Skip to main content

Hidden Gem: Abney Park

By Anthony Hughes
18 August 2020

By Anthony Hughes

Yes, I know, visiting a graveyard on a sunny day off is not many people’s idea of fun but I humbly submit that this one is different. One of the so-called ‘Magnificent Seven’ garden cemeteries of London, Abney Park is a hidden gem in the truest sense of the word, in that you could quite happily walk past large parts of it for years and never even know it was there. 

It’s a non-denominational graveyard which makes it a wonderful hotchpotch of elaborate and ornate, mostly gothic style graves. It’s also enormous, or at least it feels that way. Charmingly overgrown, with trails that lead off into the undergrowth in all directions, you can feel like an urban Indiana Jones stumbling across some ancient beautiful grave deep in the woods. 

Because not many people know it’s there, its deceptively large size (and the fact that graveyards don’t tend to hold mass destination appeal), it’s an odd haven of peace and calm in the middle of a busy part of London. They also hold events there – for example a ‘walking’ theatre production of Hound of the Baskervilles (at night), where different scenes took place in different spots in the around the park. Ok I admit that was a bit spooky. Well worth a visit if you have a spare few hours for an idle wander.