West Norwood, London, England

Happy Pancake Day everyone! I, for one, will be stuffing my face with pancakes this evening and later this week I’ll bring a bit more about the history of Pancake Day and some tasty pancake recipes. But back down to business: I am a big fan of South East London. It’s not filled with celebrity homes or popular with tourists but I love living here. Perhaps I’ve finally converted Sam from his North London ways. One of the deceptive things about SE London is that since the Tube doesn’t have amazing coverage around here you think everything is really far apart. However, in reality, you can have some amazing walks in the area and get places quite quickly!
West Norwood Cemetery is smack dab in the ease of walking range. Last fall, I went on a tour ofΒ Highgate Cemetery, which is one of the 7 famous Victorian cemeteries in London. Death was such an important part of Victorian life and morals and you can a real sense of time and values by walking through Highgate. Or in this case West Norwood. (Also weirdly, I have the new goal of wanting to visit all 7. So far I’ve done Highgate, Brompton and West Norwood.)
west norwood park
West Norwood Park with the city in the distance.
west norwood park
victorian london off the beaten path
victorian london off the beaten path



I’ve always been very fascinated by Victorians and it’s really interesting to get a peak into their mentality in any way possible. Death was so ritualised for them, with so many intricacies. But now you know that I have macabre interests and this is one of them.Β 
Do you have an era you’d love to explore further?Β 

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  • Omg, the view from West Norwood Park! Love it!

    • It’s gorgeous! Since it’s one of the highest points in London, instead of heading central for NYE, we headed to the park with bubbly and got to watch all the fireworks from afar! x

  • We had Bun Day here yesterday which is basically massive sized cream puffs with chocolate and jam. Love these food holidays!

  • West Norwood Park with the city in the distance is absolutely stunning! We will make sure to capture a sight of that soonish!

  • I am such a history dork that I got so excited at the picture of gravestones and then was like wait is that weird?! But I just love seeing those peeks into the past so much!

    • If it’s weird then I am weird too. The catacomb tours are pretty sweet, but not photographable. x

  • So I didn’t know there was a cemetery in West Norwood, but now I do I have to go there. Thanks for letting me in on the secret! x

  • Becky Mattox

    I was just thinking about pancakes yesterday haha…I think I’ll have to celebrate now! I love walking around small parks! And cemeteries, but only in the day time πŸ™‚

  • Wait, what? Pancake day? So, I’m supposed to be eating pancakes right now? This is blasphemy. Why am I not eating pancakes?! I have to say, cemetaries creep me out a little.

    • In England, instead of Mardi Gras there is Pancake Day. IE, a day to stuff your face with pancakes. Win! x

  • Yum, Shrove Tuesday pancakes … I think I will make some now!

    I love visiting old cemetaries, and have been to Highgate, but not Norwood … they can be so peaceful!

  • Those clouds are UN.REAL. Looks like it was a gorgeous (pancake!) day!

  • Rats, I totally missed celebrating pancake day! And I love love love that pic with all the clouds! Positively mesmerising!

  • Brooke Neal

    I love cemeteries! The epithets left by loved ones can be so moving! One of these days I will get into Northern England to do a Pride and Prejudice/Downton house tour. Love England!

    • A few years ago, I was very excited when I had the chance to visit Jane Austen’s grave and later her house. You’ll have to make sure to go to Bath as well! x

  • That picture of you walking by the gravestones near that big tree is eery! It looks like a scene from a movie. I would soooo walk through beautiful cemeteries in/near London!
    Oooooh Pancake Day is also known as Shrove Tuesday! I remember Shrove Tuesday from my catholic school days!

    • Yep! On Thursday I am writing a bit more about why America does Mardi Gras but England eats pancakes for Shrove Tuesday. It’s become fairly non-religious. People who aren’t Christian still eat/make pancakes. Because who doesn’t love the chance to eat pancakes for dinner! x

  • oh I love old cemeteries! so peaceful. we have a bunch of gravestone rubbings my mom did from old (well, by American standards) cemeteries in Connecticut. have you done that? you can make some really beautiful artwork from them!

    • I have some rubbings from historic ones in America but none here in England. Mine aren’t artistic at all, they just fulfil my history nerd cravings. When we did our tour of Highgate the guide recommended not leaving the paths in some Victorian Cemeteries because sometimes the graves were dug to house a whole family but only one person ended up being buried there which means there’s a very deep shaft with shallow (and brittled with age) covering over it. I now have terrible images of falling into graves in my mind now. It didn’t stop me from trying to get a closer look at Douglas Adams’ grave though. x

      • haha I think your definition of “artistic” might be classier than mine! I found one of my mom’s from decades ago in the basement and want to get it framed – that makes it art, right? πŸ™‚

  • Is it just me, or is that the (awk…) shard sticking up in the distance?

    • It is the Shard…To be honest, I hate the Shard. But that’s my own personal preference. Some people love it. x

  • Hmmm… I have never heard of pancake day. Is this a day set aside for eating pancakes? Because if so, I feel jipped that I had no clue such a holiday existed.

    • Instead of doing Mardi Gras and having crazy parties the UK eats pancakes! I’m writing a post about it on Thursday so check back later this week to learn a bit more. x

  • Pancake day! What! Now I need to get me some of those! I found your blog through Travel Tuesday and this is a great post. Travel usually involves places but I love how you incorporate traveling through eras too. I think that’s one of my favorite things about travel: the history! What a gorgeous cemetery (is that weird to say?).

  • Oh, I love the peace and beauty that can be found in cemetrys too – it’s probably a bit weird, but only if they suddenly turned into zombies…
    You may be interested in a friends blog – they are trying to visit as many of them as they can!

    • No, I don;t think that’s weird at all! I find cemeteries very beautiful! I’ve only given your friends blog a quick look, but it’s super interesting and I look forward to reading it more in depth later. Thank you for the great recommendation! x

  • Love the victorian era, my sons love picking up elements of it here in England too. Its great having so much history around to see. THank you for linking up for Travel Tuesday. x

    • Have the boys read any of the Famous Five books yet? They are like the boxcar children, meets the Hardy boys except very, very English! x