Blog: Arnos Vale Cemetery

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Hello, I’m Janine Mariott and I’m the Public Engagement Manager at Arnos Vale Cemetery where I organise all the tours on-site in the cemetery. 

Arnos Vale is a beautiful Victorian Garden Cemetery, a listed landscape, a nature reserve, and a community venue. It is a place of love, remembrance, and joy and I love sharing it with all our wonderful visitors. Many people have been coming for years to enjoy walks and listen to the birds or read the stones – a tour gives an extra dimension and tells our visitors things they might not have spotted.

I love to take a break from the computer and take a wander into Coombe Bottom in the cemetery: it’s a lovely wooded part of the site and you can hear the woodpeckers, listen to the trees and take a break from the world.

I’ve worked in the cemetery for over 10 years and I never get bored of its beauty. I spot new graves every time I walk around its 45 acres.  I love dreaming up new tours, finding out new stories and improving my wildlife knowledge.

One of the great things about working in the cemetery is that I get to share it with others and point out fantastic features like the secret bird on one of our sculptures or tell people about the bats that roost under buildings. 

Photo credit: Bronwen Summerwill

When I walk around, I’ve always got a fully charged mobile phone, so I can snap things to share on the Arnos Vale Cemetery’s social media. I usually take water on a longer walk if I’m out and about.  

I’m really looking forward to this year’s Bristol Walk Fest. This year we have three different walks for people to try. Our Ceremonial Way Tour (19th May) is great for people with limited mobility or those who need frequent rests. It takes in some of our most amazing memorials including the amazing chattri of Rajah Rammohan Roy. This tour also stops at some of the beautiful, listed buildings on site which are all in the style of Ancient Greek temples.  

We are also encouraging visitors to take a closer look at the carvings on our beautiful memorials on our Splendid Sculpture Tour (4th May). Did you know the Victorians had a whole language they would communicate with flowers? Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a cherub, an angel and a weeping woman? Well, this tour will tell you…

For the more able walker, we have our Boundaries Tour (18th May) which skirts the edge of the cemetery, taking in paths not often travelled. The guide will share some cemetery stories, but the focus is on the walk. People on this tour will get a good workout on our steep slopes and paths!

After all that exertion, our visitors can grab a delicious coffee, tasty cake or a cooling drink in the café at the Spielman Centre. There is always something new to discover in the cemetery and we are excited to be part of the festival again.

Take a look at Arnos Vale Cemetery’s provider page here.

Fri 19 April 2024
Last Updated
Wed 10 April 2024