St James's Park Updated: about 2 months ago

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St James's Park is the oldest Royal Park in London, located between Buckingham Palace and Horse Guards Parade. The central feature of the park is St. James’s Park Lake.

Next to the Horse Guards Parade grounds, you’ll find St. James’s Park, one of London’s eight Royal Parks, perhaps the most beautiful of them, with a great view towards the London Eye and the Horse Guards Parade in one direction and Buckingham Palace on the other. You can get to Buckingham Palace by walking through the park, a route we can definitely recommend.

History

Located between palaces and government buildings, St. James’s Park has a rich royal history. Many events have occurred in Buckingham Palace, and parades marched along the Mall, passing the park on the north side. The park has many statues and monuments to celebrate the royal history.

Natural Beauty and Wildlife

Squirrels are abundant in the park. They run around looking for snacks that the visitors might have with them. They might even climb up a leg in the hope of getting some treats.

The park has had pelicans since 1664, when a Russian ambassador brought them to King Charles II. Currently, six pelicans reside in the park. They have specific locations for nesting and feeding, but you can find them anywhere close to the pond in the park. Sometimes, they like to block the road and do some feather maintenance, allowing for great photo opportunities. The pelicans are fed daily between 2:30 pm and 3 pm.

The park and the pond have many other types of birds, too, including swans, ducks and geese.

The park has plenty of magnificent London trees providing shade to visitors and places to live for the wildlife. The park also has willows and fig trees.

Things to Do

St James’s Park is a beautiful park and a great place to walk around and take breaks sitting on the benches in the park. There’s plenty of wildlife to see and observe.

At the park’s centre, there is a bridge crossing the pond, which is a popular photography location. Due to the park’s location, you can see Buckingham Palace in one direction, the Horse Guards Parade and even the London Eye in the other.

Eating and Drinking

The park has two cafes. St. James’s Cafe has a good selection of food and snacks available, and there is seating for a longer lunch break. Storey’s Gate Cafe in the southeast corner of the park also has seating, food, snacks and drinks. The park also has two kiosks for quick coffee/tea and snacks or ice cream, depending on the time of year, that you can enjoy on one of the park’s benches.

Getting there

The Green Park and Charing Cross underground stations are both 5-10 minutes away.

Nearby

Buckingham Palace is on the western side of the park, while Horse Guards Parade is on the eastern edge. There is roughly a 10-minute walking distance between the two. The Churchill War Rooms are on the southern side of the park.

Nearest Stations

St James's Park - 6 min

District Circle London Underground Zone: 1

Green Park - 9 min

Piccadilly Victoria Jubilee London Underground Zone: 1

Westminster - 11 min

District Circle Jubilee London Underground Zone: 1

Activities from Get Your Guide