Brookwood Cemetery

Brookwood Cemetery, Woking

Brookwood Cemetery
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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166 reviews
Very good

London, UK186 contributions
Aug 2020
We live nearby but never tire of walks around the cemetery. If you haven't visited then make a point of going. There's history, quirky stuff and a lovely glade at the back of the site. Woking are making it more tourist friendly, let's hope that is done sensitively.
Written August 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Scott W
84 contributions
May 2017 • Friends
Huge cemetery with impressive and varied pine, cedar and deciduous trees. Various plots for different religions including Zoroastrian. Allow about 4 hours to walk around. There is also an American military cemetery and a large Commonwealth War Graves cemetery with plots for many different countries.

Easily reached by car or train, several road entrances. No toilet facilities.

The cemetery is owned by the local council and an extensive refurbishment is under way after various private owners failed to maintain it properly.

I have visited a few times in the past and encountered a number of unpleasant characters who appeared to be linked to the owners, as well as visitors in cars trying to discourage us from entering the Ismaili cemetery. On a few occasions there were people driving recklessly around on the pathways, stopping and staring at us then driving away. Did not see any of that today most likely due to the change in ownership. The frankly stupid ban on photography has also been scrapped as this was the genius brainchild of the previous owners.
Written May 13, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

London, UK296 contributions
Aug 2014 • Family
It's a sunny day in August, so where does your average mother head with her 7 and 9 year olds? A theme park? Not being your average mother, I headed to Brookwood Cemetery with mine! I hadn't visited for many years but had always meant to take them, as it is so beautiful, with so many different things to look at. Today being the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, which both have covered to varying extents at school, it seemed a fitting day to go specifically to the Military Cemetery part to see and reflect on the many graves there.

Over the coming four years I am expecting/hoping that they will continue to cover the First World War at school, so I wanted to spark some sort of understanding of the losses suffered. Brookwood comprises Second World War graves as well, and I wanted to just give them a sense that although hundreds of people are buried here, thousands more are buried in other war cemeteries on the continent and elsewhere. The many rows of white stones here are striking enough for them to take in at their age.

Was this a solemn, depressing visit? No, and I would highly recommend that any parent of age 7+ children who lives within travelling distance brings their children here at some point in the coming years. Old enough to have a basic understanding of the concept of death and loss (and having had appropriate lessons in school about this) and with a very basic knowledge of history, my children treated the visit with the seriousness and respect it deserved, with comments on the young age that many of the servicemen were, but they brought the element of enjoyment to it by working out what the engravings and shapes of the tombstones meant (Canadian? American? Jewish? Christian? RAF?), reading the inscriptions, and enjoying the wildlife. Statues and monuments were intriguing. The sprinklers keeping the grass of the American section green were admired and gave amusement!

The place is so incredibly peaceful (albeit with the odd express train zooming through Brookwood Station!) and strangely, not depressing - just calm and serene. A fitting place for so many to be laid to rest.

I remembered parking in Brookwood Station car park when I visited years ago, so parked there again. As I walked to the ticket machines a kind man who was leaving gave me his - very kind, as it turned out that in peak hours (up to 4pm, Mon to Fri) you can only buy an all day ticket, cost £8! Thank you that man! I believe there are other places to park around the cemetery precincts for free, but the website isn't entirely clear on this so we will have to hunt for these areas in future. I believe that on Saturdays and after 4pm on weekdays the charge is £2, and Sundays free. It would be really useful to have more info on parking on their website. The station car park had several spaces left, even on a weekday, so no problems actually finding a spot.

The station is a great place to park though, as I understand the stop was built for the purpose of serving the cemetery, so is right next to it. The entrance to the cemetery isn't well-signposted from the station car park, but you go through the ticket office and through a tunnel to the other side, where you emerge into the peace of Brookwood Cemetery immediately.

It is vast, and today we only did the Military part, passing the sumptuous Muslim section en route. To do this, turn right out of the tunnel. If you turn left, then there are acres of other beautiful graves across the site, and more across the Cemetery Pales road (as the road splits it in two). We must visit these on another occasion, as I remember lots of interesting Victorian statues and memorials - very atmospheric amongst the woodland glades.

The signposting is virtually non-existent on the site, so I would recommend printing the basic map that is on their website off before visiting. The Military Cemetery has free guides to be taken as you enter, which help. If you were intending to visit the whole place and do it justice, it would easily take a full day.

Please note that is does say in their rules section on their website that no photos or video of any graves are to be taken without permission.

Going back to the children, I also need to say how much they appreciated the Muslim and Zoroastrian/Parsi sections which we passed en route to the Military part. Beautifully kept, with photos, interesting gravestones in the shape of temples/mosques and hearts, plus butterflies, wind chimes and flowers on the plots, these are very positive memorials and inspire interest rather than sadness. Even the beautiful plot of a 3 year old, with teddy and bird statues, did not dull their spirits; they saw it as a normal thing.

This is a very positive, calm and inspiring place to bring appropriately aged children, or to visit as an adult, and I would recommend it to anyone.
Written August 4, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

James M
Woking, UK341 contributions
Jun 2020
Having been to Highgate cemetry and read other reviews of this place my hopes were perhaps set a little too high. It was a nice place for a new walk during lock down but it's not super exciting I am afraid. Some vaguely famous people buried here - some nice parts to walk through, but also some of it is pretty dull uniform rows of graves. Some rather ghoulish folk keen on taking photos for reasons best known to themselves and also a family seemingly oblivious to the sombre nature of the place were having a game of football there too.
Written August 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Terry G
1 contribution
Jun 2017 • Couples
we travelled up from Rye East Sussex via M25 A3 used sat nav for such an important site there was no signage on the roads after the A3 doubt i would have found it with out the sat nav even with it, it was very difficult,highways put up some directions,once we found it we parked in the cemetery i did not know the cemetery is cut in half by a road Cemetery Pales,we walked around in circle just following the road and and came back to where we started,although lots graves and stones i suspect many have been cleared so there are large areas with just trees,but what beautiful trees,there are also mausoleums standing alone like little houses,some are just bricked up with breeze blocks what a shame for once beautiful buildings,we crossed the road and walked around that part,we found the military,war graves,which are beautifully kept,there was an exhibition,well worth the time and effort getting there the trees and grounds are well kept considering the size,allow at least thee or four hours to walk around,a map would have been useful there were none on sale at the exhibition,and directions for the toilet,no photography allowed.not risky,
Written June 15, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Woking, UK52 contributions
Jan 2019 • Solo
Had a great day out with the kids in Brookwood Cemetary. They wanted to go to Legoland but this was definitely a better choice. We saw the graves, the train station, and the graves.
Written January 2, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

United Kingdom242 contributions
Dec 2017 • Family
This place is full of history and a joy to wander round, regardless of whether you have a loved one buried there. The grounds are very well maintained, varied and extremely interesting. Visit both sides of Cemetery Pales to see everything.
Written December 22, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

John R
Woking, UK15 contributions
Mar 2017 • Friends
A fascinating place. There is a military cemetery with many nationalities areas and a public area. It is huge A fascinating walking area and well worth a visit. Not depressing but uplifting . The military areas are beautifully maintained and the public areas are huge and sprawling but full of remarkable headstones with many gems of inscriptions. Strongly recommended for a walk with a difference
Written April 12, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

UK46 contributions
Aug 2012 • Couples
I visited here for two reasons:

Firstly, I had read about the cemetery and how spiritually enlightening this place could be. I was also impressed by its historical significance. Its pages on the Woking Borough council website describe it (very) briefly - "Built to receive London's dead, Brookwood Cemetery opened in 1854 and is the largest privately owned burial ground in Britain. It has a substantial Victorian Section, which contains many remarkable Victorian memorials and graves. It also contains the largest military cemeteries in the country including the World War One American cemetery, the oldest Muslim cemetery and the unique Zoroastrian burial ground".

I wanted to see and feel some of this history

My second reason to visit: while I was reading some historical stuff, I realised that the graves of two very significant British Muslim personalities Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall and Abdullah Yusuf Ali are located here. Both these men were scholars of Islam who understood and lived within British contexts. Pickthall was a convert to Islam, Yusuf Ali had migrated here - both translated the Quran into English. After visiting, I also learnt that Abdullah Quilliam, another historical Muslim convert is buried here.

Anyway these were my reasons to visit. I visited Woking especially to visit the cemetery and it was an amazing place.

The war memorials were stark - the graves of dead soldiers were in straight lines and without frills or fancies - disciplined and heroic both in life and death.

The Zorastrian burial ground had very imposing structures - insights into a different culture and community.

Finally in the Muslim section (which according to history books is the oldest in England), I found the graves of the two men I had been reading about .... and so I paid my respects, said a few prayers and left some flowers.

This is a though-provoking and sensitive place. This is emphatically NOT a touristy-type destination, but definitely is a place to visit. It is a place of serenity and sobriety, insight and reflection - a reminder of the final worldly destination that we will all one day visit irrespective of our colour, class, religion, who we are, what we do or how much we earn. This is ultimate commonality that we all share. This, as well as the calmness that I experienced in the cemetery, indicated to me the magnanimity of death. I realised death is not something that horrible rather it is the bringing together of people and souls into the common reality of humankind.

Any visit to this cemetery must recognise this aspect and visitors WILL HAVE to be respectful and sensitive. Furthermore, this is a working cemetery and occasionally you come across people who are mourning for their loved ones who have recently passed away.

I guess I came as a slightly different person – who is now more aware and more reflective.
Note to Muslim travellers and history lovers: Woking is historical bedrock of British Islam. If visiting the cemetery, do visit the Shah Jahan Mosque or Woking Mosque - Britain's first purpose built mosque. This place has its amazing history, pretty architecture and tiny but lovely gardens.
Written January 30, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Reading, UK2 contributions
Aug 2012 • Solo
Brookwood cemetery is a very interesting place, and also quite odd as well.

Getting there is easy - Brockwood train station has an exit directly onto the cemetery or you

can drive to the road that bisects the cemetery, Cemetery Pales.

There are three seperate locations over which the cemetery is spread. The area north of

Cemetery Pales is split into two parts, the west is a large military cemetery operated by the

War Graves comission and the east is a large civilian cemetery run by Brookwood cemetery.

South of Cemetery Pales is a vast cilvilian cemetery run by Brookwood cemetery.

Visually The most interesting areas are the immaculately kept military cemetery with its rows

of small white crosses and large monuments, the large mauseleums dotted around the south west

quarter, and the Zoroastrian area just north of the American military cemetery.

It has to be said that whilst the cemetery is a vast area of lawns and small woods which is

generally tranquil and very quiet, there are a few less pleasant encounters to be had. A man

of middle eastern appearance was driving recklessley around the internal tracks of the

cemetery, he had a small child with him in the car. the first time I saw him he sped past with

the engine roaring along an unmade track, screeched to a halt, reversed at speed and then

turned and made off in another direction with a wheelspin. He was driving extremely

dangerously, and would not have been able to stop if someone had walked out in front of him

which could well happen as there are many places where people following paths could appear

from behind treess next to the road. What was really odd was that he appeared first in a

silver BMW and then again later in a blue BMW and it was definitely the same person (or a close relative). In my opinion he was probably working for the owners in which case he should know better than to tear around like a reckless idiot. He performed the same manonouvre in various places around the cemetery.

On the same visit I came across a monastic enclosure where a large pitbull type dog ran after

me (I didn't enter the enclosure) although it was actually quite friendly. It was owned by a

monk who lived in the monestery. Although he was friendly you have to wonder what sort of

character keeps an agressive dog in their monestery...

On a previous visit a man and woman in a large black Lexus type car confronted me because I

was carrying a camera bag. I explained that I had brought a camera but realised that

photography was not permitted (we'll get to that in a momenent) so wasn't going to use it.

They insisted that I left it in the car and I explained that I was not going to do that

becuase it might get stolen. They said it wouldn't - were they going to sit there and guard

it for me or something? They didn't identify themselves and although not rude or agressive

they were not friendly or polite either. Later I discovered it was the owner - if he had had

the common sense and courtesy to introduce himself or made an effort to be friendly our conversation would have been polite and respectful.

Photography is not permitted without a permit and there are signs explaining this at all the

entrances EXCEPT if you enter from the military cemetery. It's important to note that the military

cemetery is nothing to do with the owners of Brookwood cemetery and photography is permitted

there. The cemetery is private land and UK law states that the owner of the land can set

conditions of entry meaning that if you have been made aware of any 'rules' and you break them

you are committing trespass. The owner can ask you to leave and can use reasonable force to

enforce this. However they cannot conviscate property, question you, ask you to delete

photographs etc. Even a police officer cannot ask you to delete images that you have taken or

conviscate property unless he believes it is, has been or will be used to commit an offence so

clearly the owners cannot.

Brookwood cemetery is a very interesting and tranquil place but keep an eye out for unsavoury characters!
Written August 21, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Brookwood Cemetery

Brookwood Cemetery is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM