Where to scatter ashes in York

Scatter your loved one’s ashes at a meaningful place in York.

Enjoy a visit to the River Ouse, the Country Estates of the Howardian Hills, or the diverse landscape of Nidderdale to scatter your loved one’s ashes in a place that is special to them.

Scattering ashes in York

For many people, scattering ashes is a deeply personal moment. It can be a really meaningful way to say goodbye, and it’s important to take time to plan ahead and ensure you choose the right location for you and your loved one.

While some people choose to keep ashes at home in an urn, many people scatter ashes around natural beauty spots, usually places that have special memories attached to them. 

Scattering ashes is a great way of honouring your loved ones and in the UK people are generally allowed to scatter ashes anywhere. This can be along a river, in the sea, under a tree, at the beach or even on private land.

To scatter ashes in the sea or in a river then you do not need to have permission, but there are some guidelines to follow, and it’s recommended you seek advice from the environmental agency. For places inland it’s generally safe, but there are guidelines in place to protect nature and permission may need to be granted from the landowner. 

As York is surrounded by a few Areas of Natural Beauty, there are many places for families and friends to scatter ashes, from Nidderdale, to the Howardian Hills, and the River Ouse.

Find your funeral director in York who will help you arrange a cremation and give you ideas of a meaningful place to scatter your loved one's ashes.

You can scatter ashes anywhere in the UK if you have permission from the landowner

This means that if you own your own home and want to scatter your loved one’s ashes across the lawn or as part of a garden feature, you can do so without needing a permit.

If you wish to scatter ashes inland then you'll need to seek the landowners permission.

If you want to scatter the ashes at sea or over a river, you do not usually need to ask for permission – but it’s important to follow the Environment Agency’s guidance to help protect the local habitat.

You can find more information in our scattering ashes laws & regulations UK guide.

Howardian Hills

The Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is sandwiched between the North York Moors National Park, the Yorkshire Wolds, and the Vale of York, and covers 79 square miles of the North Yorkshire countryside. It is a captivating landscape with rolling countryside dotted with pasture and arable fields, picturesque villages, and country houses rich with history and classic parkland. It would be a beautiful place to scatter the ashes of a loved one.

The Howardian Hills can also be easily accessed from York, and its country estate woodlands and visitor attractions make it a great place to visit all year round. The bluebells are in bloom along the many woodland paths in spring, while the dragonflies and damselflies frequent the rivers Derwent and Rye in the summer, feeding over the water. The landscape transforms from green to orange and red in the autumn, and barren trees create a striking contrast to the snowy white hills in winter.

The landscape of the Howardian Hills has been transformed and shaped by the many Country Estates and their parklands and forests. There is an extensive network of footpaths and bridleways to help you navigate these areas.

We can help you arrange a direct cremation if you want to bury ashes at a later date

Everything can be handled online or over the phone, then we'll take care of the rest.


Nidderdale is another Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty in York, and is a diverse landscape rich with wildlife, and full of windy moorlands, treacherous river valleys, gentle pastoral scenes, and peaceful woodlands and bodies of water that would be an ideal, tranquil place to scatter the ashes of a loved one. Nidderdale is also convenient to get to via public transport or car.

You can get to Nidderdale via the Transdev Harrogate & District number 24 service that runs regularly from Harrogate to Pateley Bridge, and Nidderdale can also be accessed via Dalesbus services. Meanwhile, the closest train station to Nidderdale is Harrogate, with regular services from Leeds, London, and York. You can also easily access Nidderdale in your car from the A1(M) and the A61 to the east, and the A65, A59, M65 and M62 to the south. 

Visitors have flocked to Niddlerdate since Victorian times, thanks to its gorgeous scenery, charming towns and villages, and world-class, family-friendly attractions. There is something for everybody at Nidderdale, whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, or prefer a long stroll that finishes with a visit to the pub. You can do everything from walking, cycling, climbing, horse riding, caving, fishing, and kayaking. Nidderdale is also home to hidden gems like the Studfold Trail. 

Local towns and villages such as Masham Ilkley, Otley, Pateley Bridge, and the Washburn Valley are also great places to start a visit to Nidderdale AONB.

River Ouse

The River Ouse is a continuation of the River Ure, and thanks to the combined length of the River Ure, the River Ouse is the sixth-longest river in the UK at 129 miles, and the longest river to flow entirely into one county.

The River Ouse could be a great place to scatter the ashes of a loved one, as long as you are mindful of people nearby. You can also purchase biodegradable urns that are kinder to the ecosystem of the river.

Learn about scattering ashes

Many people are unsure about what to do with ashes once they receive them. You might decide to scatter them somewhere meaningful. This how to scatter ashes guide gives you some ideas, as well as explaining the best ways to scatter them.

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