There are many different types of funeral available, from direct cremations to traditional funerals. Take a look below at the types of funeral services available in the UK today, and the funeral types we offer at Distinct Cremations.

Your options compared

Funerals no longer have to be traditional affairs. In 2024, you and your loved ones have the opportunity to say goodbye in whichever way you please by choosing a type of funeral that suits your family.

Traditional funerals remain the most common option, but there are now more fuss-free, cheaper options available such as direct cremations which have risen sharply in popularity in recent years - in 2019, direct cremations were favoured by just 3% of the UK population, by 2023, that had risen to 20%.* A direct cremation is a simple cremation that is usually unattended without any mourners present and on average is 71%** cheaper than a traditional cremation funeral.

There are also the emerging eco options, like woodland burials and eco burials. Currently these don’t have a widespread availability, but they are rising in popularity and availability.

* SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2024,
** 71% saving is based on the cost of a basic funeral at £4,141 (SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2024, funeral-costs) vs the cost of a Distinct Cremations direct cremation at £1,199

Non traditional funerals.

When saying goodbye, it's natural to seek a sense of solace in the traditions we've grown up with. But as our lives are marked by individuality, it's equally important to honour the unique way our loved ones lived with an appropriate goodbye that's personal to them.

Below are some non-traditional funerals that will do exactly that, to allow you and your loved ones to celebrate a life with respect and the personalised touch that every memorable goodbye deserves.

Direct cremation

direct cremation

What is a direct cremation? It is a cremation without a service and without mourners.

Families instead prefer to have a celebration of life or wake at a time and place that suits them. It's the contemporary, no fuss and affordable way to say goodbye.

Direct cremation

Attended direct cremation

Funeral poems for Mum

Some direct cremation providers offer small pared back and family-led services too. These may be referred to as attended direct cremation.

Like a direct cremation, an attended direct cremation is simple and lower cost, but has the added benefit of being able to say goodbye to your loved one in person.

Attended cremation services

Direct burial

Wooden Coffin With Flowers In A Sunny Wood

A direct burial is similar to a direct cremation where there is no service and no mourners. The only difference being that instead of being cremated, the body is buried in the ground.

Direct burials are more expensive than direct cremations as a physical plot of land is required and a headstone or memorial plaque will need to be purchased.

Traditional Funerals

Traditional funerals are still favoured by the majority of people in the UK. A traditional funeral usually has a fixed format and can last anywhere between 20-50 minutes depending on the type of tradition that is adhered to. Hearses and limousines are usually included within a traditional funeral, as is help and coordination from a funeral director.

Here are three common traditional funeral options:

Traditional cremation

Traditional cremation

A traditional cremation is inclusive of a service and is open to as many people as the crematorium can hold.

A procession with hearses and limousines may also be included with a traditional cremation depending on the family's wishes.

It's ideal for someone looking for a formal cremation, but it is more expensive than a direct cremation.

Traditional burial

Traditional Burial

A traditional burial is similar to a traditional cremation in that it includes a service, a ceremony, mourners and a procession depending on the family's choice.

However, it differs from a cremation as the deceased is placed in the ground at a gravesite with a headstone.

A traditional burial is a formal affair, but is a more expensive option than a cremation.

Religious funeral

Religious Funeral

A religious funeral is presided over by a religious leader to guide the mourners through the service.

A religious funeral will likely have a service and procession, and could be a burial or cremation.

However, much of what takes place at a religious funeral depends on the family or the deceased's faith.

Green funerals

Though green funerals are still not widely available in every county in the UK, there is a growing appetite for a more environmentally friendly farewell as people become more conscious of their carbon footprint.

Below are a few ways people are having green funerals in the UK:

Woodland burial

Wooden heart ornament left resting against a tree in remembrance of a loved one buried nearby

A woodland burial is an environmentally friendly way of laying the body in the ground by using a biodegradable coffin or casket. They come with the option of a ceremony or procession.

For those looking for an environmentally conscious but traditional farewell, a woodland burial is the perfect choice. However, woodland burials aren't available nationwide so it's worth looking to see if they're available in your area before choosing this option.

Tree pod burial

Tree pod burial

A tree pod burial allows the deceased to be buried in the foetal position in a biodegradable pod. The pod is then buried with a tree planted above acting like a headstone.

A tree pod burial is the most eco-friendly way to be buried or cremated, but unfortunately it isn't available in the UK right now.

Water cremation

Water Cremation

A water cremation isn't currently offered in the UK but is likely to become available soon. Popular in other parts of the world, with a water cremation the body is placed in a pressurised tank and pressed into powder.

It's a very eco-friendly way to be cremated, however it can be costly.

Memorials and ways to remember a loved one after the funeral

At Distinct Cremations, we understand the profound impact of saying goodbye to a loved one.

While the funeral ceremony may feel like a significant milestone, the journey of remembrance extends beyond that. And for those who choose the path of a direct cremation, finding meaningful ways to honour and cherish memories becomes paramount.

Following a direct cremation, many families like to have a memorial service at a place special to the deceased or have something made up to remember them by. From having a memorial service at the local pub to having a custom piece of jewellery made in a loved one's honour, memorials offer a tangible connection to the cherished departed loved one.

For more information or inspiration, read our memorial service guide.

Woman Reviewing Funeral Plans

Funeral types with Distinct Cremations

The steps involved in a cremation with Distinct Cremations

At Distinct Cremations, we take care of all the arrangements. From arranging the funeral to making sure all your paperwork has been filled in correctly. From the collection of the deceased, right through to the hand-delivery of the ashes. And everything in between.

With expert guidance on-hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, our customer service and funeral teams at Distinct Cremations will help with all your funeral arrangements as you need them, when you need them.

Funeral planning is never an easy task, but our team can help ease the load.

We’re here for you 24/7. You can call us on 0808 134 5865 before a passing to give you and your loved ones time to prepare or you can call us when the time comes. All we need from you is some basic information to start getting your cremation arrangements in place.

Our caring team will collect the deceased from anywhere in the mainland UK, whether your loved one is at home, in a care home or at a hospital. The deceased will be then taken to our professional mortuary facilities before cremation.

We will prepare your loved one for cremation, bathe them, remove any artificial items and dress your loved one upon request. We will then lay them to rest in the coffin, transport them to the crematorium and we will inform you of the date of cremation.

The cremation will take place at one of our 40 crematoriums in the UK. The coffin is taken through the front door, rested on the catafalque while a song of your choice is played or a moment of silence is respected, then the cremation takes place.

The ashes will be hand-delivered back to you within 14 days or scattered in the garden of remembrance upon request. You may then like to arrange a memorial service or celebration of life to toast the life of your loved one.

Arrange a funeral today

Whether you're wanting to arrange a funeral today, interested in affordable prepaid funeral plans, or looking for a direct cremation, our customer service specialists are here for you 24/7 to answer any questions you may have.

Ask a question today or call us on 01543 211997.
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At Distinct Cremations, we provide no fuss cremations and cheap cremations which are simple to arrange, affordable and delivered with care, dignity and respect.

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Funeral plans

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A prepaid funeral plan gives you peace of mind knowing that funeral costs are covered. Acceptance is guaranteed with no medical questions, and plans start from just £1,699.

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How it works

Coffin In Chapel At Distinct Cremations Funeral

We guide you through the steps of a low cost cremation, from bringing the deceased into our care to the hand delivery of the ashes, while keeping you in touch each step of the way.

How it works

One of the UK’s best value direct cremation services, delivered with a caring and compassionate heart

Not only are our funerals carried out with love and care, but we also offer one of the UK’s best value services.

From your very first phone call, right through to the hand delivery of the ashes, you can rest assured that you will be in the most caring and attentive hands with Distinct Cremations

Our caring team are here 24/7 to support you through the most difficult of times

Rhiannon Pearson

Team Leader

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We offer the highest level of support, but don't take our word for it

Below are a selection of reviews from those who have purchased a funeral through Distinct Cremations.

From the very first phone call I felt things were going to be handled well. Kindness compassion and helpful ness were shown throughout. I was kept informed about all the details and the person delivering the ashes was so respectful and kind taking the time to ask about my husbands life. This is who will handle my cremation.
Received excellent service from Distinct Cremations. The passing of my stepfather was very distressing and emotional time for my family. David at DC kept us up to date with the arrangements, and talked us through each step of the plan, and kept the admin to a minimum. The cost of the Direct cremation was as advertised, which I found to be good value. Thank you everyone at DC.
Excellent service. Professional but still friendly considering the subject being discussed can be awkward for some people.
Very good very helpful customer service Price was very competitive overall very happy
Polite prompt friendly service
Great service, easy to arrange. Very friendly people
Very easy to set up.
Excellent service from Distinct Cremations. My contact was Kerry who was extremely efficient, polite, professional and thoughtful. Every step of my father's cremation was very well explained from start to finish with plenty of contact but only when required. Thank you for a smooth process. I have no issues at all with Distinct and my husband and I will be taking out a plan ourselves in the near future.
702 reviews
Feefo Gold 2024
Feefo Gold 2024
702 reviews

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