‘Can the dead enjoy a view? If so, those buried in the churchyard of St Mary The Virgin have the best in England. Climb the 199 steps, which Dracula bounded up in the form of a black dog, to take in this clifftop graveyard which overlooks the red tiles of the town and the sea beyond. It’s best enjoyed by the rose light of sunset, although the church itself is wonderful on a bright Sunday morning with bells ringing out on the breeze.’
So it’s 2023, and spooky season is finally upon us, but not everyone wants to go trick or treatin’ to get themselves in the mood. Some of us are darker. We have more depth. We enjoy the scary season by strolling through graveyards and thinking about life.
Well, if you’re the graveyard type, we’ve got some good news. Here at Time Out, we know some people. And one of them is author and rambler Peter Ross, who tours the UK’s most scenic graveyards, honing in on the ‘stories and glories’ of the ordinary folk buried beneath the tombstones to find out more about Britain’s history.
In ‘A Tomb With a View’, Ross tours the United Kingdom’s most scenic graveyards, homing in on the ‘stories and glories’ of the ordinary folk buried beneath the tombstones, with the aim of using cemeteries as a way to better understand Britain. In this way, the book could be used as a travel guide of sorts; a funereal path across the country’s recent history.
We asked Ross to pick out five cemeteries across the UK that will win visitors over to the idea that burial grounds can be both beautiful and celebratory places. ‘I hope that, despite the subject matter, people actually feel uplifted,’ he says. Tick them all off, and don’t forget to visit respectfully.