St. James's Park, London About the Park The land on which pristine St James’s Park sits was acquired by Henry VIII in 1532. At this site, he built St James’s Palace. Later, Elizabeth I, who loved pageantry, held many special events in the park, and her successor, King Charles II, made many additions to the park, including more trees and grassy areas. He was the first to open the park to the public. Throughout the centuries, the park was used as a Royal Zoo, a reservoir, and even a bowling alley, all of which took their toll on the park in one way or another. In the 1830s, John Nash redesigned the park, making it more romantic in style and revitalizing the trees, lawns, and gardens. St James's Park provides habitats for a variety of different species of fauna. The park’s lake is home to 15 different species of waterfowl, including pelicans, who were introduced to the park in the mid 1600s. The park welcomes more than 5.5 million visitors per year and has become quite popular with the movie industry. Visitors can often view film crews shooting footage throughout the park.turkeyarena.com In addition to St James’s Palace, two other palaces skirt the park - Westminster, the oldest; and Buckingham Palace , where monarchs have resided since 1837. Visiting St James’s Park St. James's Park is located in the heart of London, right near Whitehall and Downing Street. Nearby are popular sights like the Horse Guards, Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey. Most visitors simply enjoy strolling through the park, watching the wildlife. There’s also a children’s playground for the little ones and deck chairs for relaxing in the warm summer months. Ceremonial parades and important national events are often held at the adjoining avenue known as The Mall.