Cycling the Magnificent Seven Cemeteries

The ‘Magnificent Seven’ are seven large Victorian cemeteries in London town. They were run by private companies into the C20th, where they basically all realised that sustainable profits from cemeteries were a bit tricky. So they were typically abandoned and then taken over by local authorities.

Google’s hopelessly optimistic about how long this 37 mile trip takes. But then Google doesn’t add time for wandering around looking at gravestones, or grabbing sandwiches and lunchtime beers. So fair enough.

Map of route

We began at the lovely Abney Park…and sugar-loaded with churros from El Olivo…

Another dead cyclist in LondonAbney Park…then on to Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park…

Tower Hamlets

…a long stretch to Nunhead Cemetery…which is beautiful, has a view to St Paul’s, is near to The Beer Shop and Bambuni for really excellent beer and sandwiches respectively, AND has a wonderful gravestone for Private W.A. Ridout of the Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion…

Nunhead!   Private W.A. Ridout

…then a short hop to West Norwood Cemetery… (nearby, the Blackbird Bakery served good cake)…


…and back across the river to Brompton Cemetery…which was a bit disappointing, or I was experiencing cemetery overload, and by far the busiest we saw…

Straight outta brompton

…before arriving slightly too late to Kensal Green…(which shut before its advertised time, boo)…

Kensal Green!

…and so finally completing the Seven about two months later, cos Highgate’s opening hours aren’t great. It’s also the only one you have to pay for…Marx was rolling in his Highgate grave. Patrick Caulfield’s gravestone was particularly notable…

Highgate Cemetery (West)Patrick Caulfield's gravestone in Highgate Cemetery

Done. Next stop, Père Lachaise



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