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“Worth a visit ”

Nunhead Cemetery, South London
Ranked #399 of 1 887 things to do in London
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Reviewed 1 May 2017 via mobile

Great walk, oddly beautiful and a lot of history. This is a place well worth a visit and a walk, recommended.

Date of experience: May 2017
2  Thank soheil A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"st paul's cathedral"
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"great victorian"
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"london skyline"
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"british museum"
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in 6 reviews
"burial"
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"highgate"
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"undergrowth"
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Reviewed 18 April 2017

Nunhead Cemetery is one of South London’s hidden treasures. It’s probably the least know of the ‘Magnificent Seven’, the seven great Victorian cemeteries built in the 1830s and 1840s on the fringes of London at that time, to relieve the terrible overcrowding in the traditional churchyard burial grounds. And it probably gets overlooked simply because it’s not located near an Underground station!

Nunhead Cemetery was consecrated in 1840, but fell into disuse after World War Two. Today, much of it is overgrown, rundown and derelict. Statues are minus heads and arms; tombstones are cracked or broken; headstones have toppled over, and many are overgrown with ivy and holly. In the spring, the woodlands which hide the graves are awash with wildflowers - Daffodils, Bluebells and Cow Parsley. And there lies the absolute charm of this place!

Small pockets of the cemetery have been restored, but vast amounts remain derelict and covered in undergrowth. There are some walking paths criss-crossing the 52 acre site; some are paved and suitable for wheelchairs; others are dirt tracks. Off the beaten track the cemetery is an eerie, evocative and mysterious place. It’s not creepy or spooky by any means, though there are some reports of it being haunted. It’s closed at night!

The best approach is to get off the established paths and wander on the tracks into the undergrowth. You’ll see magnificent monuments, as well as a myriad of small headstones marking the common graves of the public. Read the headstones, as there are some extraordinary stories thereon.

From the main entrance on Linden Grove. a wide path lined with lime trees leads to a ruins of Gothic-style funerary chapel, the Anglican Chapel, roofless since World War Two. At the far end of the cemetery, near the Limesford Road entrance, there are a number of graves from World Wars One and Two. There’s very few notables buried here; however, the ‘Friends of Nunhead Cemetery’ website has some guidelines on how you can trace a grave location if any of your ancestors are buried here! The cemetery is still in use, though its limited to family burials in established graves.

It’s a sad place for sure, but unfortunately not always peaceful as its used by many joggers and dog-walkers.

Here’s a few practicalities to help with your visit.

1. The cemetery is in the London Borough of Southwark, Zone 2, and the rail station of Nunhead is a short walk away. Trains to Nunhead run from London Victoria and London Blackfriars.
2. The cemetery is open from 08:30 until 16:00 in the winter months, extending until 19:00 at the height of summer.
3. There are no toilet facilities in the grounds, nor any facilities for the purchase of food and drinks.
4. The ‘Friends of Nunhead Cemetery’ conduct guided tours on the last Sunday of every month. Check their website for details.
5. It’s a photographers’ paradise, and warrants more than a half hour stroll. Indeed, at a high point in the grounds of the cemetery you will get a fantastic view of the London skyline, with St Paul's Cathedral the main visible point!

Enjoy your visit!

Date of experience: April 2017
11  Thank 997briant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2017 via mobile

I discovered this Cemetery about 10 years ago while visiting an old aunt who lived nearby.
It's beautiful!
So peaceful and relaxing strolling amongst the Angels, Baby Cherubs complete with harps which loom up out out of the overgrown trees and shrubs.
Time has removed some of the names and some of the headstones have sunken low into the earth but it adds to the natural beauty of this Cemetery.
Bright green parrots weave in and out of the trees and I have also seen a few owls in the evening.
I think a few hours here offers the best therapy for inner city living possible and is perfect for moments of reflection.

Date of experience: February 2017
3  Thank susie1717m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2016 via mobile

We had a lovely walk here. Some very interesting graves and buildings. Lots of dogs and wild life.you can hear and see the parakeets

Date of experience: October 2016
2  Thank Cathy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 August 2016

I didn't believe my eyes how that cemetery was handsome, you can spend severals hours into that little forest, History is there!

Date of experience: July 2016
1  Thank Mathieulomb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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