When the life of a loved one has come to an end, its time to lay the remains to rest with respect and dignity. Many people opt for cremation which is cheaper and more efficient than burial. It also gives you more options in terms of where you choose to be the deceased person’s final resting place. The UK is full of beautiful locations and scattering ashes is allowed just about anywhere, within reason.
Perhaps scattering ashes at sea is your preference, which is a much simpler task than a burial at sea. Or maybe you’d like to leave the remains in one of the UK’s incredible beauty spots. It’s a matter for the whole family to agree upon, taking the deceased person’s wishes into account, but here are 5 of the best locations for scattering ashes.
Where are you Allowed to Scatter Ashes in the UK?
In the UK, it’s legal to scatter ashes anywhere, so long as you have the permission of the landowner. Ashes are biodegradable and don’t leave much of a mess, so you shouldn’t run into any problems. However, if you are caught scattering ashes on someone’s land without their permission, you could get into trouble. So inform the landowner beforehand to avoid any disputes. When scattering ashes at sea, do it far from any ports or swimming locations and make sure no harmful products are thrown into the waters with the ashes.
We’re a nation of sailors, so scattering ashes at sea is a dream for many, especially those who live on the coast. Land’s End has an almost spiritual reputation. Famous for its pirates and poets, Land’s End represents the British sense of identity as an island nation. The imagery of your loved one’s remains lapping against this island nation for the rest of time is a beautiful one, matched only by the natural beauty of Land’s End itself.
Remember, though, this is a very touristy location. You don’t want to be scattering ashes near other people. Therefore, you should hike a few kilometers away from the famous Land’s End signpost. Find a secluded spot where the ashes won’t float into a port or a place where people swim. It’s also important to remember to only put ashes in and not anything plastic such as a wreath that could harm the sea life.
If your deceased loved one was a fan of the countryside, then few places are as spectacular and enticing as the Lake District. It’s the UK’s largest national park, home to England’s highest mountain and largest lake. If you’re looking to get away from the crowds, then this is your best bet.
Another advantage of the Lake District is that you have the right to roam. This means that there’s no need to get any landowners’ permission to camp there and the same goes for scattering ashes. As long as you’re respectful and don’t disturb the countryside, then you won’t have any problems. You could scatter the ashes into Lake Windermere or at the top of Scafell Pike.
Many people choose to scatter ashes in a graveyard. This makes sense because the land is consecrated, which is the preference for religious people. Furthermore, its easy to get the permission of the church. They’re used to scattering ashes and will organise a ceremony for you. If you don’t want to risk any trouble, then scattering ashes in a graveyard makes perfect sense.
You then just need to choose the graveyard and where better than London’s Necropolis? This is the UK’s largest graveyard, home to more than 250,000 graves. It was once the world’s largest cemetery, making it a renowned location to lay your loved one to rest. If the deceased was a Londoner and more of a city person than a nature lover, then this may be the perfect location to be their final resting place.
The New Forest in Hampshire is one of England’s most mystical and ancient locations. Scattering ashes is a uniquely spiritual experience, even if you don’t believe in an afterlife. It, therefore, makes sense to find a location that can provide an appropriate atmosphere. If your loved one was a lover of woodland and ancient history, then the New Forest gives you the opportunity to head deep into the woods.
Find a suitable oak tree and feed the ashes to its roots. Oak trees easily live for hundreds of years giving you a real sense of history. Choose an old enough oak and you’ll be scattering the ashes of a loved one next to a tree that was once passed by William the Conqueror as he rode through the forest on horseback. Now your friend or loved one is a part of the New Forest, as they shall remain for the rest of time.
You can do this alone but there are also companies that will help you to scatter ashes in the New Forest respectfully, so if in doubt, search online for an organisation that can help you with the planning and execution of the scattering service.
Much like the Peak District, there’s something magical about Snowdonia. If the person who has passed away is of Welsh heritage, then nothing beats a hike into the remote mountains of Snowdonia to scatter their ashes. This is a truly beautiful way for family and friends to bond and say goodbye to their loved one. Knowing that you’ve left them to rest in such a spectacularly beautiful location is bound to bring you pride, as well as a few tears.
However, the summit of Mount Snowdon is covered in ashes and mourners have been urged not to leave any more there. You should instead hike somewhere more remote and leave the ashes in their own unique location. This goes for all the places on this list. Remember to be respectful of other visitors to the area.
Wherever the scattering of ashes takes place, this is an important moment for you and your family. Laying a person to rest is a permanent decision, so it’s worth thinking about the right location. Make sure you have permission to scatter the ashes where you do and that no one is negatively affected. If in doubt, there are ashes scattering services that can help you leave your loved one to rest with respect and dignity.