Alternatives to a Regular Burial

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The most popular types of funeral service in the UK involve a traditional burial or cremation. However, there are many lesser known options which are more environmentally friendly, or more suitable for those who would prefer a non-religious funeral and burial. If you don’t think a regular burial is the best choice for you or a loved one, then take a look at these alternatives when planning a funeral.

Buried at sea

At some point we’re going to run out of space on land to bury our dead, so the sea be a viable option. Many people buried at sea are former sailors or Navy personnel, but in fact anybody can choose to be buried at sea. There are some regulations to follow, such as environmental measures and restrictions on what the deceased can wear during the burial. Some funeral directors can arrange a burial at sea, or you can organise it through a maritime organisation. There are only three burial sites in British coastal waters so you must be willing to travel. Alternatively, you can choose to scatter ashes at sea which is an easier process.

Natural burial

A natural or green burial is quite similar to a traditional burial except it reduces the environmental impact. A natural burial ground is in the countryside, and unlike a cemetery there are no large headstones. This type of burial is an ecological option, and bodies are buried in coffins made from natural biodegradable materials such as cardboard or wicker. There are now over 200 green burial grounds across the UK, and all sites are managed to encourage local wildlife and plants.

Home burial

If you have the space then you can actually bury loved ones in your garden, or on private land. It can be cheaper to arrange a home burial than pay for space in a cemetery, however there are some rules and regulations to follow. Check if you need permission from the local council, and bear in mind that having a burial ground on site could reduce the value of your property.


This process is similar to cremation yet has environmental benefits. Instead of fire, a water and alkali method is used to reduce the body down to ashes. The funeral service and what happens after – the returning of the ashes – remains the same. The only difference is the resomation process requires significantly less energy and produces less greenhouse gases than flame cremation.

There are many options to explore, get in touch with our advisors if you need any more help choosing a burial option.


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Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service

What is a Direct Cremation?

A Direct Cremation is an alternative to the traditional funeral. This involves the cremation of the deceased without a funeral service. A Direct Cremation is generally the most economic option because costs of the coffin, preparation of the body, funeral service and expensive transportation are not included. However, many people choose Direct Cremations for reasons other than expense, for example:

  • - Wanting to have a memorial at a different time to the cremation
  • - Expressed desire from the deceased to not have a ceremony
  • - Individuals with relatives who face big physical or geographical challenges in coming together for a ceremony

The prices quoted for Direct Cremations include:

  • All charges, meetings and paperwork for the cremation
  • Collection of deceased and care prior to cremation
  • A simple coffin and urn for the ashes
  • Cremation fees and delivery of ashes to the family

Why is this price Estimated?

We work hard to ensure the Funeral Director Fees we display are accurate and up to date. However, unlike with our partners, we cannot guarantee this price is correct today.


Funeral Choice charity donation

To redeem the £20 charity donation all you have to do is select the charity from the dropdown list in the Make Contact form. Once you have confirmed arrangements with that funeral director send us an email to confirming the service has been arranged. After we receive this email we will make the donation to the chosen charity and confirm back to you.