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How to visit St. James’s Palace in London? All You Need to Know Before You Go!

How to visit St. James's Palace in London-Mowbray Court Hotel London

St. James’s Palace, full of history, has been a royal home for ages. It is one of London’s famous spots. Many people admire its rich past and beautiful design. Let’s see why this palace is so special. And if you are looking for affordable accommodation, consider staying at one of the many budget-friendly hotels in Kensington. It’s a great base for exploring the city. 

About St. James’s Palace

Built between 1531 and 1536, St. James’s Palace shows the rich past of the British royals. King Henry VIII built it on the site of the old St. James hospital, which is a leper home from the 13th century. The red-brick Tudor style still amazes visitors with its strong and graceful look.

Over time, many royals have lived in St. James’s Palace. Queen Elizabeth I used it during key times, like the Spanish Armada threat. She left from there to address her troops at Tilbury, a key moment in her rule. The palace also saw the births and baptisms of future kings like Charles II and James II.

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Ticket Prices and Opening Hours

St. James’s Palace is not open to the public, as it is still a royal home. Yet, you can visit nearby spots that show royal life. Clarence House, home to the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, opens each August. Visitors can tour it and learn about its history.

Ticket prices for Clarence House vary, so check online for updates. Tickets sell fast, especially in summer, so book early. This visit is great for history lovers to explore the royal family’s past and present.

St. James’s Palace Highlights

St. James’s Palace is known for its Tudor design from Henry VIII’s time. The Chapel Royal, a historical site, has hosted many royal baptisms, like those of Prince George and Prince Louis. The Proclamation Gallery is where new kings and queens are announced, keeping an old tradition alive. 

St. James’s Palace is also busy with royal events yearly, like state dinners and receptions. The palace’s grand halls are perfect for these events, showing British royal customs and kindness. Foreign leaders and heads of state are often welcomed here. 

Each year, the palace hosts about 100 charity events for causes backed by the royals. These events help raise awareness and funds for health, education, and nature. The palace offers a grand venue, boosting these charities and their goals.

A key role of St. James’s Palace is holding the Accession Council meetings. After a monarch dies, the council meets here to announce the new ruler. This old event shows the palace’s key role in the British monarchy’s continuity.

Special Tips

When you plan your trip to St. James’s Palace, timing matters. In summer, you can tour Clarence House and see royal life up close. A good tour guide can add great stories and history. Since access to the palace is limited, plan ahead. And take an umbrella; London’s weather can change quickly.

Getting There

It’s easy to reach St. James’s Palace with London’s public transport. The nearest Tube stops are Green Park and St. James’s Park, both about 10 minutes away by foot. These stops are on the Jubilee, Piccadilly, and Victoria lines, making travel simple. Many buses also go near the palace. Hop-on hop-off bus tours are great for tourists, letting you visit the palace and other sights easily.

Where to Stay in London?

When in London, stay at the Mowbray Court Hotel in Kensington. This hotel is central and close to many sights, including St. James’s Palace. It has modern features like free Wi-Fi, flat TVs, and continental breakfast. Guests also love its location near Earl’s Court Tube stop, which makes travel easy. Its mix of comfort, service, and price makes it a top choice.


St. James’s Palace is a top spot for history fans. Its rich past and beauty make it irresistible. Plan well to enjoy your visit and the mix of old and new in London.