I went to Malaga for my holidays last year. Half way through my daughter sent me a text, asking what I’d been doing during the day. ‘And don’t tell me you visited a graveyard,’ she added.  Busted!  She knew me too well – I’d spent that morning wandering round the English Cemetery on the edge of the city. And a fascinating time I had, too.

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Traditionally decorated graves in Malaga, Spain. They use cockle shells. And why not?




I love graveyards. I like walking between the rows of long dead (and not so long dead) people, reading their epitaphs and seeing the different shapes and designs of the headstones.

Here’s one in Nottinghamshire from someone killed in the Charge of the Light Brigade.

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William Bacon was a private in the 17th Lancers. He died, alongside his brother-in-law, George Broome. I like the fact that the headstone includes two verses from Tennyson’s epic poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade. It must have cost a huge amount of money for the Bacon family to have engraved.


Two of my favourite children’s books are set in graveyards. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and Johnny and the Dead by Terry Pratchett. Gaiman’s story is much darker and more menacing than Pratchett’s but riveting none the less.  I highly recommend both for 9+.




The Graveyard Book




Johnny and the Dead




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