St James’ Park is one of the Best Parks in London so it’s strange to think it was once a horrible, dark swamp with a leper hospital nearby!
The swamp became Henry VIII’s Royal Hunting Grounds when he built St James’s Palace in 1536. It’s now home to the several royal birds, including 3 very naughty Pelicans, ducks, geese, swans, moorhens, coots and grebes. The 3 pelicans Louis, Vaclav and Gargi are fed fresh fish between 2:30pm and 3pm every day.
To the west lies Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards lies to the east, St James’ Palace to the north and Birdcage Walk to the south. If you want to try and catch the Changing of the Guard head to Buckingham Palace or Horse Guards Parade at 11am each morning. Alternatively bring a picnic, pull up a stripey deckchair and watch the birds on the lake. If you’re more of a people watcher you’ll see lots of ministers and civil servants rushing off to their meetings on Whitehall. St James’ Park is definitely the most romantic of the parks with its lamposts, sweeping willows and an incredibly photogenic blue bridge.
We walk around St James’ Park on our FREE London Tour, which runs every day at 11am and 2pm.
Opening Hours: 9am-9pm
St James’s Park (District and Circle Line)
Green Park (Piccadilly, Victoria and Jubilee Lines)
3, 11, 12, 24, 29, 53, 77a, 88, 91, 148, 159, 211, 453
Q Park, Parking Garage, Stowell Street
You can find out more information of this site, and some of the most iconic sites in the city, on our free London Walking Tour!
For more information, click here