Are We Still in London?

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by RLB2 on September 22, 2011

So my previous review in this journal was about Trafalgar Square and if you had a look at the photos you would see that it was a gloriously sunny day. We were a bit hot and bothered and on our way from Trafalgar Square we decided to head to St James's Park and cool off by the lake.

St James's Park is bounded by Buckinham Palace to the west, St. James Palace and the Mall to the North and the Horse Guards to the east. All of these things are well worth a visit if you have time, but we really didn't. What I really like about all of the parks in London is that they are right slap bang in the middle of the city and most of them have been there for a long time. St. James's is the oldest of the Royal Parks in London and is actually named after a Leper Hospital dedicated to St James the less. The park dates all the way back to the reign of Henry VIII in 1532, but was marshland until 1603 when King James I's ascension to the throne, when he ordered the park to be drained, landscaped and filled with exotic animals such as elephants, crocodiles and camels. Sadly I don't think there are any left in the park today as I didn't see any.

We reached the park from the east and the first thing we saw was Duck Island Cottage, which is actually the offices for the London Historic Parks and Gardens Trust. It's a very picturesque cottage, with a full vegetable garden out front. The second thing we noticed was the lake and we watched many of the birds for quite a while. It was a few moments before I actually saw Buckingham Palace in the background, and I have to say it was probably nicer seeing it from this vantage point than being right up at the gates.

I love the parks of London, but I particularly loved this park because I was so hot that day. Sitting under the trees watching the birdlife on the lake I really felt like I had left central London for an hour or so. My advice is if you're feeling hot and bothered wandering around London or you want somewhere to enjoy a picnic, then head to this park!
St. James's Park and Green Park
Between Green Park and Piccadilly Circus
London, England, W1/SW1
+44 (207) 930 1793

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