Definitive guide

St James’s Park

St James's Park, in the heart of ceremonial London, is one of the most well-known and the oldest of the Royal Parks in London

St James’s Park is one of the eight Royal Parks in London, and it is famous for its long history, which has put it at the heart of ceremonial London. The park is indeed lodged between Buckingham Palace (the royal residence), Westminster Palace (the Houses of Parliament), and 10 Downing Street (the British PM’s residence).

St James’s Park in London
St James’s Park is particularly lovely during the spring, when the cherry and mulberry trees are blooming. Author Garry Knight: Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Its history began in 1532 when Henry VIII acquired the area to make it into an appropriate royal estate garden. Less than one hundred years later, in 1603, the land, which was mostly marsh at the time, was drained and landscaped, with exotic animals being brought in on orders of King James I.

The park was further landscaped on the model of popular French gardens in the second half of the 17th century. Several of the landmarks that surround St James’s Park today, like Buckingham Palace, The Mall, and the Victoria Memorial were either expanded or built in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

St James’s Park is a favourite for relaxing walks among locals thanks to its green scenery rich in vast lawns, shrubbery, trees, wildlife (the pelicans in particular), flower beds, statues, and monuments.


St James’s Park, London SW1A 2BJ.

St James’s Park occupies the stretch of land in Central London that goes from Buckingham Palace to 10 Downing Street. It is lodged between the exclusive St James’s neighbourhood and the Westminster district. To the park’s west, just separated by a large street known as The Mall, is another one of the Royal Parks, Green Park.

The area is rich in landmarks and famous monuments, including Westminster Abbey and Westminster Palace (both just southeast of St James’s Park). Crossing the River Thames just behind the aforementioned Palace, you’ll find yourself in front of the London Eye.

St James’s Park schedule and entries

St James’s Park is open every day from 5:00 am until midnight, with no exceptions. Entry to the park, its monuments, and viewpoints is always free.

Day Opening time Closing time
Mon-Sun 5:00 am 12:00 am


While St James’s is not a massive park, it still covers an extensive area, so you can take different lines depending on where in the park you intend to go. The Tube stop St James’s Park is located south of the park and it serves lines Circle and District. Along those same lines, plus the Jubilee, you’ll find Westminster station, just at the southeastern edge of the park. Finally, at the northeastern edge of St James’s Park is Charing Cross, where both the Bakerloo and the Northern lines stop.

In terms of buses, lines 3, 6, 9, 11, 12, 24, 87, 88, 159, and 453 all drop you off the closest to the park (along its eastern and northern sides). Additionally, lines 148 and 211 can leave you not far from the park’s southern side.

You can find a summary of the public transport options in the table below.

Method Underground Bus
Lines Circle, District, Jubilee, Bakerloo, Northern 3, 6, 9, 11, 12, 24, 87, 88, 148, 159, 211, 453
Stops St James’s Park, Westminster, Charing Cross -

Nearby sights

Green Park - across the street from St James’s Park, just west of it.

Buckingham Palace - 300 m (0.2 miles) west, 4-minute walk.

Westminster Abbey - 400 m (0.3 miles) southeast, 5-minute walk.

Westminster Palace - 450 m (0.3 miles) southeast, 6-minute walk.

Big Ben - 450 m (0.3 miles) east, 6-minute walk.

Trafalgar Square - 450 m (0.3 miles) northeast, 6-minute walk.

National Gallery - 550 m (0.3 miles) northeast, 7-minute walk.

National Portrait Gallery - 650 m (0.4 miles) northeast, 8-minute walk.

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St James’s Park