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Exploring Holyrood Palace: Everything You Need to Know

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What is Holyrood Palace?

Holyrood Palace, situated at the end of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland, is a historic royal residence. Once home to Scottish kings and queens, it now serves as the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. With its rich history, captivating architecture, and stunning surrounding gardens, Holyrood Palace offers a unique glimpse into the royal heritage. Explore the opulent chambers, hear tales of the past, and immerse yourself in regal grandeur. Embark on a royal journey at Holyrood Palace today! Plan your visit now.

Quick Facts about Holyrood Palace

Holyrood Palace
  • Official name: Palace of Holyroodhouse
  • Location: Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DX, UK
  • Date of opening: 1501 (original building), 1671 (current building)
  • Timings: 9:30am to 5:30pm (last entry 4:30pm)
  • Architect: Sir William Bruce
  • Architectural style: Renaissance
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site: Yes (1995)
  • Number of visitors per year: 2.7 million
  • Collection size: 14,000 objects
  • Function: Official residence of the British monarch in Scotland

Plan Your Visit to Holyrood Palace

Opening Hours
Getting there
Holyrood Palace
Holyrood Palace
  • Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DX, UK
  • Find on Map
  • By bus: The nearest bus stop to Holyroodhouse Palace is the Holyrood Road stop, which is served by the following bus routes: 2: Dalkeith - Haymarket - Edinburgh Airport, 35: Ocean Terminal - York Place - Royal Botanic Garden, 47: Fountainbridge - Newhaven - Dalmeny, 49: Craigleith - Fountainbridge - Royal Botanic Garden
  • By train: The nearest train station to Holyroodhouse Palace is the Edinburgh Waverley station, which is a short walk from the palace.
  • By tram: The nearest tram stop to Holyroodhouse Palace is the West End - Princes Street stop.

Things To See At Holyrood Palace

Holyrood Palace

State Apartments

These are the most impressive rooms in the palace and are decorated with lavish tapestries, paintings, and furniture.

Holyrood Palace

Great Gallery

This is a long room that is lined with portraits of Scottish kings and queens. It is one of the largest rooms in the palace.

Holyrood Palace

Queen's Gallery

This gallery is home to a collection of royal art, including paintings by Rembrandt, Van Dyck, and Canaletto.

Holyrood Palace

Palace Gardens

The palace gardens are a peaceful oasis in the heart of Edinburgh. They are a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Holyrood Palace

Ruins of Holyrood Abbey

The ruins of the Holyrood Abbey are a reminder of the palace's religious history. The abbey was founded in the 12th century and was once one of the most important churches in Scotland.

Holyrood Palace

Chapel Royal

This is the private chapel of the monarch. It is a beautiful room with stained glass windows and a carved wooden ceiling.

Holyrood Palace

Throne Room

This is the most important room in the State Apartments. It is where the monarch would sit in state to receive visitors. The ceiling is decorated with a painting of the Stuart coat of arms.

Holyrood Palace

Bedchamber of Mary, Queen of Scots

This is the room where Mary, Queen of Scots slept during her time at Holyrood Palace. It is a small, intimate room with a four-poster bed and a fireplace.

History of Holyrood Palace

Holyrood Palace has a long and fascinating history that dates back to the 12th century. It was originally a monastery, but it was converted into a palace in the 16th century by King James IV. The palace has been home to many famous Scottish monarchs, including Mary, Queen of Scots, and Charles I. It has also been the scene of some of the most important events in Scottish history, such as the murder of David Rizzio and the Jacobite rising of 1745.

Today, Holyrood Palace is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. It is open to the public and is a popular tourist destination. Visitors can tour the State Apartments, the Great Gallery, and the Queen's Gallery. They can also see the palace gardens and the ruins of the Holyrood Abbey.

Who Built Holyrood Palace

In the 1670s, the visionary Scottish architect Sir William Bruce brought forth the enchanting Holyroodhouse Palace. Commissioned by the esteemed King Charles II, Bruce embarked on a majestic journey to reimagine the palace's grandeur. Drawing inspiration from the Italian Renaissance, he crafted a symmetrical masterpiece adorned with an intricate facade and a captivating central quadrangle. Today, this splendid palace remains a cherished haven for British monarchs during their Scottish sojourns, while also beckoning to wanderers from far and wide who seek to immerse themselves in its regal allure. An enduring testament to artistry and history, Holyroodhouse Palace stands as an irresistible gem on every traveller's path.

Architecture of Holyrood Palace 

Holyrood Palace, an exquisite Renaissance marvel in Edinburgh, Scotland, was envisioned by Sir William Bruce in the 1670s. Its symmetrical facades, adorned with ornate details, encapsulate classical proportions. The palace features a central quadrangle, the sprawling Great Gallery displaying portraits of Scottish monarchs, and numerous state apartments. Perched on a hill, it boasts staircases and turrets that echo history. The red sandstone facades, embellished with pillars and statues, exude regal charm. Inside, tapestries, paintings, and furniture create a rich tapestry of art. The palace gardens are enchanted with flowers, trees, and statues, offering a picturesque glimpse into history and nature.

Additional Information of Holyrood Palace

  • Holyrood Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site: Holyrood Palace was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 for its outstanding cultural and historical significance. The palace is a reminder of the rich history of Scotland and its role as a center of power and influence.
  • Holyrood Palace is home to a number of ghosts: Holyrood Palace is said to be haunted by a number of ghosts, including the ghost of Mary, Queen of Scots. Visitors to the palace have reported seeing apparitions, hearing strange noises, and feeling cold spots.
  • Holyrood Palace is a popular filming location: Holyrood Palace has been used as a filming location for many movies and TV shows, including "The Queen," "Outlander," and "The Crown." The palace's stunning architecture and historic setting make it a perfect backdrop for period dramas.

Frequently Asked Questions About Holyrood Palace

What is Holyrood Palace?

Holyrood Palace is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. It is located in Edinburgh, at the bottom of the Royal Mile.

Why is Holyrood Palace famous?

Holyrood Palace is famous for its rich history and its stunning architecture. The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been used as a filming location for many movies and TV shows, including "The Queen," "Outlander," and "The Crown."

What can I do at Holyrood Palace?

There are many things to do at Holyrood Palace, including: Visiting the State Apartments, the Throne Room, the Bedchamber of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the Great Gallery.

How can I get tickets to Holyrood Palace?

Tickets to Holyrood Palace can be purchased online or at the palace box office. Tickets are timed, so it is important to book in advance, especially if you are visiting during peak season.

What is the best time to visit Holyrood Palace?

The best time to visit Holyrood Palace is in the morning, when it is less crowded. The palace is also open late in the evening, which is a great time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy the palace in a more peaceful setting.

What should I wear to visit Holyrood Palace?

You should dress smartly when visiting Holyrood Palace. The palace is a historic building and it is important to dress appropriately. You should avoid wearing shorts, tank tops, and flip-flops.

How much does it cost to visit Holyrood House Palace?

The cost of admission to Holyrood House Palace varies depending on the time of year and the type of ticket you purchase. Adult tickets cost £17.50, child tickets (5-15 years) cost £10.50, and family tickets (2 adults and 3 children) cost £42. There are also discounts for seniors and students.

What are the timings of Holyrood Palace?

Holyrood House Palace is open from 9:30am to 6pm, from April to October, and from 9:30am to 4:30pm, from November to March. The last admission is 1 hour before closing.

What are some of the attractions near Holyrood Palace?

There are many other attractions nearby Holyrood House Palace, including: Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Mile, The Scottish Parliament Building, The Palace Gardens