St. James's Palace
Admire the red-brick facade and tick off other local highlights on a walking tour, with themed itineraries available to suit all range of interests. If you’re pushed for time or feeling active, zip among landmarks including St. James’s Palace on a running or cycling tour, while more independent adventurers can take advantage of hop-on hop-off services or virtual guided tours to discover St. James’s Palace and the wider area at their own pace.
Things to Know Before You Go
St. James’s Palace interior and grounds are mostly off limits to the public, with the exception of the adjacent Queen’s Chapel and Clarence House.
The palace is popular with history buffs, architecture enthusiasts, and fans of the modern royal family.
As it’s not possible to go inside, a coat or umbrella is useful during the rainy months.
The area’s wide paths and flat surfaces are mostly wheelchair-friendly.
How to Get There
Green Park and St. James’s Park are the nearest underground stations, each around a 10-minute walk away. Green Park station is also served by bus numbers 8, 9, 14, 19, 22, and 38, as well as hop-on hop-off services. As you’re unlikely to spend more than 15 minutes admiring the structure, it’s worth taking advantage of tours offering round-trip transfer to optimize your time.
When to Get There
Clarence House, the official residence of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, adjoins St. James’s Palace and opens to visitors each August. Visitors can also attend Sunday service in the Queen’s Chapel, which was once part of the palace and now lies just on the other side of Marlborough Road.
A Tale of Two Palaces
In 1762, King George III was concerned that St. James’s Palace was too small for his new family. He and his wife moved to neighboring Buckingham House, where 14 of their 15 children were born. The house was later developed into a palace by his sons. However, it was only when his great-granddaughter, Queen Victoria I, came to the throne that Buckingham Palace became the iconic royal residence that we know today, which is open to visitors every summer.
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