St. James’s Palace
An essential part of the fabric of British history, St James’s Palace was an official sovereign residence for over 300 years. Today, this busy, working palace is still a centre point in London, and a beautiful example of Tudor architecture.
With a perfectly central London setting in Westminster, St James’s Palace is ideally placed for those looking to soak up a bit of British history and take in the sights around the capital.
Built by Henry VIII in the mid-16th century, this stunning Tudor palace is still known as the official residence of the Queen, although since Queen Victoria’s day British monarchs have lived in Buckingham Palace. Today, most of the original, red bricked buildings have survived the centuries and a significant fire in the early 1800s, and they still house many royal offices, beautiful original décor and royal portraits.
Although St James’s Palace isn’t open to the public, it is still the venue of many royal events and ceremonies, and it’s a great place to stop by and grab a quick picture. For the ultimate snap try and capture one of The Queen's Guards in your shot.
Discover the local area
The area around St James’s has everything for a fun day out. Exclusive restaurants like The Lyttelton serving gorgeous British food and Wheeler’s of St James, a fancy fish restaurant from Marco Pierre White are all nearby. There are also lots of more casual places to grab a drink and a snack like the local Pret A Manger.
If you’re looking to explore more historic and cultural sights, take a short walk across to Spencer House, Princess Diana’s ancestral home and a beautiful example of an 18th-century London residence. Clarence House, formerly the home of the late Queen Mother is also within easy reach, with guided tours for those looking to learn more.
For art fans, the Chris Beetles gallery is a must-see. Step inside to see some exceptional English art. Or for something equally impressive, make a trip to the exclusive Bowman Sculpture gallery, a hotspot for people looking to get their hands on really expensive pieces of original art. If something a little edgier is more your style though, the White Cube gallery is the place for you, a well-known home of the Young British Artists collective.
When it comes to finding a hotel near St James’s Palace, we’d recommend having a look at some of the luxury 5-stars for the ultimate experience, like the Dukes Hotel, The Stafford London or the Sofitel London St James’s. In such a historic and upmarket area, it’s a little further to go for budget places to stay, but a short trip towards Piccadilly will give you some great options.
With such a breathtaking range of sights and historic landmarks around St James’s Palace it really is worth staying close to get the full, authentic London experience.
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