Open 10am-4pm every day! Booking advised. Cash-free site just now.

West Cemetery

Tickets include entrance to East Cemetery

With its sinuous paths winding up a steep wooded hill and ivy-clad monuments, here is a secluded funerary landscape at its most evocative. The West Cemetery is home to the most impressive architectural features of Highgate Cemetery — the Chapel, Colonnade, Egyptian Avenue, Circle of Lebanon, Terrace Catacombs and the mausoleum of Julius Beer.

Highgate Cemetery self-guided visit

A rare opportunity to see the splendours of Highgate Cemetery West on your own, without a guide... the price includes access to the East Cemetery as well

Events

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West Cemetery guided tours

Experience the captivating atmosphere of the West Cemetery by taking a tour with one of our knowledgeable volunteer guides. Limited tours available, more dates will be added soon.


British Sign Language tours

Join a BSL tour of the West Cemetery

Egyptian Avenue

One of the most stunning sights of the Cemetery, a bit of ancient Egypt has found its way to north London

Circle of Lebanon

An ancient cedar tree was here long before the cemetery, and a circle of tombs was built around it


Terrace Catacombs

From the terrace at the top of the cemetery there were views across London. But visitors were standing on the roof of the catacombs beneath...

Mausoleum of Julius Beer

The finest monument in the cemetery, evidence of the grief occasioned by the loss of a daughter

Highgate Cemetery self-guided visit

BOTH WEST AND EAST CEMETERY

This is a working cemetery. Please keep things tranquil and respectful by observing the following rules. Please walk quietly and

* leave your dog at home
* don’t run or jog or do any strenuous exercise
* park your cycle or scooter outside
* don’t leave the paths or touch any monument.

Entry is by timed ticket only to help us with social distancing. You can arrive 15 minutes before or up to 30 minutes after your booked time to avoid the queues. We lock the gates at 5pm each day until 30 October, and at 4pm from 1 November.

If you are coming to visit the West Cemetery, you don't need to buy a separate East Cemetery ticket as it is included in the price. 

*Please note: The catacombs are not open for self-guided visits. To see the catacombs you must go on a guided tour.

Please don't come if you or anyone in your household has Covid-19 symptoms.  We'll refund your booking if that is the case. We’re following government advice on coronavirus. Please help everyone stay safe by doing the same. Please see here for our Coronavirus saftey measures and see www.gov.uk/coronavirus for Government guidelines.

Please stay 2 metres apart from everyone else.

West Cemetery guided tours

INCLUDES ENTRANCE TO EAST CEMETERY

Our wonderful volunteer guides bring the cemetery alive with fascinating stories of its history and occupants. The tour lasts around 70 minutes and is in English. Tours take place even if it’s raining. Paths are steep and sometimes muddy so please do wear appropriate footwear. 

Photography is allowed with a hand-held camera for personal use only. No tripods. No filming. No food or drink. Strong winds or icy conditions may require us to cancel the tour for safety reasons. If we are forced to cancel you will receive a full refund.

Ticket prices
Adults £14; Children 8 to 17 £7. Unfortunately we cannot accommodate children under 8 on the tour.  The ticket price includes entrance to the East Cemetery on the day of your tour, or valid for a month. Tickets are not refundable or exchangeable. 

Note: Karl Marx is buried in Highgate Cemetery East; his grave is not visited on this tour. George Michael's grave is not visited on the tour. Tour content varies. If you are interested in a particular grave, please ask before buying your ticket.

At present because of coronavirus, tours are limited to 14 people and we ask that you wear a face covering whilst in the catacombs (unless exempt). Larger parties will need to split themselves in smaller groups to book. 

Please see here for our Coronavirus safety measures.

British Sign Language tours

We are now able to offer guided tours of the West Cemetery in British Sign Language. These will be delivered by volunteer John Wilson, a native BSL-user, with spoken English interpretation provided by Malcolm Duffy. The tour lasts around 70 minutes.

Please see section above for further information about the West tour. Booking in advance is essential as we cannot guarantee spaces will be available on the day. Booking closes 24 hours before the tour.

Tours run on selected weekends at 2.15pm. Currently no tours are scheduled.

When they are available, you can book your tickets by clicking on the blue button below.  

 

Egyptian Avenue

The main path suddenly opens out in front of the Egyptian gateway, flanked by a pair of massive obelisks. 

When the cemetery was founded, interest in ancient Egypt was still very strong, encouraged by Napoleon's campaigns. 

The association of the Egyptian style of architecture with the memorialization of the dead was a natural one. 

An avenue, lined with tombs, leads up to the Circle of Lebanon

Circle of Lebanon

At the heart of the Circle of Lebanon was a massive ancient cedar tree which long predated the Cemetery. It was part of the grounds of Ashurst House, sold in 1830 and demolished to provide a site for the present St Michael's Church. 

The cemetery designers kept the great cedar as a key feature in the landscape. It was like a huge bonsai, its base surrounded by a circle of tombs.

On the inside face the tombs are in the Egyptian style and belong to the 1830s; the tombs on the outer face are later, and mostly in the classical style. 

In August 2019 significant decay was found in the tree, which was declared to be at a high risk of catastrophic collapse. Unfortunately it was necessary to remove it competely and it has been replaced with a new one, but it will be many years before this looks as spectacular as the original.

Terrace Catacombs

Only open for visitors on guided tours

The Terrace Catacombs take the position of the terrace of the gardens of Ashurst House, demolished in 1830. From here there were splendid views of London, now mostly obscured by trees. 

These brick catacombs with a cast-iron traceried terrace balustrade were part of the original buildings of the cemetery in 1838-9. 

Inside, there is a brick-vaulted gallery more than 80 yards long, lit by oculi set in the terrace. It is lined with separate recesses, each large enough to take a single coffin end on, from floor to ceiling down both sides of length, 825 in all.

The catacombs could be used as a permanent resting place or temporarily whilst a plot was chosen. Fans of construction history get excited because the terrace is thought to be the earliest surviving asphalted building in England. 

Mausoleum of Julius Beer

Testament to a father's love for his lost daughter, the mausoleum is a splendid work of art.  Designed by leading architect John Oldrid Scott and based on the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it dominates the top of the cemetery. 

Inside (not visited on the tour), Beer's daughter Ada is shown being lifted heavenwards by an angel in a very touching sculpture by H. H. Armstead. 

Have a look at our 360 degree tour!
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