In January, I decided to take off all the Mondays so that I would have a much happier start to the year. My ambition was to do something productive during my extended weekends as part of my year of learning and developing. One thing on my list of sights to see around South London that I wanted to tick off was visiting Nunhead Cemetery.
Nunhead Cemetary is one of the Seven Magnificent Victorian cemeteries in London and also apparently the least famous of them. To be fair, the only one of the seven I knew about was Highgate because of my fascination with Karl Marx. The other’s I could not tell you off the top of my head.
I was walking on from Telegraph Hill meaning that it wasn’t too far but damn the roads are steep around there. My fitbit calculated that I climbed 30 floors that day.
Visiting the cemetery was humbling, they usually are. A lot of the headstones are centuries old making you think about the fact that this was all that was left of their legacy if, like me, they were the average Joe. It was a rainy day when I went which I didn’t mind too much. People go there to job, take their dogs for a walk or generally explore.
My walk around reminded me of the time when I was a kid and visited a cemetery with my religious father to pray for the dead who may not have had people to pray for them. In Islam, it is believed that the after-life starts soon after you are buried. The way it was explained to me (so correct me if I am wrong, or don’t take this as a belief that applies to everyone!) was that if you were asked questions in the grave. If you passed the test and lived a good life you would rest peacefully until judgement day but if you were bad you would suffer in your grave.
Though I don’t follow a religion at the moment, the visit did make me think about the things I was taught about the afterlife growing up. It was a very deep moment for me.
Nunhead Cemetery is 52 acres big and is now a Local Nature Reserve. Honestly, I didn’t walk too far into it because I was alone and I didn’t want to get lost in a graveyard. I recommend this place if you’re looking for a peaceful walk and want to take some good photographs. You should also hit up Telegraph Hill before hand to get scenic views of London.