into a cemetery. Most importantly, it’s wrong. Not to mention it’s London, so there were probably CCTV cameras even at a cemetery. Also, how would I have gotten out again? And of course… I didn’t actually succeed. That’s a bit embarrassing; the one time I try to break the rules, I can’t even get over the fence. Literally.


Still, Highgate looked pretty cool from outside the gate. And it’s something to look froward to on my next visit.




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