Ashes scattering ceremony inspiration

Ashes scattering

It might seem an ashes scattering ceremony is ripe for things to go wrong. Prone to misadventure, the ceremony will need to contend with not only the elements but physics, too. While calculating the current trajectory of the gulf stream and the angle of your scattering hand can be effective, you may also want to consider the time of year and your setting.

So, you’re dead set on an ashes scattering ceremony, for either you or someone else. Though, the possibilities are seemingly endless – for one, all public land is up for grabs. We’ve put together a quick list of the alternative ways to go about creating an ashes scattering ceremony, beyond the usual options, to help with your own thinking.

All over the world

If you or the person you’re scattering were itinerant nomads, finding roots all over the world, you may want to scatter ashes in a few different countries. Or, if you have ties to a country other than the one you’ll die in, you can get your ashes repatriated. In either case, it’s possible to make a holiday of the occasion.

Though, ashes are classified as ‘human remains’ in the mailing system – if you use Royal Mail to transport your ashes, there may be some legal questions if you’re packages are checked. Many UK airlines allow ashes on board, however, if they are secure and non-metallic.

Out to sea

Many of the UK’s waterways, rivers and seas are hosts to ashes scattering ceremonies. Boat companies that operate on rivers also include an ashes scattering option, complete with tea and biscuits. On the high seas, it’s less hospitable. You’ll need a permit and to stick to the areas in the UK marked out for this method, but it’s a dramatically seafaring way to go. 

Remote-controlled helicopter

You could always hire a handheld radio controlled helicopter to fly your remains over a cityscape, then have them dropped. This is a suitably lofty option for any one with a keen interest in remote-controlled devices or low-altitude heights. As the ashes are dispersed from on high, you’ll need to scope out a sufficiently wide ranging plot of land in order to not ruin for the final time your neighbours’ garden party.

Enter the jet stream in a biodegradable urn

If anything under 100,000 ft is just too low for you, then you may want to consider scattering your ashes in the jet stream. This method uses balloons to carry ashes in a biodegradable urn up to high altitudes, to then release the ashes and, it’s hoped, to circulate the globe on a last voyage.


While the Viking longship hasn’t been the first choice marine vessel for those who like to be by the sea for a while now, you can get such a ship in miniature for your ashes. You’ll need to find a relatively calm body of water, and, if your into keeping up with Viking tradition, you’ll need to prepare and maintain a decent fire in order for both the sailing and burning to go swimmingly.

If the thought of being stored in a plastic bag at the back of a cupboard doesn’t seem like an exciting prospect, then taking a look at the more adventurous options for an ashes scattering ceremony might get you planning ahead.

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