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St James's London Guide

29 March 2021 Simon Banks Read time: 3 min
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Simon Banks

The allure of St James's is clear from the minute you set foot in this central London neighbourhood. And yet, despite being a super-prime area in the capital, it still manages to go somewhat under the radar. 

But once you're here, you'll find yourself finding every excuse to stay. Whether it's the delightful open spaces, period architecture or cutting-edge fashion stores, St James's really does exude style and sophistication everywhere you look.

So what's it like living in St James's? In this London guide, we're visiting this prime postcode to discover everything from its history to the local attractions. 

On a map

As a central district of the City of Westminster, St James's forms part of London's iconic West End. Its neighbouring areas include BelgraviaVictoriaPimlico and Piccadilly. St James's is located around half a mile from Charing Cross. 

History of St James's

Saint James the Less hospital is where the name St James's originates, and it dates back to the 12th century. The area became known as the "Clubland" in reference to the historical presence of gentlemen's clubs. 

Until the 1660s, Green Park and St James's Park formed the same royal park until Charles II gave Henry Jermyn, who was the first Earl of St Albans, permission to develop the area. He turned it into one of the most aristocratic residential areas in London, and it remains a sought-after neighbourhood to this day. 

Who lives there?

St James's has a population of around 12,000 and a median age of 38. Only 29% of residents have children, which points to an area that's popular with single professionals. Around 61% of residents rent their home. 

Renting in St James's

Most of the properties in St James's are from the Georgian era and have been converted from grand townhouses into stylish apartments. It's one of the most expensive areas to live in the capital, with rental well above the London average of £1,500 per month.

Expect to pay around £2,500 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, £3,500 per month for a two-bedroom home, and £4,000-plus per month for a property with three bedrooms or more. 

St James's travel

St James's central position means it's well served by local transport stations. The tube station (named after the area) is on the Circle and District lines with stops at Aldgate, Blackfriars, Baker Street, Hammersmith, to name a few.

Other nearby stations include Piccadilly tube station (Piccadilly Line) and Victoria train station. There's also an excellent local bus network serving central London and beyond. St James's is located in Travel Zone 1.

St James's eateries

The Ritz

Treat yourself to a lavish afternoon or evening of dining at The Ritz, one of London's most iconic hotels. Alternatively, head there for some fancy afternoon teas, as it will probably only be just a hop and skip away from your new place. 

Duck & Waffle Local

Go for a famous duck dish with scrumptious waffles at Duck & Waffle Local, the second Duck & Waffle restaurant after the famous East London spot. You won't find classier fast food anywhere else.

Aquavit

Drawing inspiration from Nordic countries, Aquavit has all-day dishes with seasonal produce and tastes that will leave you wanting more. It's brought to you by Emma Bengtsson, Executive Chef of two Michelin-starred Aquavit New York.

Things to do in St James's

Piccadilly Circus

Perhaps the most iconic sights in London, the bright lights of Piccadilly Circus is right on your doorstep. Go for an evening stroll and marvel at an explosion of colours in what is the closest attraction London has to New York's Times' Square. 

National Portrait Gallery

Immerse yourself with world-class art at the National Portrait Gallery. It was founded in 1856 and promotes the people who have made and continue to make history. in the UK There's a permanent collection on show which is free to visit. 

St James's Park

One of London's most beautiful open spaces, St James's Park is smaller than nearby Hyde Park, and it's less crowded too. As you stroll around, taking in the tranquil atmosphere, you'll find it hard to believe that this park is located right in the heart of London. 

Moving to St James's

If you've got the rental budget then St James's should be right at the top of your list. This is central London living at its finest, whether you're looking to soak up some culture, enjoy world-class restaurants, shop at high-end boutiques or wander beautiful open spaces. There really is something to cater to all tastes in St James's.

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