Just alongside is the church of St Martins in the Fields, which is open throughout the day and has been around for a long time. The current church dates from 1726, but there has been a church on that site since the thirteenth century. This is the parish church for Buckingham Palace and, yes, there is a royal pew. The church has some wonderful lunch time concerts, which are normally free.
On the next side of the square is the National Portrait Gallery, which is fascinating because it has the largest collection of portraits in the world although, understandably, only part of the collection is on show at any one time. Behind is Charing Cross station, not of great interest except that in the side road running alongside is The Players Theatre, old time music hall where the audience is expected to dress up in the right costume and positively join in with the show.
Running from there is the Strand, which was once the fashionable thoroughfare of London but fell on slightly seedier times. It is currently being upgraded and it still contains the Savoy Hotel - one of the great hotels of the world.
If you reverse your course from Trafalgar Square, you will go up the Mall, past Horse Guards Parade and at the end is the impressive building which is Buckingham Palace. And you pass St James on the way up.
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