London is famous for its long history, heritage and royal connections. There are several palaces dotted around the city with one of the most significant being St James Palace.
With a rich royal history, St James has hosted some of the most important events in British history and is still a working palace to this day. Read on to discover why this Tudor treasure is well worth adding to your itinerary the next time you visit London…
Built between 1531 and 1536 by Henry VIII, St James Palace still maintains much of its red brick exterior and is a striking example of Tudor architecture. Kings and queens of the past including Charles II, James II, Mary of York, Queen Anne and James Francis Edward Stuart were all born at St James Palace.
The palace apartments and staterooms were used for important functions of the day. They were later enlarged by Sir Christopher Wren to accommodate huge banquets, weddings and other royal receptions.
Queen Victoria used St James Palace for her own wedding to Prince Albert, and several rooms were redecorated during this period by artist William Morris.
A present-day palace
Now, the palace is used as the official residence of Princess Beatrice of York and Princess Alexandra. The Chapel Royal or Queen’s Chapel are open to the public at certain times of the year, but what really draws in the crowds is the ornately dressed guards that flank the entrance.
To get to St. James Palace from the Chilworth hotel, head to Paddington Station and take the Circle Line to St. James’s Park Station. This takes just 30 minutes.
As the palace is popular with tourists who come to marvel at its grandeur, it’s best to get there early so fill up on breakfast at one of our restaurants near Paddington and then set off to beat the crowds.
The Tube you need runs from Paddington Station every five minutes, so you won’t have to wait long after leaving the Chilworth hotel to be on your way to this impressive piece of London’s history.
Once you’ve explored the palace, St James’ Park is just a short stroll down the road. Here you can take in the majesty of the building from a distance before returning to our restaurants near Paddington for a dinner fit for a King (or Queen!).
If you’re still hungry for more of London’s beautiful palaces, there are several other important royal residences that are worth visiting during your time in the city. From the iconic Buckingham Palace to Kensington Palace, many of these attractions are open to the public and offer a wide array or interesting tours suitable for the whole family.
Plus, one of the best things about London is its public transport infrastructure. All of London’s palaces are easily accessible by either bus or Tube, both of which are inexpensive and reliable ways to get around this wonderful and historic city.
1. Is St James Palace open to the public?
A: No, James Palace is not open to public visit. But you can visit more royal palaces and residences.
2. How do you get to St James Palace?
A: To get at St. James Palace from the closest areas are:
- Walking distance from Clarence House, to St James’s Palace
- Green Park or St. James’s Park is the nearest undergrounds
- From Victoria Coach Station just a 15-minute walk to St James’s Palace