Last updated: 07/29/2019
Discover St James's Park, an amazing and beautiful park close to several important attractions in central London. Great to relax and recharge your batteries for many walks around town!
ST JAMES'S PARK
Opened in 1603, St James's Park is a 23-hectare park located in the westminster, where British royalty and important government buildings are concentrated. The park's name is a tribute to James the Less, known as Tiago Menor in Portuguese. He is mentioned in the bible as brother of the apostle Judas and son of Mary.
The park is bordered by Buckingham Palace, along the famous route The Mall which leads to the palace and is the scene of many royal events, and along Rua da royal cavalry, where the British cavalry change of guard takes place. St James's Park has many green areas and a large lake that divides the park into two parts.
BOOK NOW your hotel and save up to 50%. Travelers readers are with a SUPER DISCOUNT! And the best, with FREE CANCELLATION*!
*check the hotels with free cancellation on the website
The park completely changes its scenery depending on the time of year. In the warmer months, it is all green, with many trees providing a nice shade. But my favorite time to visit St James's Park is the autumn, there in the late afternoon. The park is simply amazing, with dry leaves in yellowish tones and the orange sun leaving the atmosphere bucolic! I highly recommend the experience!
WHAT TO KNOW AT ST JAMES'S PARK
The park has an excellent structure and is a great option for those who want to enjoy a few moments of tranquility during a busy day in London. He has a bandstand, a playground and a beautiful lake right in the center of the park. Check out the interactive map below for some of the main attractions at St James's Park and then a brief explanation of each one.
- DUCK ISLAND: In the middle of the lake is an islet known as Duck Island, which was built in 1665. It is a nature reserve that has a large collection of birds. There are around 17 different species of birds on site, including beautiful swans. In addition, some of the most famous residents are the pelicans, always present around 2:30-3:00 pm looking for fish in the lake.
- BLUE BRIDGE: A place that you cannot miss in St James's Park is the blue bridge (blue bridge). It is a low-arch concrete bridge and was installed in 1957, the third to be placed on the same site. It is possible to have spectacular views of the Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and even from London Eye, London's Ferris wheel!
ECONOMY IN LONDON: ACTIVITY CARDS
For those who want to do many things and visit many paid places in London, the suggestion is to purchase one of the cards that give you direct access to attractions and ride the tourist bus, saving a lot! O THE LONDON PASS is the most famous of them. The card can be purchased in versions of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 10 days. It entitles you to admission to over 60 of London's top attractions and 1 day tour on the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. In addition, the card offers more than 20 exclusive special offers at some of the city's shops and restaurants. See the full list of included attractions in this link. Price: from £69.
- TIFFANY FOUNTAIN: One of the highlights of the lake region is also the Tiffany Fountain, a fountain that spouts water to a height of 6 meters (it can reach up to 8 meters), and gives a very special charm to the park. There is a wind speed sensor located at the end of Duck Island that reduces the height of the jet when there are strong winds in the area. On special occasions, the water jet is illuminated at night with rainbow colors. The current font was installed in 2011 to replace the faulty 1966 original. The name is a tribute to the famous jewelry company Tiffany & Co. who gave the fountain as a gift to the City of London.
- BUCKINGHAM PALACE FLOWER BEDS: St James's Park is famous for having, at one end, a semi-circular area full of flowers in front of Buckingham Palace, called Buckingham Palace Flower Beds. This area was created in 1901 to highlight the Queen Victoria Memorial which is right in front of the palace. This garden has approximately 22,500 plants, including geraniums, sage and weeping figs. Scarlet geraniums are used to match the robes of the Queen's Guard at Buckingham Palace. In winter, the place has about 50,000 yellow flowers and red tulips.
MONUMENTS AND STATUES
St James's Park is home to a number of monuments and statues important. Here are the main ones that you will find in the park and its surroundings:
- Duke of York Statue: Bronze statue of the Duke of York that stands on a column 76 meters high.
- Guard's Memorial: Opened in 1936, this is a memorial honoring the guards who died in the First World War. After WWII, an inscription was added to remember those who died as well.
- King George VI Memorial: Statue in memory of King George VI, father of Queen Elizabeth II.
- Queen Mother Memorial: Memorial in honor of the mother of Queen Elizabeth II, who had the same name as her daughter and was known as Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
- National Police Memorial: Celebrates the lives of police officers who died in the line of duty in the UK.
- Captain Cook Statue: A bronze statue honoring the life of the great British explorer and navigator Captain James Cook.
- The Queen Victoria Memorial: This memorial is a tribute to Queen Victoria who died in 1901. It is located directly opposite Buckingham Palace.
- South African Royal Artillery Memorial: Memorial made in bronze that is dedicated to the members of the Royal Artillery killed in the Boer War in South Africa between 1899 and 1922.
- Boy Statue: Located opposite Queen Anne's Gate on Birdcage Walk, the “Statue of the Boy” depicts a boy sitting on a marble plinth, and was originally used as a drinking fountain.
- Graspan Royal Marines Memorial: Built in 1903, but only placed on the current site in 1948, this memorial pays homage to the Royal Marines.
- Royal Naval Division Memorial: This memorial is a tribute to the 45,000 members of the Royal Navy Division who died in World War I. The site was opened by Winston Churchill in 1925.
- Bali Memorial: This is a globe made of marble that celebrates the lives of the 202 victims of the 2002 Bali bombings.
Read more: England: Discover London's 8 Royal Parks
WHERE TO EAT AT ST JAMES'S PARK
St James's Park has a restaurant, as well as some stalls or carts that seem to be on site especially in the warmer months. The park's restaurant/bar/cafe is called St James's Café (Inn the Park) and serves coffees, breakfast options, hot dishes, sandwiches, among others. There is a special children's menu. In addition, during the summer, an upper terrace is set up which is perfect for a cold drink with views of the park. The restaurant is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm.
GET TO KNOW THE SURROUNDINGS
There are a lot of cool things to discover in the surroundings of St James's Park and you can take the opportunity to organize your itinerary by visiting some of these places. We wrote a special post with very cool tips on what to do in the Westminster area where St. James's Park. Be sure to check it out!
HOW TO GET TO ST JAMES'S PARK
As with pretty much everything in London, getting to St James's Park by public transport is very easy and convenient. The nearest metro stations and lines are:
- St. James's Park: serviced by District Line and circle line
- Charing Cross: serviced by Northern line and Bakerloo Line
- Westminster: served by Jubilee Line ,District Line and circle line
- Green Park: serviced by Piccadilly Line, Victoria Line and Jubilee Line
- Victoria: attended by Victoria Line, District Line and circle line
For those who prefer to arrive by bus (we particularly find it much better – and cheaper), here are some lines that pass close to the park:
- 3 Oxford Circus – Crystal Palace
- 11 Liverpool St – Fulham Broadway
- 12 Oxford Circus – Dulwich Plow
- 24 Pimlico – Hampstead Heath
- 29 Wood Green – Trafalgar Square
- 53 Trafalgar Square-Plumstead Common
- 77a Aldwych – Wandsworth
- 88 Camden Town – Clapham Common
- 91 Crouch End – Trafalgar Square
- 148 Shepherd's Bush – Camberwell
- 159 Marble Arch – Streatham
- 211 Waterloo – Hammersmith
- 453 Marylebone – Deptford
- Address: London SW1A 2BJ, England
- Schedules: daily from 5 am to midnight
- Entrance: free
Save this tip on Pinterest!
Read more about gardens in London:
- What to do in London – Complete itinerary of 5 days or more
- Kew Gardens: Royal Botanical Gardens in London
- London: Regent's Park and the panoramic view from Primrose Hill
- Holland Park and Kyoto Garden, beautiful Japanese garden in London
- London: Fulham Palace & Bishop's Park
- Syon House & Park: Mansion and beautiful park in London
- London: Guide to Exploring Kensington Gardens Park
- Sky Garden: Free Panoramic View of London
- Hyde Park: Guide to Visiting London's Famous Royal Park