Green Park & St. James Park
Select a nice day to stroll through two of London’s royal parks while you check out if the King is at home!
Exit the tube at Green Park Station.
While Green Park is the smallest of London’s royal parks it is comprised of a 40-acre triangle between Picadilly and Constitution Hill. Near Buckingham Palace, it is a lovely spot to spend a well-weather day!
Enter Green Park through the gate located opposite of Bolton Street and walk west. Turn left on Broad Walk as you admire the tree-lined path and continue on to Queen’s Square. Look to the right and you will see Buckingham Palace. The palace was built in 1803 for the Duke of Buckingham. It has been the royal family’s home since 1837.
Buckingham Palace Tour
If you see that the Royal Standard flag is raised it means that the King is in residence. Buckingham Palace is the perfect place to put your camera to work. Good subjects include the marble statue of Queen Victoria located in the center of Queen’s Square or the Changing of the Guard. To time your visit you can consult the schedule online.
Exit on the east side of the Square onto the Mall which will take you to another lovely space, St. James Park. This is the oldest of the royal parks. Within the park is the Horse Guards Parade. The park itself sits among some of London’s most famous landmarks such as St. James Palace and Clarence House.
St. James Palace was King Henry VIII’s “goodly manor,” which was, in the sixteenth century a turreted palace with an entrance from the gatehouse located at the bottom of St. James. It was quite a bit larger before the fire of 1809 destroyed the east wing. Today, the Tudor gatehouse is all that remains of the original building. As a residence of the royal family, the palace is not open to the public.
St. James Palace
This is a nice park to take a break, watch the ducks, or smell the roses. If you are hungry you may want to visit Inn on the Park for a bite to eat.
Continue walking through the park until you come to Horse Guard Road. Further ahead is Horse Guard Parade. This is where the military parades take place.
Continue walking down Horse Guard Road to King Charles Street. For a touch of military history, you may want to stop at the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms located at Clive Steps, King Charles Street. The museum is open daily from 9:30am to 6pm with the last admission at 5:45pm. The museum is closed December 24, 25, and 26. There is a charge for admission.
Documentary – Churchill & the War Rooms
You will be able to have a glance at what life was like for the Prime Minister during the war years, including a visit to the Map Room which remains as it was when World War II ended.
Resume your journey south and turn left at Great George Street, passing Parliament Square and Churchill’s statue until you have arrived at the end of your tour at Westminster tube station.
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