St James's Park

Attractions, Sightseeing St James'
4 out of 5 stars
(12user reviews)
 (Feeding the pelicans © Greywolf, The Royal Parks)
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Feeding the pelicans © Greywolf, The Royal Parks
 (© Greywolf, The Royal Parks)
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© Greywolf, The Royal Parks
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 (© Anne Marie Briscombe)
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© Anne Marie Briscombe
 (© Edward Parker)
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© Edward Parker
 (Changing of the Guard © Edward Parker)
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Changing of the Guard © Edward Parker
 (Buckingham Palace © Greywolf, The Royal Parks)
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Buckingham Palace © Greywolf, The Royal Parks
 (Horse Guard's Parade  © Rene Mansi)
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Horse Guard's Parade © Rene Mansi
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 (Snowdrops © Indusfoto,  Royal Parks)
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Snowdrops © Indusfoto, Royal Parks
 (© Jenn Leung)
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© Jenn LeungSt James's Park

St James's Park was founded as a deer park for the royal occupants of St James's Palace, and remodelled by John Nash on the orders of George IV. The central lake is home to numerous species of wildfowl, including pelicans that have been kept here since the 17th century, when the Russian ambassador donated several of the bag-jawed birds to Charles II. The pelicans are fed between 2.30pm and 3pm daily, though they have been known to supplement their diet at other times of the day with the occasional pigeon. The bridge over the lake offers very snappable views of Buckingham Palace (head that way and you'll see Green Park, the beginning of a relaxing stroll that will take you under trees as far as Hyde Park Corner). Along the north side of the park, the Mall connects Buckingham Palace with Trafalgar Square. It looks like a classic processional route, but the Mall was actually laid out as a pitch for Charles II to play 'paille-maille' (an early version of croquet imported from France) after the pitch at Pall Mall became too crowded. On the south side of the St James's Park, Wellington Barracks contains the Guards Museum; to the east, Horse Guards contains the Household Cavalry Museum.

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Posted:

Venue name: St James's Park
Contact:
Address: Horse Guards Parade
London
SW1A 2BJ
Opening hours: Daily 5am-midnight
Transport: Tube: St James’s Park/ Charing Cross/ Westminster
Price: Free
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Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

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LiveReviews|12
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tastemaker

One of London's best parks and possible to walk the whole thing in about 40 minutes. The views from the bridge are pretty stunning, one direction to Buckingham Palace and the other to horse guards parade and the London eye beyond, as are those at the end of the park, with the pelicans and small house overlooking the water. The cafe offers a good selection of food and drinks.

tastemaker

St. James Park is without a doubt one of my favourite parks in London!


I, very conveniently, work a 7-minute walk away meaning every time there's an ounce of sun you'll find me in the park at lunch. From the beautiful foliage to the view of Buckingham Palace and the quaint river, this park has it all - it's easy to see why it's royal. 


Looking for a picnic spot or to get closer to Queenie (don't we all want to) then this is definitely a great shout!

Tastemaker

This is by far one of the best parks in London!


Surrounded by so many landmarks, it's a welcome halt on your tour of London. When standing on the bridge you'll have an outstanding view of Buckingham Palace on one side and on the other the fountain with the horse guard and London eye in the distance.


The lake is home to loads of birds, including several breeds of ducks and the famous pelicans. Come around 2pm to see them being fed. A spectacle in its own right.


There are also quite a few snack vendors and a lovely cafe.

A welcome bit of nature in the middle of the city, relaxing and enjoyable.

Tastemaker

St James's Park is the most tourist friendly park in London. It is relatively small, 1Km at its longest edge. It is a pretty, tranquil, well maintained green area joining many of the most viewed attractions in London. It has Buckingham Palace as the western side, the north border is Mall, containing St James's Palace and Clarence House, with Trafalgar Square on the North East corner. Horse Guards Parade is on the Eastern edge, where you can see the changing of the guard and the trooping of the colour. The South West corner has Westminster Square with the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and Westminster Cathedral.

If you want to combine day of iconic London attractions with a day in the park, St James's Park is the one to choose!

tastemaker

My favourite London park. Stretching between Buckingham Palace and Horse Guards Parade, St James Park is a lush verdant oasis and welcome retreat in a busy city. My favourite London park, this is a little more condensed than the likes of Hyde Park and Regent Park, but is also makes it all the more walkable. Wildlife, flora and fauna are abundant, with many birds on the lake, plus opportunistic squirrels taking all manner of food away from people. Several cafes and food and beverage kiosks are also dotted throughout the park. Deckchair hire is also available during the Summer months.


tastemaker

I would say this is one of my favourite parks in central London. There's nothing better than going to M&S, grabbing some picnic stuff and going to lie on the picnic rug..... Oh WHAT! Yeah so I often forget that bit and end up having to sit on carrier bags but all the same the setting is perfect for catching up with friends when you are both trying to detox or got young children or even when its sunny and you need a power hit of vitamin D. There's plenty of space and if you get bored there's plenty of iconic buildings to look at. There are so many different paths you can really walk about and get intrigued. Top tip, from Admiralty's Arch to Buckingham Palace, the Mall is 1k for your jogs around that park. Oh and the pelicans are a nice touch too. 

Tastemaker

It's amazing the tranquility you can find at St James's Park, just a stone's throw from Buckingham Palace and Victoria. Even on the hottest day of the year there's space to lay your rug, and the greenery is just lovely. There are even a few spots to grab a Mr Whippy. When you're bored of sunbathing, or when it's not an option, you can have an amusing time spotting the waterfowl - in particular the Pelicans, a slightly more unusual spot next to the ubiquitous geese. Often forgotten in the shadow of its larger cousins, St James's is one of the prettiest parks in London.

Tastemaker

This is a beautiful little park right in the heart of Westminster.  Very popular with tourists in the Summer due to it's close proximity with Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament.


It has a variety of wildlife, including the famous pelicans.  Apparently, three pelicans are always kept there and another pelican one day fancied the look of the place, so he came to join them, but this one is free to come and go as he pleases.


There is a fantastic view from the blue bridge although people tend to prefer a picture with the backdrop of the London Eye rather than Buckingham Palace.


Quite often you can hear the Queen's Guard's band practicing across the road in Wellington Barracks and the guards regular march up Birdcage Walk or The Mall to and from Buckingham Palace.

Tastemakertastemaker

St James’s Park is certainly not London’s biggest or most famous inner city green space, but it is the most beautiful. It is also surrounded by iconic London landmarks.

The park is bounded byBuckingham Palaceto the west,The Mallto the north,Horse Guardsto the east, andBirdcage Walkto the south. It meets Green Park at Queen's Gardens with theVictoria Memorialat its centre, opposite the entrance to Buckingham Palace.St. James's Palacelies on the opposite side of The Mall.

The park itself is incredibly beautiful with lakes, bridges, flower gardens, open spaces and a restaurant in the middle (Inn The Park). It is a park that can suck up many hours of the day.

Tastemaker

St James Park is small but only in comparison to its big brothers, Hyde and Green. This gorgeous park is well kept and has fantastic views of Buckingham Palace. It also grabs a lovely sunset on occasion in the Summer. I love it and it's one of my favourites in the whole city. 


I love this park, small enough to walk around in about 30 mins but located right in the heart of London. Wonderful views from the bridge and a really good shortcut to get from the West End to Victoria or The Palace to Scotland Yard, I always take every opportunity to walk through here as often as i can.

moderatorStaff WriterTastemaker

A small, but lovely park in the heart of London, which is well-positioned near Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards Parade and Trafalgar Square. See if you can spot the pelicans nesting in the middle of the lake.