What to do with ashes

When it comes to talking to friends and family about our own funerals, letting them know whether we prefer burial or cremation is usually the first and easiest thing to talk about with them*. But if, like the majority of Brits, you want to be cremated, have you told your loved ones what to do with your ashes?

What to do with ashes can often lead to great uncertainty, with one in ten people saying they couldn’t decide what to do with their loved ones ashes after arranging a cremation**. Below, we’ll talk through the options available to try and relieve some of the uncertainty, whilst also letting you know a few of the more unusual things people have chosen to do with ashes.

So what can be done with ashes?

Traditionally, ashes are either scattered in a garden of remembrance or a place of significance to the deceased, or taken home in an urn and placed on a mantelpiece. And while many people still choose to do this, it’s by no means the only option available.


You can choose to bury your loved ones ashes. This can be in a family plot in a cemetery or in a woodland setting or garden. This usually would happen on a different day to the funeral so many also arrange a gathering of loved ones to say a final farewell. The burial of ashes is also known as the interment of ashes.


One of the most common things people choose to do with ashes is to scatter them at the crematorium, or at a place that had special meaning for their loved one. This could be in their own garden or in public place, like a park or cliff top. There are a few guidelines for scattering ashes which you can read about here.


Another option with ashes is to keep them close by. As mentioned above they could be kept in an urn either in a house or garden, but there’s also a growing trend to put them into jewellery. Either in a locket or combined with glass crystals, this can be a really nice way of allowing multiple members of the family keep a loved one close by, as only a small amount of ashes are needed in the jewellery.

We have a carefully chosen range of caskets and urns for burial of ashes, containers for scattering ashes, and urns and keepsakes for keeping ashes at home. Find out more details.

A more unique choice?

Every person is unique, and so it may be that your loved one wanted something a bit different for their final wish. We surveyed our colleagues to find out some of the more unusual things people have done with their loved ones ashes, and here are the top 4:

  1. Inside the furnace of a steam train
  2. Inside a firework
  3. Creating a tattoo
  4. Scattering during a skydive

Whatever you choose to do with your loved ones ashes, we’re here to help and guide you through the options. Speak to your local funeral director, find out more information or download our memories brochure.

*According to our 2019 funeral trends report, 70% of UK adults have shared whether they want burial or cremation, ** and one in ten couldn't decide what to do with ashes.

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