There are eight royal parks in London, and one of the most notable is St. James's Park. It is located in the City of Westminster in the heart of London and is bounded by Buckingham Palace to the west and the Horse Guards to the east. The park is perfectly manicured and occupies an important place in the history of London.
St James's Park is immediately adjacent to Buckingham Palace, where the extremely popular Changing of the Guard takes place. Visiting the Royal Gardens, watching free events (like the Changing of the Guard), and visiting free attractions (like the British Museum) are ways to not blow all one's money while visiting London.
St James's Park - London's Central Royal Park
St. James's Park spans 23 hectares and is part of a near-continuous chain of parks in London that include Green Park, Hyde Park, and Kensington Gardens. To the west is Buckingham Palace, to the north is the Mall, to the east is the Horse Guards, and to the south is the Birdcage Walk. The park includes The Mall and the Horse Guards Parade. The park is popular for events like Trooping the Color, state visits, and ceremonial occasions.
- Size: 23-Hectare (57 Acre)
- Location: City of Westminster, Central London
- One Of: Eight Royal Parks
- Opening Hours: From 5.00 to Midnight All Year Long
St James's Park is the second smallest of eight Royal Parks (that includes Hyde Park, Greenwich, and Green Park.
The park was named after a leper hospital that was dedicated to St. James the Less.
- Closest London Tube Stations: St. James's Park, Green Park, Victoria, Westminster
Being in the heat of London, there is ample public transportation to St James's Park.
Pelicans Of St James's Park
St James's Park has been home to pelicans for the last 400 years. These descend from pelicans were first given as a gift from the Russian Ambassador to the British King Charles II in 1664.
- Pelicans: Gifted To The British Crown In 1664
- Wingspan: 226cm to 360cm
The park's lake is home to many swans, geese, ducks, and the famous pelicans. After the great albatrosses, pelicans have the second-largest wingspan of all living birds, and they are a very rare sight in England.
- Pelican Feeding: Daily Between 2.30 pm and 3.00 pm
Go between 2.30 pm and 3.00 pm and see the pelicans being fed fresh fish every day. They are fed by the Duck Island cottage. The pelicans are all given names, and they are well taken care of. They are free to roam, but in practice, they rarely venture far from the park's lake.
They are also mischievous, and they used to fly over to the London Zoo to steal fish for lunch. They are also friendly to people but have also been known to have been attacked by dogs.
What To See & Do In St. James's Park
From St James's Park, one can enjoy stunning views of some of London's most iconic attractions - like Westminster, the London Eye, St James's Palace, Carlton House, Buckingham Palace, and other places. If one would like to chill and soak in the atmosphere of the park, there are deckchairs are available for rent during daylight hours outside the winter months. They cost £2 for an hour or £10 for the day and the season is from March to October.
- Deckchairs: Available For Rent
Right by the park is Buckingham Palace. The vibrant flower beds located at the edge of the park near Buckingham Palace were added in 1901. They were planted as a memorial to Queen Victoria, who passed away that year.
Changing Of The Guard
Perhaps the most famous event in London is the Changing of the Guard. Every day, tourists flock to Buckingham Palace by St James's Park and watch the New Guard exchange duty with the Old Guard with pomp and ceremony.
- Proper Name: Guard Mounting
- When: 11 am
- Duration: Around 30 Minutes
- Autumn and Winter: Every Alternate Day
- Spring And Summer: Every Day
When the Queen is in residence, there are four sentries out at the front of the building; when she is away, there are two sentries. Note that there is no Changing of the Guard ceremonies in very wet weather. Other events can be found on the Royal Parks website.