St. James’s Park

St. James’s Park
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St. James’s Park SW1A 2BJ

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The nearest train station to St. James’s Park is St Jamess Park
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View of Buckingham PalaceView of Buckingham Palace Duck Island CottageDuck Island Cottage

Craig’s London blog> Read Craig’s review of St. James’s Park  Check out my London blog for a full review, with photos and a video

St. James’s Park Easy to get to? Good for kids? Value for money? free Worth a visit? 2 0 3

  St. James’s Park London

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St. James’s Park is No.2 in our list of London’s best parks, and No.9 in our list of the best places to take a photo.

St. James’s Park is arguably London’s loveliest park. It is surrounded on all four sides by famous London landmarks.

To the north you have St. James’s Palace and The Mall – the red-bricked road that leads to the Queen’s official residence. To the east you have Horse Guard’s Parade and Admiralty House.

To the south you have a lovely walk from Parliament Square to the Royal Mews, and to the west of the park you have Buckingham Palace itself, with the Queen Victoria Memorial. Don’t miss the views across the lake – stand on the footbridge for the best snap of the Palace.

History of St. James’s Park

St. James’s Park is both the oldest and smallest of London’s royal parks, built by Henry VIII in 1536. It is built on land once owned by the St. James’s leper hospital. The burial ground (where Green Park stands today) was drained and stocked with deer.

Most of the trees were then chopped down and James I laid out some formal gardens, including a small zoo and aviary. Charles II then hired André Le Notre, designer of the gardens at the Palace of Versailles, to spruce up the grounds and opened them the public in the mid 17th-century.

When Charles II died in 1685 the park fell into disrepair, and became a favourite haunt of prostitutes. John Nash was hired in 1827 to make improvements, and the result is what you see today.

Duck Island, and Birdcage Walk

St. James’s Park is famous for its birds. Duck Island is home to flamingos, pelicans, gulls, geese and ducks. You can also stroll down Birdcage Walk – named after the aviary built by James I.

Awful 0% Poor 0% Okay 0% Good 67% Great 33%
  • peter – “Amazing park, so beautiful. It's got one of the best views in London standing on the bridge across the lake, when you are looking at buckingham palace one way, and the horse guards skyline the other way, with the London eye peeping over the roof. And every time I go there I spot something new. I walked down the road opposite the treasury the other day and discovered the 'duck house'. Its a marvelous little cottage that is straight out of a fairytale. It is the kind of place that you can imagine snow white stumbling upon when she was out walking in the forest.”
  • exile – “Nice place to go in your lunch hour for a sit down underneath a tree. I’ve been to the wooden cafe a load of times and that's nice too (if a little expensive). Best place to walk is along the lake but there are so many ducks and geese they get annoying sometimes, because they are very tame and come right up to your feet pecking at crumbs, but you've got nice views up and down the lake. I’ve tried green park for lunch as well because that's only two minutes further on but there is nothing there. It's just all grass and trees and no scenery. Stick to st jamess park .”

Events at St. James’s Park

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If you enjoy this then try: Green Park (you can walk it 10 mins); Hyde Park (walk it in 28 mins or catch a train from St James’s Park to Hyde Park); Kensington Gardens (catch the tube from St James’s Park to Kensington Gardens) and Regent’s Park (catch the tube from St James’s Park to Regent’s Park).

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