Party Earth Review The oldest of the Royal Parks of London, fifty-eight acre St. James’s Park attracts more than five million visitors annually thanks to its proximity to Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, the Horse Guards Parade... ... read full review
St. James’s Park
Circle, District Lines: St. James’s Park; Circle, District, Jubilee Lines: Westminster
Westminster, London –
The oldest of the Royal Parks of London, fifty-eight acre St. James’s Park attracts more than five million visitors annually thanks to its proximity to Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, the Horse Guards Parade grounds, and several other signature London destinations.
The name comes from a bygone leper hospital, which formerly occupied the grounds where St. James’s Palace – located just north of the park – has stood for nearly five centuries and remains an active royal property.
Bounded by such regal architecture, it’s no surprise that the area is chockfull of tourists; their cameras popping away at the looming shadow of the London Eye Ferris wheel, the daily Changing of the Guard outside Buckingham, or the array of ceremonial processions that take place down The Mall, a beautiful rust-colored boulevard that runs along the park’s northern edge.
The lake at the park’s center is a very popular destination for lunchtime picnickers when the weather cooperates, while even the foggiest days see avid athletes kicking a ball around the lawns and birders getting their feathered fix from the variety of ducks, geese, and swans that commingle with a colony of pelicans that have occupied the grounds since the 1600s.
The Inn The Park café, meanwhile, provides a wonderful year-round – albeit pun-heavy – spot to grab a nosh in a modern but cozy building that was designed to blend with the natural surroundings.
Bustling with a pleasant, unhurried energy, St. James’s Park is a wonderful locale for anyone to enjoy the beauty and history that make London such a singular destination.
Tourists, families, joggers, birders, and nature lovers of all types. All ages.
Playground, deckchair rental (March to October), the Changing of the Guard, daily pelican feedings, guided walks, and free lunchtime/early evening concerts. Check the website for upcoming events.
Inn the Park, located west of Horse Guards Parade, offers magnificent views of Duck Island and a contemporary British menu. Refreshment stands around the park serve coffee, ice cream, snacks, and sandwiches.
Free admission. Deckchairs £1.50+. Inn the Park: snacks £3.50+, appetizers £5.50+, entrées £13.50+, desserts £6+. Beer £3.50+, wine £4+, cocktails £7.25+.
Casual: fitness attire, seasonal sportswear.
Sunny days or any day that’s at least slightly less cloudy than the London norm.
Buckingham Palace offers tours late July through late September when the Queen is at her summer residence.