Looking for spectacular views of Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the London Eye all in one place? Blue Bridge in the middle of St James’ Park is the place to go! The oldest Royal Park in London, it began as swampy fields and a leper hospital (where the Park gets its current name). When King Henry VIII purchased the land to build St James’ Palace in 1532 he subsequently drained the fields making London’s first Royal Park. King Charles II made dramatic changes, fashioning it in the French style with avenues of trees and a canal. He even introduced pelicans to the Park – a gift from the Russian Ambassador. The current romantic style was designed by John Nash for King George IV, who transformed the canal in to a more natural looking lake in 1828. The theme of birds continued with the Ornithological Society of London in 1837 presenting birds to the park and erecting a cottage for a bird keeper, both which still exist today. The current Tiffany Fountain replaced the original from 1966 and acts to aerate the lake to provide a better habitat for wildlife. The jet can reach heights of eight meters – aligned with the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
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