St. James Park is the oldest king park in London. On its west side is situated the Buckingham Palace and its east side is the Horse Guards Houses. There is a little lake with 2 islands – Duck and West island. If you go over the bridge you could see the Buckingham Palace.
One of the most distinguished buildings in London, which is saying something. Built in 1830, the muted yellow color contrasts with the Wedgewood-like frieze wrapped around the whole building. It is a reconstruction of what was originally seen in the Parthenon in Athens (major pieces of the original can be seen in the British Museum).
A large gilded statue of Pallas Athena, goddess of wisdom, practical skills, and prudent warfare, gives you an idea of the type of people who are members of this august gentlemen's club:
scientists, diplomats, top religious figures. etc. In fact, the club features a large portrait of Charles Darwin in its main room. Unfortunately you can only admire it from the outside- the club is closed to the public.
It might not be the obvious place to watch a sunset, but I loved it. In fact, I found St. James's t be one of the most beautiful places in the city.
There are chairs to rent for 1 pound 50, but many just lounge on the lawn. There were any number of businessmen there for their lunch break. For me it was a great place to take my lunch from Pret a Manger and sit near the bandstand on a sunny July day. It's near Buckingham, the War Rooms, Green Park and St. James's palace, so a stop here and a bit of walking mean that you'll see many significant places in the city.
There is a restaurant and sometimes exhibitions.
This is the entrance to the palace that Henry XIII originally bought as a hunting lodge.
Charles II, James II, Mary II, and Queen Anne were all born here.
Prince Charles still has his office here during the work week.
This is a good spot to get your picture taken with the Royal Guards without hordes of tourists around you, since it's sort of off the beaten path.
The Duke of York statue and column is situated just off the mall.
It was erected in 1834. Created by Sir Richard Westmacott. It is a pink granite statue and stands at the top of the Duke of York’s steps. The column is 123.5 ft high. The statue is dedicated to Prince Fredrick, Duke of York, who was the second son of King George the third. He was commander in chief of the British forces during the French revolutionary wars. When he died in 1827, the entire British army had to forgo a days wage to pay for the statue.
Henry VIII fenced in some marshy grazing land for pigs in the 1530’s and made a deer park.
This is the oldest of London’s nine royal parks. Three royal palaces, Buckingham palace, St James’s palace and the palace of Westminster [houses of parliament] surround it.
Elizabeth I held pageants here and James I kept a menagerie that included crocodiles and elephants.
Charles II when restored to the throne re-created formal gardens that he had seen in France. A canal was laid in the centre lined with an avenue of tree’s and the public were allowed to enjoy the park.
It was given a makeover in the 1820’s. The canal was made into a lake and straight lines were made into winding paths.
A band plays free concerts in the summer months.
There are many birds to be spotted in the park such as swans, pelicans, ducks and geese.
St. James’s Park is both the oldest and smallest of London’s royal parks, built by Henry VIII in 1536. It is built on land once owned by the St. James’s leper hospital. The burial ground (where Green Park stands today) was drained and stocked with deer.
St. James’s Park is famous for its birds. Duck Island is home to flamingos, pelicans, gulls, geese and ducks. You can also stroll down Birdcage Walk – named after the aviary built by James I.
The name ‘Mall’ – and nearby Pall Mall – come from the French game Palle Maille, which the King was fond of playing up and down the muddy track.
These days, The Mall acts as a grand processional route from Her Majesty’s residence to the Houses of Parliament. The Queen rides her golden carriage past the waving crowds on State occasions
The Mall is at the opposite end to the Palace – Trafalgar Square. This was laid out between 1829 and 1841 to commemorate Lord Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. It is now the nation’s favourite setting for celebrations, demonstrations and political rallies.
I very much like Hyde Park but St James Park is very very nice. I enjoyed a nearly complete tour by a nice sunny afternoon. I think the place is rather romantic; I regularly stopped to watch the birds, admire to flower beds or the perfectly mown lawn. The oldest Royal Park in London, is surrounded by three monuments: the Houses of Parliament,St James Palace and Buckingham Palace. Its lake - St James's Park lake - runs through the park and counts two islands : Duck Island (home of many breeds of ducks) and West Island.
If you happen to cross the bridge at the centre of the lake, you'll have a view on Buckingham Palace on one side and on the London Eye on the other. The park takes its name from a leper hospital founded there in the thirteenth century. Henry VIII bought the site in 1532 to turn ii into a deer park and built St James's Palace. The park underwent drastic changes under the reign of Charles II who redesigned the park, planted trees, laid lawns and granted access to the public. The architect and landscaper John Nash gave the park the romantic style we know today. Birds were introduced by the Ornithological Society of London in 1837. A suspension bridge was added across the lake in 1857 and replaced by the actual concrete one 100 years later. Like in Hyde Park and the other royal parks, guided walks following a theme are regularly organised in St James's Park.
I found St. James's Park and Buckingham Palace and Gardens to be best viewed early Sunday morning when the dew was on the grass and there was a touch of early morning fog and almost no people.
Beginning on the east at Horse Guards Road and going west along the path north of the lake you see the birds among the mists that wisp off the lake surface. You emerge onto The Mall road and have an ever enlarging view of the palace as you approach it. Swing northeast along Constitution Hill road and view the palace grounds and its gardens, tennis courts and flower beds. To the north is Green Park. Turn south on Grosvenor Place and head around the Mews and back east on Palace Gate road.
You have circumferenced the park and now can go back to the start either through the park or down Birdcage walk. The whole walk is maybe two miles and can be done in a leisurly hour of viewing and picture taking.
This is by far my favourite park in London, it's like a piece of Eden among London's concrete jungle. I only work around the corner from the park so I get to enjoy most days in my lunch breaks, taking a stroll round the lake and feeding the ducks and geese my left over sandwiches. The most unusual wildlife which facinates most visitors is the huge Pelicans that laze about on the banks of the lake. My boss one lunch time caught a glimse of one of these birds gulping down a pidgeon WHOLE, even made the national press the next day!
There's plenty to do and see in the park and around it, with Buckingham Palace, St James's Palace, Treasury and Cabinet War Rooms, House Guards Parade surrounding it. People flock to the park in the summer, from tourists to stressed out office workers so can get very busy at times but it never take away from the beauty of the place.
This historic road has been the venue for many a Royal Occasion with parades of pomp and celebration such as Royal Birthdays (such as the Queen Mother's 100th and the Queens 80th, and anniversaries (eg the Queens Golden Jubilee) heading on down to the Royal Family at Buckingham Palace. During Royal or State occasions the road will be lined with the Union Jack and any other relevant flags for the occasion.
Daily in summer and alternate days in winter (or not at all if very wet weather) the Queens Guards come on down here to Change Guards at 1130 am.
This area is all nice walking distance from tube stations such as Green Park, Victoria Station, Hyde Park Corner, St James Park, Westminster, Picadilly Circus, Charing Cross and the Embankment.
There are many buses that go from around Trafalgar Square and Victoria Station etc.
This is an interesting take on the London Eye! from St james Park at the top of the Mall - here you can see an athlete depicting the upcoming Olympic Games to be held here in London!
I later realised i had just caught side of this figure at the right position horizontal before moving out of sight as the Wheel moves around - as I no longer saw him later! So i eventually caught on.... so I am not putting this tip straight into the Southbank and London Eye tips as this is not from the Southbank!
So as you go about your tour of the sights of London keep on eye out for the unexpected and all sorts of interesting things to come across! You never know what you see next!
This beautiful & flowery London park lies opposite Buckingham Palace - it has a little lake with two islands that is home to quite a few bird species. From the bridge that crosses the lake you have a nice view on Buckingham Palace, the Horse Guards Building and even the London Eye in the distance. Try to discover a funny hedge sculpture in St. James Park depicting a group of cyclists.
Admiralty Arch is at Trafalgar Square at the far end of The Mall and down the other end of the road from this is Buckingham Palace. I just love Admiralty Arch; it is beautiful and graceful.
Originally it was built as a memorial to queen Victoria by Sir Aston Webb, which was commissioned by Victoria's son Edward VII, who would also become king of England once the old girl had died. Aston Webb is the same person that built the front of Buckingham palace, the Arch was actually completed in 1910.
The three arches have their own wrought iron gates, but the central one is only ever opened on special occasions.
The inscription above the arches reads:
Which roughly translates to: "In the tenth year of the reign of King Edward VII, to Queen Victoria from a grateful nation, 1910"