Mary Queen of Scots Bed Chamber
Credit: Antonia Reeve | Royal Collection Trust | © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Palace of Holyroodhouse

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

The Palace of Holyroodhouse is the Queen’s official residence in Scotland, located at the East end of the Royal Mile. This historic building has been a royal residence since the 16th century. Home to the likes of Mary Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Holyrood Palace Tours

A tour of the Palace will take you on a journey through time. From the Historic Apartments used by Royals as far back as 1505, to the State Apartments used by the current Royal Family for entertaining and ceremonies.

The Historic Apartments were home to the infamous Mary Queen of Scots from 1561. They set the scene for many dramatic events in her life. Including the brutal murder of her Italian secretary, David Rizzio, by her husband Henry Stuart.

The Royal Family still use The State Apartments today. Most notably during Holyrood Week each summer, when Queen Elizabeth stays there to carry out a range of official engagements and ceremonies. They have beautiful ornate ceilings, and fine paintings and tapestries on display.

Holyrood Abbey

During the summer, there is also a guided tour of the picturesque ruins of Holyrood Abbey, just beside the Palace. Legend has it that in 1127 King David I of Scotland ordered the abbey to built in the very spot where a miracle had occurred which saved his life. David fell off his horse while out hunting and a fierce stag came charging towards him. As he faced certain death, a glowing cross appeared in the sky which startled the animal and aided the King’s escape. He named the Abbey Holy Rood, which means ‘Holy Cross’.

Visit Holyrood Palace

Visitors are welcomed to the Palace of Holyroodhouse all year round, excluding Christmas Day, Boxing Day and during royal visits. Audio Tours are available and there is a cafe and shop on site.

Visit the Royal Collection website for tickets and more information.