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Surrounded by three of the most important royal residences, Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and St James’s Palace, as well as the Houses of Parliament, St James’s Park is truly at the epicentre of London’s ceremonial traditions.
It’s the oldest of the eight Royal Parks, dating back to the purchase of the land in 1532 by King Henry VIII. Although it has undergone many transformations, the park you see today is little-changed from the design initiated by John Nash in 1827, as part of a huge project that created many of London’s famous landmarks, including Regent Street and Regent’s Park.
Explore the winding paths on foot or on two wheels, or just lay back on a hired deckchair looking out over the serene lake? The two islands serve as important bird sanctuaries for woodpeckers, owls and robins. And if you are around in the early afternoon, you may even catch a glimpse of the pelicans, fed each day by the park’s Wildlife Officers.
Starting at the west border of the park, head to the Queen Victoria Memorial which commemorates the monarch’s death in 1901. This 25-metre high white marble statue stands in front of Buckingham Palace, and is surrounded by the colourful Memorial Gardens.
Do not miss the world-famous Changing the Guard ceremony, which takes place each day both at Buckingham Palace and on Horse Guards Parade at the east end of St James’s Park. If you are lucky enough to be in London in June, nothing will provide you with a more vibrant picture of Britain’s royal pageantry than Trooping the Colour, a ceremony to mark the Queen’s official birthday, also on Horse Guards Parade. You’ll have the opportunity to see the monarch herself inspecting the troops of the Household Division in all their traditional finery. Also in June, you will be treated to the musical spectacular of Beating Retreat featuring the UK’s finest military musicians.
St James’s Park is open all year round, and the closest Underground station is St James’s Park.
Make the most of your time spent at St. James Park. Here is a list of the best things to do:
For many more activities, take a look at our London things to do page.
Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is steps away from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. St. Thomas' Hospital and Sea Life London Aquarium are also within 5 minutes. Waterloo Underground Station is only a 4-minute walk and Lambeth North Underground Station is 6 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Covent Garden Market, Piccadilly Circus and London Dungeon. Big Ben and Buckingham Palace are also within 1 mi (2 km). Charing Cross Underground Station is 5 minutes by foot and Covent Garden Underground Station is 5 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Imperial War Museum, Westminster Bridge and Sea Life London Aquarium. Coca-Cola London Eye and Big Ben are also within 15 minutes. Lambeth North Underground Station is only a 2-minute walk and Waterloo Underground Station is 8 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Buckingham Palace, Victoria Palace Theatre, and Apollo Victoria Theatre. St. James Park and Westminster Abbey are also within 10 minutes. St. James's Park Underground Station is only a 3-minute walk and Victoria Underground Station is 7 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is steps away from St. Paul's Cathedral and London Stock Exchange. Old Bailey and Museum of London are also within 10 minutes. Blackfriars Underground Station and St. Paul's Underground Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Apollo Victoria Theatre and Victoria Palace Theatre. Buckingham Palace and Green Park are also within 15 minutes. Victoria Underground Station and London Victoria Rail Station are within a 2-minute walk.
Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Florence Nightingale Museum, Imperial War Museum and The Vaults. Southbank Centre Book Market and Lambeth Palace are also within 10 minutes. Lambeth North Underground Station is 6 minutes by foot and Waterloo Underground Station is 11 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of The British Museum, Coca-Cola London Eye and Big Ben. Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park are also within 1 mi (2 km). Leicester Square Underground Station is only a 2-minute walk and Charing Cross Underground Station is 4 minutes.