Friday 7 September 2007

St. James's Park, London

The most picturesque and royal of London's Royal Parks is best enjoyed on a sunny Sunday when the neighbouring Mall, a broad avenue running down to Buckingham Palace, is closed to traffic. Take the tube to St. James's Park station, walk past the grand eighteenth century terraces and into the park, which absorbs hundreds of amblers easily. Cross the modest bridge over the tree-lined lake, pausing to admire the dreamy views of the distant, grandiose palace and the weeping willows huddled over the water. Stroll up to the north edge of the park and down the Mall towards the extravagant neo-classical Victoria Memorial, complete with fountains and giant black statues, facing the gates of the Queen's equally monolithic residence. Then return to the park for a coffee or ice cream at one of the very tasteful, upmarket cafes. 8/10