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Palace of Holyroodhouse

Overview

The Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official Scottish residence of the Queen, stands at the east end of Edinburgh's Royal Mile against the spectacular backdrop of Arthur's Seat.

The Palace is best known for its links with Mary, Queen of Scots, and the many dramatic episodes in her turbulent reign. The tour includes a visit to her apartments up a narrow spiral staircase, and the room where she witnessed the brutal killing of her secretary Rizzio by her jealous husband, Lord Darnley. In her rooms you can also see a cast of Robert the Bruce's skull (intriguing but gruesome all the same) and some paraphernalia belonging to Bonnie Prince Charlie, who had his headquarters here during the ill-fated 1745 Jacobite rebellion.

The tour visits about a dozen rooms and the “Great Gallery”, with 110 portraits of Scotland’s Monarchs. It will take about 1 hour and it is well worth it. If the weahter is nice you will also enjoy strolling in the ruined Abbey and the landscaped gardens. We recommend that you go on one of the guided tours, or use the headphones as there are no information boards in the rooms (but there are tour guides if you want to ask questions).

Make sure you check the website before going to insure that the Palace is open on the day you wish to visit, as some dates are closed when the Royal Family are staying.

Photography is not allowed inside the Palace.

Address:

Abbey Strand, The Royal Mile, EH8 8DX

Operated by:

Royal Residences

Opening Hours:

April to October: Monday to Sunday 9.30am to 6.00pm. Last entry at 4.30pm. November to March: Monday to Sunday 9.30am to 4.30 pm. Last entry at 3.15 pm. Closed 25 and 26 December, and during Royal Visits (closure dates are available on the website for the Palace)

Admission:

Palace of Holyroodhouse (includes an audio tour): Adult £15, Over 60/Student (with valid ID) £13.50, Under 17 £8.70, Under 5 Free, Family (2 adults, 3 under 17s) £38.70

Parking:

Yes

Languages:

Audio Guides available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese.

Accessibility:

Limited accessibility to the State Apartments

Toilets:

Yes

Shop:

Yes

Cafe/Restaurant:

Yes, but quite expensive.

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