London, it has been said many a time, is full of surprises. By just taking a walk with a camera you can fill a whole day and stumble upon many oddities. With the need to escape the house and get some fresh air we left our little flat in Tottenham and walked down to Stoke Newington.

A walk through London can sometime leave you feeling as though you’ve walked into another country. One second you’ll be surrounded by hipster cafés with bearded men sitting in front of their Macbooks, the other you’ll be walking past butchers proudly serving Halal meat. The areas change with each street.

Sometimes you’ll find a hidden gem of a place be it a restaurant, coffee shop or, as in this instance, a cemetery.

Abney Park Cemetery

Now bear with me, I’m sure many of you will be wondering how a cemetery is a hidden gem. But if you think about it there’s many a cemetery that’s become a bit of a tourist attraction, and not just because famous people are buried there as is the case with Pere Lachaise in Paris.

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The graves in Abney Park Cemetery are hundreds of years old, they’re huge and pretty impressive. It reminded me of La Recoleta cemetery in Buenos Aires which also has huge tombs; some of which I’m sure are as big as flats in London.

With cemeteries I like to wander about and find the oldest tombstone. I like to read how old, or young, the people were. I promise it’s not that morbid really.

Abney Park Cemetery is also a nature reserve which means there’s plenty of overgrown trees and flowers shouting up to say hello to spring. For two country bumpkins its the perfect escape from London’s fast cars and traffic.

In the middle of the cemetery there’s an old church. I’m unsure as to whether you can technically call it a church. It was built solely for funeral services and therefore didn’t associate itself with any religious denomination. It’s a shame it’s no longer safe to walk inside. Definitely a building Grand Designs, or something similar, should fix up.

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Next time you’re in Stoke Newington and want a little escapism then visit Abney Park Cemetery for a stroll and forget the face paced and often stressful nature of our capital.

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