St James Park

The heart of ceremonial London, this Royal Park is the perfect location for an afternoon of pomp and pageantry, or an impromptu picnic on the grass.

St. James’s Park provides the perfect place to pause from your busy tourist schedule and experience London’s more leisurely side. The 57-acre (23-hectare) green space is within walking distance of three of London’s most treasured regal landmarks: Buckingham Palace, Palace of Westminster and St. James’s Palace.

London can thank the monarchy for its beautiful parks. Once reserved as the private hunting and riding grounds of royalty, today the Royal Parks of London are open to all. St. James’s Park is the oldest of this network of eight parks, which form the “green lungs of London.” 

After watching the Changing of Guards at nearby Buckingham Palace, stop by the Queen Victoria Memorial and Gardens. The park proper lays just beyond, flanked by The Mall on one side and the Birdcage Walk to the other. 

On summer weekdays, join office workers on the lawns and enjoy the free music concerts. Or, hire a deckchair and watch pelicans and waterfowl gliding by on St. James’s Park Lake. The lakes two islands also provide important sanctuaries for woodpeckers, owls and robins.

Explore the park’s tree-lined paths and avenues on foot or by bicycle, then refuel at one of the many cafes or pubs in the area. 

If you are visiting in June, don’t miss Trooping the Colour on Horse Guards Parade. During this annual tradition, which marks the Queen’s birthday, Her Majesty personally inspects the troops of the Household Division. June is also the time to catch the rousing musical spectacular Beating Retreat, presented by the Royal Marines. 

St. James’s Park is located in the city of Westminster. It’s open daily, year round. The park is within walking distance to many other attractions, including the three palaces, Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms, Admiralty Arch and the Institute of Contemporary Arts. The closest Underground station is St. James’s Park. 

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