St James’s Park is in many ways one of the jewel’s in the London Underground crown. The station opened on 24th December 1868 on the Metropolitan District Railway. It really came into its own in the 1920s when the headquarters of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London, precursor to the the London Underground, opened its new headquarters at 55 Broadway.
The building itself was designed by Charles Holden and is a striking, art deco design. I think anything I write here can’t do it justice so please do drop by and take it in yourselves. The attention to detail, the statues, the reliefs, are all stunning. It’s one of my favourite London buildings and is unsurprisingly Grade 1 listed. Holden was in many ways an in-house architect for the tube during the ’20s and ’30s, designing many impressive outer London stations during the period of expansion leading up to World War II.
St James’s Park serves an area populated by office blocks and government buildings, with the Ministry of Justice and Department for Work and Pensions nearby. St James’s Park itself is also a short distance away with its pelicans and other delights.
The Pub: Buckingham Arms, 62 Petty France, SW1H 9EU
The Buckingham is on Petty France, a short walk south from the station. It’s a Youngs pub so has the usual solid selection of ales from them. It is very well maintained and feels like it must have had a refurb in recent years. It’s light, airy and fairly spacious. The walls have various London related quotes, including the famous Dr Johnson quote about when you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life. The pub also has a number of comfy seats and armchairs.
Given its proximity to Buckingham Palace, it’s perhaps not surprising there is a photo of the late Queen Mother pulling a pint on the wall. I initially thought this was unique to the pub but have since seen it in many other Youngs pubs. But as an added bonus, the Buckingham also has a photo of Prince Charles doing the honours too. He looked a bit awkward to me but judge for yourself.
As a Youngs fan, I was always going to have a soft spot for this pub. After taking in the delights of 55 Broadway, have a pint here afterwards.