St James’s Park is the perfect place to take a break from your busy tourist schedule and experience the more leisurely side of London. The 57-acre (23-hectare) green space is within walking distance of three of London’s most treasured royal landmarks: Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and St James’s Palace.
London has the monarchy to thank for many of its most beautiful parks. Once reserved as the private hunting and riding grounds of royalty, today the Royal Parks of London are open to all. St James’s Park is the oldest of this network of eight parks, which together form the “green lungs of London”.
After the Changing of the Guard at nearby Buckingham Palace, pay a visit to the Queen Victoria Memorial and Gardens. Just beyond is St James's Park, flanked by The Mall on one side and the Birdcage Walk on the other.
On summer weekdays, join the office workers lazing on the lawns and enjoy the free concerts. Or you could hire a deckchair and watch the pelicans and waterfowl gliding by on St James’s Park Lake. The lake's two islands also provide important sanctuaries for woodpeckers, owls and robins.
Explore the park’s tree-lined paths and avenues on foot or by bicycle, before refuelling at one of the area's many cafés or pubs.
If you are visiting in June, don’t miss the "Trooping the Colour" ceremony on Horse Guards Parade. During this annual tradition, which marks the Queen’s birthday, Her Majesty personally inspects the troops of the Household Division. June is also the time to catch the rousing musical spectacular "Beating Retreat", presented by the Royal Marines.
St James’s Park is located in the city of Westminster. It’s open daily, all year round. The park is within walking distance of many other attractions, including the three palaces, the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms, Admiralty Arch and the Institute of Contemporary Arts. The closest Underground station is St James’s Park.