St James’s Park is maybe the most famous of the 8 Royal Parks in London. It is surrounded by several landmarks including Buckingham Palace and Whitehall. Its famous flower beds and easy-to-approach squirrels and Pelicans attract Londoners as well as tourists all year long. Here are the reasons why you should not miss a walk in this royal park…
A royal Park close to Buckingham Palace
St James’s Park is the oldest Royal Park in London. It was acquired in 1532 by Henri VIII, who built the Palace of St James’s. Then it was improved by the successive Kings and Queens until Charles II, who made the most important changes and in particular opened the Park to the public.
In 19th century John Nash redesigned it in a more romantic style that we can admire now.
Wildlife at St James Park
The park counts many benches where you can sit and enjoy the view over the lake…
or observe the (very sociable) animals living there.
The Ducks even have their own Island at St James’s Park and their attitude makes it obvious that they are fully used to seeing crowds of humans and are not afraid at all by the noise!
Even the Pelicans feel at their ease in the Park, knowing that nobody would disturb them (even feeding them is forbidden). They have lived in St James’s Park for nearly 400 years! They were originally presented as a gift from the Russian Ambassador to King Charles II.
The squirrels have clearly won the public’s favors: easy to approach and always keen on eating something, They are well-known for directly coming to humans begging for some nuts…
Plants at St James’s Park
St James Park is famous for its colorful flowers beds and beautiful trees.
Daffodils are everywhere at the moment, as well as cherry trees. The Park becomes suddenly so colorful, which is an utmost delight after such a long winter…
Obviously it feels like spring in London and St James’s Park offers an ideal bucolic setting to enjoy the new season.
I like to wander in this park, which provides deck chairs to soak up the sun from March to October (information here).
The Park is very much inspiring and attracts artists at all times… Even film directors have succumbed to the beauty of St James’s Park, like Woody Allen in “Match Point” in 2006 … Whole list of films made in St James’s Park here!
You can’t avoid all the city landmarks while walking into St James’s Park. And the best place to have a full overview of London highlights is to stand on the Blue Bridge in the center of the Park.
From there, you will be able to admire Buckingham on one side (West) and even head over to its famous daily changing of the guard and processions which take place along the Park (North side)…
You will also see the London Eye or even Churchill War Rooms on the East side.
St James’s Park offers an ideal location to start discovering London and its Royal Parks in particular. You can also have lunch at the restaurant “Inn The Park” or simply have drinks at the several refreshment points in the Park.
Go to St James’s Park and share your impressions on this blog!