Holyrood Palace

Holyrood Palace or Holyrood in Edinburgh: how to visit
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Among all the celebrated memorials and attractions of Great Britain, the famous residence of Queen Elizabeth II located in Scotland is definitely worth noting. The Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh is the state property which passes over to the usage of the next monarchs.

A little bit of history

Once, there used to be the Holyrood Abbey on the site of the Palace. It was founded by King David I of Scotland in 1128. The legend says that during the hunting, the King saw a vision in the shape of a deer. The rood was glowing between his horns. This became the sign to found a monastery and that’s why it was called like that. However, almost after 600 years, the building of the abbey crumbled. Thus, nowadays we can only admire the beautifully renovated picturesque ruins.

The used to be a hotel attached to the abbey back in the XV century. It was the non-official residence of the Kings of Scotland. Later, James IV of Scotland ordered to build a castle on its site. It was a building in the Renaissance style which became the main royal palace. In the XVI century, it used to be the private residence of Mary, Queen of Scots. Her apartment is well-preserved with all the details. At the order of King Charles II, the castle was slightly rebuilt in 1679.

As a rule, the Queen of Great Britain uses the residence during her official visits to Scotland. By the old tradition, she must spend one week in the palace. Here, she appointed the First Minister of Scotland and arranges various royal receptions.

When the Queen is not visiting, the palace which is one of the most popular attractions in Edinburgh, open its doors to the tourists.

What to see in Holyroodhouse:

  • The Royal Apartments which are used by Duke of Edinburgh and Her Majesty during their official visits to Scotland;
  • The throne room which is used giving the knighthood of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle;
  • The Historic Apartments which used to be the private apartments of Mary, Queen of Scots and her husband Lord Darnley;
  • The exposition in the chapel for the Order of the Thistle. This reward is given to the Scots who make a significant contribution to the life and history of the nation, and people obtaining public positions.

During summers, tourists can enjoy a full tour around the territory of the Abbey. The professional guide will tell you the fascinating detail about the monarchs’ lives. Interesting stories, picturesque landscapes, and stunning architecture will leave an indelible impression about the famous Scottish attraction.

Important information for visitors

Address: Palace of Holyroodhouse, Canongate, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH8 8DX.

Working hours: daily.

  • from November 1 to March 31 - 9:30 - 16:30 (the booking office closes at 15:15);
  • from April 1 to October 31 - 9:30 - 18:00 (the booking office closes at 16:30).

Days off: April 19, 2019, June 24 - July 5, December 25-26;

All the fans to wander along the museum halls, diving into the history of the country and city, should also visit the National Museum of Scotland with a huge collection of antiquities.

Photos Holyrood Palace

Holyrood Palace on the map

Holyrood Palace - attractions nearby

Entrance tickets & Tours

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1 hour
Palace of Holyroodhouse Admission Ticket
10 reviews
Open throughout the year, the Palace of Holyroodhouse stands at the end of Edinburgh's Royal Mile. Explore the Palace's close associations with some of Scotland’s most well-known historic figures such as Mary, Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie, and learn how today it is used by The Queen when carrying out official engagements in Scotland.From 14 June to 6 October 2019, The Duchess of Sussex’s wedding dress and Prince Harry’s uniform will be displayed at the Palace in the special exhibition A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
from 19
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from 19
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8 hours
Private Edinburgh City Tour in a Minibus
2 reviews
Explore Edinburgh, which has been the capital of Scotland since the 15th Century and stands proudly on seven hills, from the comfort of your own private minibus. Compare Edinburgh’s medieval Old Town, where people lived in cramped conditions, to the elegant Georgian New Town. Enjoy undivided attention from your private guide and learn all about this fascinating city on this 8-hour tour.
from 591
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from 591
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9 hours
Private Shore Excursion: Edinburgh City and Rosslyn Chapel
2 reviews
Explore Edinburgh and nearby Rosslyn Chapel on this 9-hour private shore excursion by minivan. See Edinburgh Castle, home to several monarchs and the Scottish crown jewels. Wander down the Royal Mile and around the New Town, experiencing both ancient Edinburgh and the modern cosmopolitan city. Drive past the Scottish Parliament and around Arthur’s Seat before heading out to visit Rosslyn Chapel, built in the mid-15th Century and made famous by the Da Vinci Code.
from 651
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from 651
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4 days
London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, York, Bath, Stonehenge 5-Day Tour
9 reviews
Get acquainted with a collection of must-visit British cities on an action-packed 5-day tour from London! Including overnight stays in York, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Cardiff, the tour also visits to Stratford-upon-Avon, Chester, Bath and Stonehenge — England’s famous UNESCO-listed stone circle. Combine walking tours with visits to top attractions such as the birthplace of William Shakespeare, and enjoy ample free time to explore independently, too.
from 1341
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from 1341
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Hotels near Holyrood Palace

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