Winter in St. James's Park

Welcome to St. James's Park

Pomp and circumstance. Buckingham Palace. And a princely pod of pelicans! 

Frequently asked questions

Please find some of St. James's Park’s most frequently asked questions below. If you can’t find the information you need then you can get in touch by using our contact form.

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The pedestrian and vehicle gates open from 5am and close at midnight each day throughout the year. Any public notices relating to temporary closures (due to park events or maintenance, for example) can be found on the St. James's Park web page.

St. James's Park is well served by a range of different public transport services:

The closest mainline stations are Charing Cross and Victoria. Charing Cross is served by services from Southeastern and Victoria is served by services from Southern, Southeastern and Gatwick Express. Walking times to the park from both stations is approximately 15 minutes.

You can travel to St. James's Park via the Circle (St. James's Park) underground line located south of the park. Slightly further out is the Jubilee (Green Park) underground line.

There are plenty of options for getting to the park by bus. Use an online planner from TfL or Google to prepare for your journey.

Cycling to St. James's Park has never been easier. There are a wealth of marked cycleways passing around the park, and there are several cycle hire points around the park. Full details of both can be found on the TfL website.

St. James's Park is approximately 23 hectares (57 acres) in size - the equivalent of 8.5 Wembley Stadiums! The park's perimeter is approximately 1.3 miles long. You can view or download the park map here.

St James's Park is the oldest Royal Park in London and is surrounded by three palaces: Westminster (now known as the Houses of Parliament), St. James's Palace and Buckingham Palace. In 1532 Henry VIII acquired the site as another deer park and successive monarchs made subtle changes to the area. Charles II, however, made dramatic changes by redesigning the park, planting avenues of trees and laying lawns. The King opened the park to the public and was a frequent visitor, feeding the ducks and mingling with his subjects.

More information on the park's history can be found here.

St. James's Park has no on-site car parks, so if you plan to arrive by car you will need to find alternative locations in nearby Hyde Park, or use on-street meters or the private car parks found to the north and south of the park. These can be found on information sites such as Parkopedia, and will charge for the duration of your stay.

Cycling is only permitted along the roads which surround the main park. These include The Mall, Horse Guard's Road and Birdcage Walk (which is part of TfL's C3 cycleway and links up with The Green Park and Hyde Park). Smaller paths across the park where cycling is not allowed have clear 'no cycling' signage at ground level. Please be considerate and give space to other park users and the park's wildlife. Pedestrians have priority at all times.

You can check permitted cycleways on OpenStreetMap.

There is a 20p charge to use the public toilets in the parks. We have recently installed a contactless system which accepts credit/debit cards, prepaid cards and mobile wallet payments like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Cash is no longer accepted.

St. James's Park has two main cafés - St. James's Café and Storey's Gate Café. There are also several smaller refreshment kiosks dotted throughout the park. View the Food and Drink section for full details of each outlet, along with their latest menus.

You can find their locations on the park map.

As a highly landscaped park with a large lake St. James's Park has no dedicated facilities for organised sport. However, its network of quality paths attracts plenty of recreational runners and walkers - including those tackling the seven-mile long Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk. This self-guided walk passes through St. James's Park, The Green Park and Hyde Park before returning to the start at Kensington Palace.

Discover more here.

Generally, dogs do not need to be kept on a lead in St. James's Park. However there is one exception to this - the fenced-off grass area around the lake. Other areas where dogs are not allowed are listed in our Dogs in The Royal Parks policy document.

Commercial dog walkers
Please note, that if you want to use the Royal Parks for commercial dog walking purposes, you must have a Commercial Dog Walking Licence issued by The Royal Parks charity. 

No. Feeding birds and animals in the parks does more harm than good. You can learn more about why this is, and how you can help us in caring for their wellbeing here.

Getting in touch with park offices is quick and easy and all enquiries are handled by our dedicated Visitor & Park Support team.

Simply complete the short online enquiry form and your question(s) will be passed to the most appropriate staff member. To ensure an efficient service, please check that you have provided the following information:

  • Park 
  • Subject
  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • Your enquiry

You can also contact the park offices by telephone using the following numbers:

Contacting the police in an emergency
For police assistance, please call 101 for non-emergencies, and 999 for emergencies. You can also report a crime online.

To report lost property, please contact our Visitor and Park Support Team via their online contact form with the following information:

  • Your contact details
  • A description of the item
  • Date and time when the item was lost
  • Location (if known) where the item was lost

If the property has been found by staff or handed in to us we'll let you know.

To report criminal activity in the park you should contact the police. For non-emergencies call 101, and for emergencies call 999. You can also report a crime online.

No. St. James's Park is not available as a location for personal training or group fitness sessions.

Fitness training licences are only available for Hyde Park, The Regent's Park, The Green Park, Greenwich Park, Richmond Park and Bushy Park. They are not available for St. James's Park, Kensington Gardens, Victoria Tower Gardens or Brompton Cemetery.

Detailed information about fitness training licences can be found here, along with an online application form.

If you are filming/photographing by yourself on a mobile phone or action camera for purely personal use then no you don't need a permit to film/photograph in the park. However, for all other purposes you will need to obtain a filming or photography permit from The Royal Parks charity. Full information and online application forms can be found here.

Yes, we welcome informal picnics in the Royal Parks. Please read our guidance document for maximum group sizes and what is and isn't permitted. Please note that barbecues are not allowed.

Every year, we welcome hundreds of small and medium events to the Royal Parks, including walks and runs, large picnics, concerts and community sports. Applications for such events are considered by our dedicated Parks Events team. To find out more, and submit an application click here. At least six weeks’ notice is required.

We welcome the use of our park bandstands for small public events such as music festivals, dance or group fitness workshops or theatrical performances. Applications for such events are considered by our dedicated Parks Events team. To find out more, and submit an application click here. At least six weeks’ notice is required.

For the safety of visitors and protection of park wildlife, public swimming is not allowed in any of the lakes and ponds of the Royal Parks. The only exception is the Serpentine Lido in Hyde Park which is manned by lifeguards and open during summer months.