Holding a green parrot in St James's Park, London

London Parks – St James’s Park

One of my favourite things about London are the parks. Those in the suburbs tend to be more wild, whilst those in the centre – perfect and tidy, with flower beds, pavements and fences. One of my favourite parks in central London is St James’s Park. Located just opposite the Buckingham Palace, it truly looks like a royal park – beautiful, organised and tidy. Full of colourful flowers and amazing wildlife.

The majority of the park’s area is covered by a big, long pond. Going around it is a pavement, and behind that – flower beds and trees. It’s a weirdly peaceful and green place, for a city centre. As peaceful as a place crowded with tourists day and night can be, that is. If it wasn’t for the crowds, you could easily forget that you’re in the middle of a huge metropolis. (Anyone can spot the squirrel?)

Colourful flowers and a squirrel in St James's Park

I love the palm trees and other tropical-looking plants in London. Sometimes, walking through the city, I get an impression that every other person owning a patch of grass decides to plant some palm trees and make an illusion of living in a climate more tropical than it actually is. I don’t blame them though, if I ever have a garden in a climate where palm trees can survive the winter, I’ll probably get one myself!

Palm trees and colourful flowers in St James's Park

This photo was taken in early March, when all of the London parks were full of daffodils. A pretty sight for the end of winter.

Daffodils in St James's Park, London

The wildlife in London parks always amazes me. There are hundreds of geese of different species, if not more. Walking around the park amongst the tourists, fearless, taking advantage of every piece of food they can scavenge. It could be a good symbiosis, but the geese themselves aren’t wise enough to know what is and isn’t good for them, and many humans tend to forget that knowledge too. Animals in city parks are usually half-domesticated, tamed and used to living alongside humans, and I’m not against feeding them, as long as you don’t offer things that they clearly shouldn’t eat. I’ve seen two teenage girls feed a goose a sweet muffin and the poor bird ate it all, with the paper case. Not a great thing to do!

Two brown and white geese in St James's Park

A brown goose on the pavement in St James's Park

Apart from geese, there are also your other typical park pond creatures – ducks, swans and seagulls.

Swans, geese and ducks in a pond in St James's Park

There are also some less common birds, herons and pelicans, I believe.

A heron in St James's Park, London

A pelican in St James's Park, London

On one end of the pond, there’s a small house – probably an old gardener’s house? Surrounded by a mini garden full of peculiar flowers and other plants.

A small gardener's house surrounded by flowers

One of the most surprising facts that I learnt after I moved to London was that parks here are full of green parrots. I’m pretty sure a few decades ago escaped or released pets started this colony. They’re an invasive species and probably detrimental to the native ecosystem, but… they’re also incredibly cute! Very different to the usual brown and grey native birds of our climate. The parrots here seem to have a great sight and can spot monkey nuts as soon as you hold one up. Being able to interact with one made not just my day, but a whole week!

Holding a green parrot in St James's Park, London

Two green parrots sitting on a fence in St James's Park

I really love the parks in London, in summer – and even in winter, if it’s dry and not too freezing cold – I spend a big part of my weekends just walking without a purpose. It’s great for focusing the mind, relaxing, and that’s where most of my creative ideas are born.

Check out my other UK adventures!

A curious squirrel of Ruskin Park on my leg
Squirrels of Ruskin Park, London
Kew Gardens - tall palm trees
Kew Gardens in the rain
Lighthouse in Margate
Afternoon in Margate

10 thoughts on “London Parks – St James’s Park

  1. Wonderful photo, Alphe! Your lucky to be in such a beautiful place. Guessing that’s you feeding the bird, I so agree that we should never feedany bird or animal food that is not proper for them! So bad for them.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am with you, St James’s Park has always been my favourite. I still love it now and when I take someone round this park is always part of it. As you are on parks, I used to go to Hyde Park to do my homework for college in the 80’s. I also love all London Parks, they are real oasises ( Plural of oasis- don’t know 🙂 ) in the busy city.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s so true, the parks were definitely one of the biggest surprises for me when I first came to London, I didn’t expect them to be so big and so full of life. My favourite park is actually Richmond Park, farther away from the centre and unfortunately located on the exact opposite side of London to where I live so getting there takes quite a bit of time, but the deers are just phenomenal, I spent a lovely day in Richmond Park last autumn and I genuinely felt like a Disney princess surrounded by huge, tamed deers!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. They are! I think the London population of green parrots started as escaped pets a few decades ago, they aren’t native to the UK but have now populated every park in London. I guess with the climate changes they’re able to survive without any problems, especially given that stereotypical English weather doesn’t really apply to London, which is generally quite warm compared to the rest of the country, the temperature in winter drops below 0C maybe on one or two days and there’s no snow.

      Liked by 1 person

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