London’s oldest royal palace and a swathe of monumental private clubs sets the tone for antiquity and exclusivity that pervades this venerable historic enclave
St. James’s Palace may be overshadowed by the more iconic Buckingham Palace next door, but it is here where the official seat of the British royal court resides. This centuries-old role is executed in a stately brick pile that forms central London’s most significant complete example of Tudor architecture and brims with the soaring turrets, twisting chimneys and crenelated rooftops that are the style’s picturesque trademark. But over the centuries the palace’s presence has also lent its name and status to the small district immediately to its north. Architecturally this was an association first capitalised upon in the late 17th century with the development of one of London’s earliest classical squares and again in the 19th century with the creation of the sumptuous parade of late Regency and Victorian private clubs with which this area is now synonymous. Combined with its charming labyrinth of small historic lanes and cobbled courtyards, St. James’s provides one of the most astonishingly well preserved examples of 17th to 19th century London in the capital.
St. James's Square
St. James's Palace
St. James's Piccadilly Church
WALK START LOCATION: Charing Cross tube station (Exit 6) / Map
WALK ENDS: Near St. James's Park station