20 memorable places to scatter ashes in England
Choosing the right place to scatter a loved one’s ashes is an incredibly difficult choice. If the deceased hasn’t specified where they would like to be scattered, then it is down to the remaining family and loved ones to decide where they should be laid to rest.
Perhaps your loved one specified the kind of place they would like to be laid to rest but didn’t choose a specific area. Deciding whether to scatter or keep the ashes is difficult enough. When you then have to choose a location, you might feel a little overwhelmed.
Where can you scatter ashes?
You can scatter ashes in many places throughout England. If you are in doubt about whether or not you can scatter ashes in a specific location, then simply asking the landowner for permission is often sufficient.
In general, you are fine to scatter ashes in public places like parks, woodlands and mountain tops, provided you do not cause a disturbance to other people enjoying the area.
Scattering ashes in nature is a popular choice, but you need to be aware of the impact it could have. Ashes can damage plant life if they are concentrated in a single area. This is why it is recommended that they are scattered over a larger area.
Do you need permission to scatter ashes?
You will need permission if you are planning to scatter ashes on private land. You can generally scatter ashes in National Parks, rivers, lakes and by the sea, provided you do not cause problems for other people around you.
If you want to place a plaque or memorial bench in the area, you will need to seek permission to do this. Some places have limits on the number of memorial benches they can accept, and others are happy for you to place a memorial bench, provided you cover all of the costs.
To ensure minimal disruption, keep the group of mourners small. You should also try to find a quiet and secluded spot to scatter the ashes. Scattering the ashes early in the morning should help to ensure you aren’t disturbing anyone.
Also, remember that the ashes will spread. If you’re scattering the ashes on a beach, be aware of windy conditions and other beach users. If there are people in the water, move away from them before scattering the ashes. You should also be aware of how the wind might carry the ashes.
Is it possible to split the ashes?
Yes, many people choose to scatter part of the ashes and hold on to the rest. You might have some of the ashes in an urn at home, or bury this in your local cemetery. Some people also commission artwork and keepsakes from portions of the ashes.
For example, you could create an ashes ring that will allow you to keep your loved one close by at all times. Just a teaspoon of ashes is needed to create most memorial jewellery and keepsakes. You could create pieces of jewellery for all of the family members that will be present when you scatter the ashes.
There is no religious or ethical reason why the ashes cannot be split up. It is down to the surviving family members to decide how they would like to manage this difficult choice.
Most popular places to scatter ashes
There are a few places that are commonly chosen as a place to scatter ashes. If you’re struggling for inspiration, think about the following categories. There might be a place that already stands out to you as the obvious choice.
- Private land. This could include your own garden or a local field. Remember that you will need to get permission from the landowner before doing this. And if you scatter the ashes in your own garden but sell your house later, you will not have any right to visit the site.
- Rivers, lakes, streams and the sea. Water burial is rarely an option, but scattering the ashes of a loved one in the sea or a body of water is an incredibly popular choice. If your loved one enjoyed fishing, they might want to be scattered at their favourite spot. The same goes for anyone who loves watersports or other outdoor pursuits.
- Mountains or hilltops. The process of climbing to the top of a hill to scatter the ashes can be incredibly cathartic. You may rely on the wind scattering the ashes once you get to the top, so you’ll need to plan your route carefully to avoid large crowds of people.
- Woodlands. If you want a quiet and secluded spot to lay your loved one to rest, a woodland area is incredibly popular. Perhaps your loved one had a favourite type of tree they would like to be scattered under?
- Churchyard or cemetery or crematorium. The easiest option is often to make use of the crematorium facilities. Many will have wooded areas, fields and private gardens where you can scatter the ashes in peace.
- Sporting venues. Another popular choice for scattering ashes is in sporting venues. This could include football grounds, golf clubs, cricket clubs, tennis courts and more. You would have to seek permission from the ground owners before doing this. Never attempt to scatter ashes on private property without permission.
20 memorable places to scatter ashes in England
If you’re still looking for inspiration on where to scatter ashes throughout the UK, consider the following popular spots. There is a mix of National Parks, beaches, woodland areas and unexpected locations that you should consider.
These places will all provide a perfect resting place for your loved one, and will also bring additional comfort to those they leave behind. You’ll always have a beautiful spot to visit where you can enjoy a quiet moment of reflection.
Lake Windermere - more info here
Heading to the largest lake in the Lake District is an incredibly popular choice for scattering ashes. It is beautiful all year round and it won’t be difficult to find a quiet spot. You could also hire a boat and head out onto the lake if you want to scatter the ashes somewhere away from the shore. There are also plenty of hills and peaks nearby where you could find a secluded space.
The Lake District is a popular place to scatter ashes as it can be quite therapeutic to head into the countryside when you want to enjoy a moment of reflection.
Coniston Water - more info here
The third-largest lake in the Lake District is another popular spot for scattering ashes. You’ll be surrounded by dramatic scenery which looks beautiful all year round.
Coniston is easily accessible by car and there are multiple car parks to begin your walk. A circular path runs around the lake with plenty of access to the water’s edge. This will provide the perfect way to scatter the ashes in peace.
River Mersey - more info here
Taking a ferry across the Mersey and scattering the ashes of a loved one is an incredibly popular choice. This is so popular that the ferry company will even assist in your plans. They recommend choosing a biodegradable water urn for the ashes as this will prevent the ashes from being caught in the wind.
You’ll have to book your place and there are only certain sailings that will allow you to scatter the ashes. During this special crossing, the captain stops the engines so that you have 3-5 minutes to scatter your ashes. The entire crossing takes around 50 minutes and everyone in your party will need a ticket to board.
River Avon - more info here
Another popular river location for scattering ashes is the River Avon. This beautiful location is best accessed from Stratford Upon Avon. The River Avon is calm going through the town but soon turns into fast-flowing water. This flows into the Severn and then out to see.
Special cruises are available to allow you to scatter the ashes in peace. You could also find a secluded spot by the side of the river and scatter the ashes in your own time. The River Avon is a perfect beauty spot that will provide a calm and serene space to return to when you want to spend some time remembering your loved one.
New Forest - more info here
The New Forest in Somerset is another common spot to scatter ashes. This sprawling forest area offers plenty of spots to scatter ashes in peace. This mystic and ancient woodland offer a uniquely spiritual location to lay your loved one to rest.
The New Forest is home to many ancient oak trees, and these are a common choice for scattering ashes. You might even be joined by one of the famous New Forest ponies which roam freely throughout the area.
Dartmoor - more info here
The Dartmoor National Park offers plenty of secluded and private spots to scatter the ashes of a loved one. Located in the Southwest of England, this vast moorland provides plenty of trails and ancient stone circles.
For those living in the Southwest of England, this could provide the perfect place to put a loved one to rest, and it would give surviving family and friends a beautiful place to visit long after they are gone. If your loved one enjoyed long walks and getting lost in the beauty of nature, this is the perfect spot.
Yorkshire Dales - more info here
For drama and stunning scenery, it doesn’t get much better than the Yorkshire Dales. These famously barren looking moorlands are dotted with heather and seemingly harsh terrain. If you’re looking for a quiet spot you can walk to and enjoy a moment of peace, then the Yorkshire Dales will surely give you exactly what you’re after.
The Yorkshire Dales is a popular spot for fans of classic literature such as Jane Eyre. Horror movie fans will also know it as the site of the American Werewolf in London opening scenes. But for those hailing from Yorkshire, the Dales is simply a site of natural wonder and great comfort.
Ingleton Falls, North Yorkshire - more info here
If you’re looking for a more specific location to scatter ashes, why not consider a site like Ingleton Falls? Ingleton is the site of a stunning waterfall trail with two rivers offering multiple water features. Ingleton Falls is the main attraction, but other sites could offer the perfect spot for scattering your loved one’s ashes.
Ingleton Falls is easily accessible by car, but the site is very popular year-round. You may have to head off the beaten track to find a quiet spot to say your goodbyes, or you could try heading out early in the morning to beat the crowds.
Hatfield Forest - more info here
Hatfield Forest is a National Trust property in Essex. It offers a mixture of woodland and plains with plenty of Mediaeval sites of interest. The forest was once a royal hunting forest and plenty of wildlife can still be seen in the area today.
You’ll have to follow the National Trust rules for scattering ashes on the property. This typically means that the ashes should not be visible to other park users. To achieve this, you should scatter them over a wide area, or consider a biodegradable urn that you can bury in an inconspicuous spot.
Brighton Beach - more info here
Residents of the South Coast of England are likely familiar with Brighton beach, which is a rocky stretch of coast punctuated by piers. This is a popular spot with Brighton residents and with London residents. The beach is typically very quiet in the morning, which means you could find a secluded and private spot to scatter the ashes before the crowds start to arrive.
Brighton beach is a beautiful location with gentle waves in summer and more dramatic coastal scenes in the winter. It provides a perfect spot to put a loved one to rest and offer significant comfort to those left behind.
Newquay Beach - more info here
Another popular coastal location is Newquay beach. This spot is famous for attracting surfers from around the country, but it is also an ideal place to scatter the ashes of anyone who loved to be close to the sea.
As the beach is popular with surfers all year round, you may need to plan ahead and be willing to walk a little to be able to find a secluded spot to scatter the ashes. Alternatively, you could use a biodegradable water urn to cast your loved one’s ashes into the sea.
Bournemouth Beach - more info here
Another beautiful stretch of coastal scenery on the south coast is Bournemouth beach. This expansive beach is sure to provide the perfect spot for a quiet moment of reflection as you say your goodbyes. This beach is beautiful year-round, so you’ll be able to say goodbye in all seasons.
This beach is easily accessible by road or public transport, so you’ll be able to return to the spot time and time again when you need a moment of reflection.
Robin Hood’s Bay - more info here
Heading North, Robin Hood’s Bay is a popular choice for Yorkshire residents looking to scatter the ashes of a loved one. The large expansive beach offers the ideal place to find a quiet spot to say your goodbyes.
This popular tourist destination is typically busy year-round, so you may need to get an early start to find a quiet spot where you aren’t at risk of disturbing anyone. An alternative would be to take the coastal walk between Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay and choose a spot along the route to scatter the ashes.
Porthcurno Beach - more info here
Cornwall is home to plenty of beautiful coastlines, but none will make you feel like you’ve been transported away quite like Porthcurno Beach. The beach is accessible by coastal paths from both directions, so it might not be ideal for those with mobility issues.
This is a popular spot all year round, so expect to get an early start to scatter the ashes if you want to find a quiet moment alone.
England football clubs - more info here
If you are saying goodbye to an avid football fan, then their local football club might be just the spot to scatter their ashes. You won’t be able to sneak their ashes in during a game, but you may be able to get permission from the club owner to scatter the ashes another time.
Every club will have different rules about when and where you can scatter the ashes, so you’ll have to make arrangements before going ahead.
At a festival - more info here
Sneaking a loved one’s ashes into a festival might not be the best idea, not least because of how busy the festival site will be. But outside of the usual festival time, you might be able to get permission to scatter the ashes on the land. This is the ideal choice for saying goodbye to a music lover.
The Soulton Long Barrow - more info here
The Soulton Long Barrow is in Shropshire and is a modern memorial that contains hundreds of memorial urns. You can purchase the lease of a niche, which are all renewable and can be passed down through generations. This spiritual site offers the perfect chance to say goodbye in peaceful and serene surroundings.
Hardraw Force - more info here
This stunning waterfall is based on private land, so you’ll have to pay a small fee for entry to the site. The waterfall is the largest single drop waterfall in the UK, with a 100-foot drop to the bottom. It’s the perfect spot to get swept up in the scenery and say your final goodbyes to the background noise of crashing water.
The River Thames - more info here
Non-London-dwellers might turn their nose up at the river, but true Londoners will appreciate the opportunity to be put to rest in this world-famous river. There are plenty of spots along the river where you can enjoy a quiet moment alone. Henley-on-Thames would be an ideal spot for anyone interested in rowing.
Hebden Bridge - more info here
Outcasts have been flocking to Hebden Bridge for generations, which is why it is such a popular spot for scattering ashes. Head up to the St Thomas The Apostle Church in Heptonstall to find a stunning churchyard where Sylvia Plath was put to rest. You’ll enjoy beautiful views of Hebden Bridge below as you say your final goodbyes.