St James’s Park
London SW1A 2BJ
TfL Fare Zone 1
St James’s Park in the centre of London is bounded on all sides by famous London sights. It is a grand place to sit and rest during a hectic sightseeing schedule.
It is the oldest of the Royal Parks in London and nearby are the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, Whitehall, Horse Guards Parade, Pall Mall, St James's Palace and Clarence House, The Mall and last but not least, by Buckingham Palace.
Close by, across The Mall at the Buckingham Palace end is The Green Park. Some of the other Royal Parks in London are Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, The Regent's Park, Richmond Park, Bushy Park and Greenwich Park.
The Park attractions include Duck Island, The Blue Bridge, The Tiffany Fountain and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Walk Web: St James's Park/ Attractions
Flora and Fauna
In St James’s Park, the lake takes pride of place. It is home to a wide range of birdlife. There are nesting sites on both Duck Island and West Island. A walk through the Park alongside this lake is a joy for those interested in wildlife. The myriads of ducks, geese, moorhens, coots, pelicans and squirrels seem oblivious to the crowds of visitors.
Queen Victoria Memorial
Although the memorial is not actually in St Jamse's Park, it is worthwhile mentioning here. It consists of a marble statue of Queen Victoria and golden figures depicting Victory, Courage and Constancy and is located in front of Buckingham Palace at the head of The Mall.
The Park is well supplied with toilet and refreshment facilities. At the Buckingham Palace end of the Park is a children’s playground.
The Blue Bridge over the lake gives lovely views of the fountains with Horse Guards Parade in the distance to the east and Bucking Palace to the west. Numerous signposts guide visitors to facilities and sights.
The main entrance gate is the imposing Marlborough Gate just across The Mall from St James's Palace. A leisurely stroll across the Park towards Whitehall will take the visitor to the excellent Churchill War Rooms.
In medieval times the park was a marshy water-meadow through which the river Tyburn ran on its way to join The Thames. In the 13th century a women’s leper hospital was founded in the name of St James and this is how the Park got its name. King Henry VIII acquired the land in 1532, fenced it and made it into a deer park where he could indulge his passion for hunting. He also built a hunting lodge which later became St James’s Palace.
King James I improved the drainage in 1603 and controlled the Tyburn’s tendency to flood. He also put a road in front of St James’s Palace which later became The Mall. On the Whitehall side of the park the King had a zoo with camels, crocodiles and an elephant. There were aviaries of exotic birds where Birdcage Walk now runs.
The King who did the most to improve the Park was Charles II. He put in a long straight canal to take the River Tyburn, planted avenues of trees and laid down lawn but most importantly he opened the park to the public. He was often to be seen in the Park feeding the ducks and chatting to his subjects.
Charles II introduced the French game Pelle Melle to England. Courts were built in the Park and gave their name to the street now called Pall Mall. The game appears to have been a fast and furious form of croquet.
Visitors to the Park may be surprised to see pelicans strutting around amongst the wildfowl - In 1664 the Russian ambassador presented a pair of pelicans to King Charles. Foreign ambassadors have continued this tradition and pelicans are still offered to the Park. The pelicans are fed at 14:30 each day by the bird keeper.
In the 18th century one end of the great canal was filled in to make Horse Guards Parade. Horse Guards became the main access to Buckingham and St James’s Palaces until Trafalgar Square was built in 1841. The greatest changes to the Park were made by John Nash as part of a vast redevelopment of London during the Regency period. The Park was ‘naturalised’ with the great canal being turned into the natural-looking curved lake we see today. The straight avenues were turned into winding paths and the formal flower beds became shrubberies.
Ornithological Society of London
In 1837, The Ornithological Society of London presented the Park with a collection of birds and built a cottage for the bird keeper. Both the cottage and the position of bird keeper exist today. As well as looking after the birds he conducts guided tours of Duck Island, an important nesting site in the lake.
Deck Chairs are available in the summer months - This is a great park in which to relax. Deck chairs can be hired by the hour - See Deck Chair Hire on the on the following link Web: Park Deck Chairs
In the Park is an affordable restaurant and refreshment points are located at Marlborough Gate, Horse Shoe Bend, Artillery Memorial and the playground. For more details go to Web: St James's Park/ Food & Drink
The Park website has an excellent section of their website detailing facilities available Web: St James's Park/ Disabled Access
We often recognise scenes in Films that are set in St James’s Park. Visit Web: St James's Park/ Film Locations
The park is open from 05:00 to midnight all year round.
Contact & Further Information
The St James's Park Office, The Storeyard, Horse Guards Road, St James's Park, London. SW1A 2BJ
+44 (0)2079 301 793
TfL Fare Zone 1 Transport for London Journey Planner
To find the best way for getting to St James's Park, visit TfL Journey Planner.
- By Underground
|St James's Park Station||District and Circle Lines|
|Charing Cross Station||Northern, Bakerloo and British Rail lines|
|Westminster Station||Jubilee, District and Circle Lines|
|Green Park Station||Piccadilly, Victoria and Jubilee Lines|
|Victoria Station||Victoria, Circle and District and British Rail lines|
- By Bus
Routes 3,11, 12, 24, 29, 53, 77a, 88, 91, 148, 159, 211, 453
- By Car
St James's Park is located in the Congestion Charge Zone
Google Maps - St James's Park