Route & what to see

site map

The area is named from a leper hospital on the site of which Henry VIII built a Royal Palace. Major developments followed the construction in 1663 of St James's Square and Wren's church built in 1684. It has always been a fashionable area. A feature of this walk is its many galleries, clubs, and historic shops including four arcades. There are also a number of statues and memorials. There are plenty of places to eat and picnic.

Bold type indicates additional information is available

This walk of 3 miles starts from Charing Cross Station (Northern, Bakerloo & main line) and finishes near Westminster Abbey between St James's Park & Westminster tube stations. The main things to see are clubs, shops (including 4 arcades) and statues & memorials.

From Charing Cross Station exit into the Strand, turn left and cross to the subway entrance by South Africa House. Follow the subway (which past the tube station is lined with interesting tiles) through to Cockspur Street. Turn left on exiting and walk right along the Mall and go up the steps to the right just past ICA.
At the top is the Duke of York's column. Carlton House Terrace replaced the Prince Regent's Carlton House.

Walk through Waterloo Place ahead
There are statues including to explorers Franklin and Scott, Edward VII, Florence Nightingale & the Crimea and others. Also the Athenaeum and Institute of Directors, formerly the United Services Club.

Cross and go left along Pall Mall
Opposite are the Traveller's (106) and Reform (104) Clubs

Right into St James's Square.Go into the central garden and view information panel. From the centre exit to the right and continue around the square.
The central statue is to William III and under the horse's hooves is the molehill which indirectly led to William's death. The memorial in the NE corner is to Yvonne Fletcher the young policewoman shot on the site in 1984. Also in the NE corner is the Naval & Military (In & Out) Club, a former home of the Astors and in the NW corner the London Library. At number 16/17 is the East India Club opened in 1850 and now amalgamated with Devonshire, Sports and Public Schools.

Exit by Duke of York Street, go left into Ormond Yard and continue through into Mason's Yard (former stable yard to St James's Square)
Mason became a partner in the famous Fortnum & Mason store. The White Cube Gallery replaced an electricty generating station.

Exit left into Duke Street St James. At the end go right into King Street
Auctioneers Christies premises (galleries are open to the public)

Through Angel Court opposite - adjacent to the Golden Lion pub
Plaques here commemorate the St James's Theatre associated with Oscar Wilde and others.

Go right into Pall Mall and first right through Crown Passage
Red Lion pub and rear of Lock's Hatters

Cross King Street into Bury Street.
At the end are the Edwardian premises of Turnbull & Asser, shirtmakers.

Go right into Jermyn Street and left through the Piccadilly Arcade of 1909. Go right along Picadilly
On the left is the Royal Academy in Burlington House and the entrance to the Albany. On the right are Fortnum & Mason's store and Hatchard's Bookshop.

Right through Prince's Arcade of the 1880s and left along Jermyn Street.
Shops of interest include Floris perfumery and Paxton & Whitfield, cheesemongers

Through St James's Church or left along the alley just past it.
The church was built by Wren in 1676-84 and commissioned by Henry Jermyn

Go left along Piccadilly and cross to Sackville Street to the right. At the end left into Vigo Street.
On the right is Gieves & Hawkes at the corner of Saville Row. Livingstone's body was bought back here when it was the premises of the Royal Geographical Society. On the left is the Albany, gentlemen's chambers of 1803 flanked by two lodges.

Continue along Burlington Gardens and go left through the Burlington Arcade
Built in 1819 London's longest arcade is patrolled by uniformed beadles to ensure its regulations are adhered to.

Right into Piccadilly and first right up old Bond Street.
This street has expensive shops.

Go through the Royal Arcade of 1880 to the left at number 28

Left down Albemarle Street. Cross Piccadilly into St James's Street
St James's Street has a number of clubs including White's (37) , Boodle's (28), Brook's (60) & the Carlton (69).

Right at Park Place
Pratt's Club (14) and at the end former St James's Club of 1892. Also Overseas House, home of the Royal Overseas League.

Return to St James's Street. Next right into Blue Ball Yard
Former stable and coach house buildings of 1741 are now part of the Stafford Hotel.

Return to St James's Street. Next right into St James's Place
Plaques to Chopin, Sir Francis Chichester & William Huskinsson. Spencer House, built for Earl Spencer was renovated by the Rothschilds.

Return to St James's Street and continue along the other side of the road
Old shops of Lobbs (shoes), Locks (Hatters) and Berry Bros (Wine Merchants). At the end is St James's Palace.

Take gated Marlborough Road between the Palace and Marlborough House.
On the left is the Queen's Chapel by Inigo Jones and a memorial to Queen Alexandra

Cross the Mall into St James's Park. Continue straight ahead crossing over the bridge. Cross Birdcage Walk and go left along Queen Anne's Gate then Old Queen Street.
Several of these attractive houses with canopied hoods have blue plaques and halfway is a statue of Queen Anne. At the end is the Two Chairmen pub and Cockpit Steps, marking the site of a royal cockpit.

At the end go right along Storey 's Gate to the end of the walk in Broad Sanctuary. The nearest stations are St James's Park reached via Tothill Street or Westminster across Parliament Square. Buses go along Victoria Street to Victoria Station or along Whitehall to Charing Cross. There are toilets under the grass mound and a cafe in the basement of the Methodist Central Hall. On Tuesdays - Thursdays College Garden in Westminster Abbey is open to the public and makes a pleasant place for a picnic. 2009

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