St. James's and The Mall, London
The wildlife in Saint James' Park is incredibly tame as they are fed all day long by tourists and people passing through. It is therefore possible to get good photos without the need of a telephoto lens. This lactating squirrel was taken from a distance of around 1-2 metres away and was happily taking food out of peoples hands.
Note:- Grey Squirrels are not a native British animal, they were imported from America, and being much more aggressive than the native British Red Squirrel, they have pretty much driven the Red Squirrels out of the whole of England. There are just a few pocket of them left. Recently conservation efforts are aiming to help the Red Squirrel get a toehold back in England.
On busy Piccadilly, in the heart of the West End, is this lovely church designed by Christopher Wren (he who designed many of the churches in the City of London and of course St Paul’s Cathedral). It has stood here since 1684 and is both an active parish church and a tourist attraction.
The building is considered to be one that most precisely captures Wren’s views on what a parish church should be – large enough to accommodate all who wished to worship there, but not so large that any would be unable to see or hear the preacher. As well as the overall design by Wren, the church has an altar piece, organ case and font carved by renowned wood and stone carver Grinling Gibbons. The steeple is of a slightly later date than the rest of the church, as problems during its construction led to its being removed until the tower could be made safer. The church was partially destroyed in May 1940, by a bomb which was dropped as part of the Blitz, and restored towards the end of that decade.
In 1902 this outside pulpit was erected on the north wall of the church as an offering, designed by Temple Moore and carved by L. A. Turner. It too was damaged in 1940 but restored at the same time as the rest of the north wall.
The grounds are home to the Piccadilly Market – an antiques and collectables market held every Tuesday from 10.00 – 6.00 pm, and an arts and crafts market held Wednesday to Saturday from 11.00 – 6.00 pm. There is also a peaceful garden, developed as a garden of remembrance “to commemorate the courage and fortitude of the people of London” during the Second World War, which provides a lovely spot in which to take a break from the hubbub of the surrounding streets, and a coffee shop (currently a branch of Caffe Nero which has excellent coffee).
St. James's Palace, commissioned by Henry VIII, is one of London's oldest and most historic palaces. The palace was constructed in the red-brick Tudor style around four courtyards: its gatehouse survives on the north side, flanked by polygonal turrets.
From 1953 until her death in 2002, the Queen Mother lived at Clarence House in a wing of St. James's Palace. Clarence House was also used by Diana during her engagement to Prince Charles. Before that it was the home of The Prince of Wales between the ages of one and three, when Her Majesty the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh moved there following their marriage in 1947.
It was built in 1828 for William IV before he came to the throne, when he was still the Duke of Clarence thereby getting the name. During its history, the house has been altered, reflecting the changes in occupancy over nearly two centuries.
Today Clarence House is The Prince of Wales's official London residence and is open to the public periodically(for those of you in the dark that Prince Charles). After he took residence, the house was refurbished and redecorated, with antiques and art added from the royal collection.
Tours are available Aug 4-Oct 17 ( daily 9:30am-6pm). Visitors are taken on a guided tour of five of the staterooms, where much of the Queen's collection of works of art and furniture is on display, along with pieces added by Prince Charles. The Queen Mother had an impressive collection of 20th-century British art, including works by John Piper, Augustus John, and Graham Sutherland. She also was known for her superb collection of Fabergé and English porcelain and silver, especially pieces from her family collection.
St James's Park is one of the Royal Parks of London in the City of Westminster, London, just east of Buckingham Palace and west of Downing Street. The St James's area, including St James's Palace, is just to the north.
It is bounded by The Mall to the north, Horse Guards to the east, and Birdcage Walk to the south. The park has a small lake, St James's Park Lake, with two islands, Duck Island (named for the lake's collection of waterfowl) and West Island. A bridge across the lake affords views of Buckingham Palace framed by trees and fountains.
It was bought as a marsh by Henry VIII, who had it turned into a deer chase. It was opened to the public by Charles II.
The Park is the easternmost of an almost continuous chain of parks that also comprises (moving westward) Green Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.
Old trees, Ducks , Gooses and lots of Squirrels !
I didn't know there was a park in the heart of London directly across from Buckingham Palace! Why don't they ever show that on North American TV? Guess they want us to think that "Central Park" in New York City is the only real urban park in the world.
St James's Park is fantastic! We couldn't help but marvel at the beautiful landscaping, flowers, river, fountain, and the wide variety of birds and animals milling about. There's something very relaxing about stopping for a few seconds from the bustle just to watch some ducks, geese, pelicans, and swans swim around. I was astonished to see that they even had a few of our (demonic birds) Canada Geese. (Must've been given to England as a "gift" by some Canadian politician with a sense of humour.)
The land was originally a marsh. King Henry VIII had it drained in the 15th Century and made into a deer park for his hunting. In the 17th Century, Charles II had it landscaped into a garden by a French landscaper named Andre Le Notre. He also had an aviary built on the site.
There's a cafe in the park and bands give concerts twice a day on weekends during the summer. Pale office workers can be seen laying around and tanning on their lunch breaks. There are occasionally guided tours and special events in the park; check their web site for dates and times.
This is the oldest, prettiest, and most regal of the parks in London; you have to put it on your "must see" list!
Any Park in london is great on a summers day, lots of people sunning themselves playing sports and generally chilling out, however the odd hairy large guy in the speedos doesn't seem to add to the ambience...
Green park is located opposite St James' park split but the Mall and Buckingham Palace. Many people sunbathe here during the summer months and you can even hire deckchairs if you want to be really English. The park goes all the way up to Wellington Arch where Hyde park is on the other side. The park is safe being near the Palace its always patrolled by police who are happy to give directions etc.
St. James's Park is one of the prettiest in London with it's lovely beds of flowers, pond and abundance of waterfowl, including some really cool black swans and pelicans, overlooking Buckingham Palace in the distance. If you happen to be at Buckingham Palace, you can walk through the park to get to the area around Westminter Abbey and Parliament. About 1/2 way through the park there is a bridge going over the pond where you can get lovely shots of Buckingham Palace.
At one time a marsh, it was drained by Henry VIII to become part of his hunting ground and was later redesigned by Charles II with an aviary along the southern edge which is now Birdcage Walk.
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.
St. James Park is the oldest Royal park and is bordered by three palaces -- Buckingham, St. James and Westminster Palace (the House of Parliament). As you can see on my pictures, even when it is wintertime and not so green, the park is pretty atmospheric, especially around sunset :-)
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.
It's most of the time hard for me to tell where green Park ends and St James's start. They are not quite the same though. If the weather allows, enjoy a day watching the ducks, the lakes, sitting on a bench with a cup of coffee and a scone..
Check the website below for a listing of events...
"The Mall" is the large road that runs from Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace seperating Green Park and St James' park. On a summers day its nice to walk down here from trafalgar as there's a lot of people in the parks and the scenery is beautiful.
The Mall on special occasions has british flags flying all the way down (see pic) like on the Queens birthday. Everyday from about May time til August at 11 o'clock you can watch the changing of the guard wandering down here with their Bearskin hats and Royal Red Tunics.
Of course you will want a photo of you with a Place Guard.
The Buckingham Palace Guards are hard to get close to, but there is a guard to the back entrance to St. James Palace that is perfect for the job.
Your challenge: see if you can make him smile.
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St James's Park is a pretty royal park nestled between Birdcage Walk and the Mall. It is London's oldest royal park and is situated between Buckingham Palace and Horse Guards Parade so you can walk through it to get from one of these landmarks to the other.
The park is home to a lake with two islands which attract lots of birdlife. Indeed, there is supposed to be a colony of pelicans in the park, but they were nowhere to be seen when I visited. Even in February during my visit, the park is kept beautifully with some very colourful flowerbeds. There is a great view of the London Eye and Horse Guards Parade visible from beside St James's Park Lake.
As I walked along the Mall, in the direction of the Admiralty Arch, I noticed a gate at the Stable Yard Road, I was an entrance to the Clarence House (House of the Queen mother and to the Lancaster House (another Royal residence), both this houses can not be visited.
And just behind there was a Royal guard, and this guard was much closer to the gate the the one near the Buckingham Palace, like this it was more easy to make a photograph of him.