Visit St James Park, Feed Pelicans, Diana Memorial Walk, Buckingham Palace And Changing Of The Guard
St James Park, approximately 58 acres in size, is one of the smaller but oldest of the Royal Parks in London.
St James Park is located in Westminster and bounded by Buckingham Palace to the west, St James’s Palace to the north-west and Westminster Palace (now better known as the Houses of Parliament) to the south-east.
In the 13th century a leper hospital was founded and named after St James the Less. It was a swampy marshland and in 1532 Henry VIII bought it and turned it into a deer park and built the Palace of St James’s.
The present landscape of St James’s Park was designed by the architect John Nash from 1826 to 1827 at the request of the Prince Regent, who later became George IV.
St James's Park has a small but beautiful lake, St. James's Park Lake, harbouring ducks, geese and pelicans. There are two islands in the lake, Duck Island and West Island. A bridge across the lake gives a scenic view of Buckingham Palace to the west, framed by trees and fountains,
and a lovely view of the London Eye and the main building of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, similarly framed, to the east.
Events in the Park
- Visit the St James Park’s allotment and learn how to grow potatoes, salads, and greens in containers, raised beds and confined spaces. This event is completely free of charge. The Park’s green-fingered experts will be on hand to provide friendly advice and tips for your garden. For more details ring 020-7298-2006.
Join the several guided walks in St James's Park throughout the year like “An Evening With Bats”, “Ghosts and Legends”, “John Nash’s Park” etc. Places are limited so booking is essential. Contact the St James's Park office on 020 7930 1793 (Mon-Fri 8am-4pm).
- Watch the feeding of pelicans daily between 2.30pm – 3.00pm near Duck Island Cottage. The first pelicans were given by a Russian ambassador in 1684.
There are two playgrounds within the park that is certain to keep your kids entertained.
- There is a bandstand on the northside of the lake where you can enjoy free band concerts here on weekend afternoons in summer.
Apart from the popular pelicans, there are also many geese and ducks on the water and songbirds in the shrubberies.
St James Park is also a popular location for film productions. Some of the movies using the park included the James Bond movie “Die Another Day” (2002), “101 Dalmations” (1996), “Mrs Henderson Presents” (2005), “Match Point” (2006) and several others.
The Diana Memorial Walk is a popular walk that take visitors through four of the most beautiful parks in the world, and within sight of famous buildings and locations associated with the Princess during her life.
You can start and end the walk here. Click here for the St James Park Diana Memorial Walk route map
There are 90 plaques charting the route of this seven mile long walk, taking you through St James’s Park, Green Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.
There are four refreshment cabins scattered around St James’s Park. They are open throughout the year and serve snacks, hot and cold drinks and ice creams. There is also a restaurant, “Inn The Park”, serving takeaway and eat-in snacks, as well as restaurant meals.
St James Park is at the very heart of London and is often used for ceremonial and state occasions. The Changing of the Guard takes place in Buckingham Palace daily in summer, and every other day for the remainder of the year.
As the park is so centrally located and there are good transportation links from here, you can easily get to the West End for theatre shows or the O2 Arena for concerts.
For your convenience here are lists of hotels near St James’s Park:
Hotels in Victoria Area
Hotels in Piccadilly and Leicester Square Areas
Hotels in Waterloo and Westminster Area