In part two of my little trip to London (part one – The London Eye and Whitehall – can be found over here) I wandered through Horseguards Parade (soon to be the location of the beach volleyball for London 2012) and down the middle of St James’ Park towards Buckingham Palace.
From a marshy meadow, St James’ Park was transformed to what we know today by Charles II. Although previous monarchs had redesigned London’s oldest park, it was Charles II who laid the lawns and had the water brought under control, making it into a long canal. And most importantly, he opened the park to the public. Today it is a sprawling mass reaching from Horseguards Parade to the Buckingham Palace, used for pomp, ceremony and by the public; it is home to many species of duck and wading bird as well as the squirrels and its famous pelicans (a gift from the Russian Ambassador in 1664).