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Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Palace

The Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence in Scotland of Her Majesty The Queen, stands at the end of Edinburgh's Royal Mile against the spectacular backdrop of Arthur's Seat.

This famous baroque palace is closely associated with Scotland's rich history. Today the Royal Apartments are used regularly by The Queen for State ceremonies and official entertaining. They are finely decorated with magnificent works of art from the Royal Collection.

The State Apartments reflect the changing tastes of successive monarchs and are renowned for their fine plasterwork ceilings and magnificent furnishings, particularly the unrivalled collection of Brussels tapestries. One of the most famous rooms in the Palace is the Great Gallery, hung with Jacob de Wet's 110 portraits of the real and legendary kings of Scotland.

The Palace is best known as the home of Mary Queen of Scots and was the setting for the many dramatic episodes in her short and turbulent reign. Mary was twice married in the Abbey at Holyroodhouse and witnessed the brutal murder of her secretary Rizzio by her jealous husband, Lord Darnley, in her private apartments. The Palace briefly served as the headquarters of Bonnie Prince Charlie during the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion.

The Abbey and Grounds

The ruins of the 12th century Abbey enhance the Palace's romantic atmosphere. According to legend, King David I founded the Abbey in 1128 on the very spot where he had a vision of a stag with a cross between its antlers. Despite being the burial place of several Scottish kings and the site of the Coronation of Charles I in 1633, the Abbey was abandoned after the roof collapsed in 1768. Today it provides an atmospheric backdrop to the palace.

The gardens, in the shadow of Arthur's seat and encircled by the extensive Queen's Park, boast one of Scotland's most dramatic settings. It is here that The Queen hosts a garden party in July each year.

To mark The Queen's Golden Jubilee, the former Holyrood Free Church and the Duchess of Gordon's School at the entrance to the Palace have been transformed into The Queen's Gallery, a new exhibition space for the Royal Collection.

General Information:

  • Visitors with disabilities please telephone for details of access and facilities

  • Group visits - please telephone or check the web site for group rates.

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  • Directions

    By Train:
    Edinburgh Waverley Station is a 15 minute walk away.

    By Coach:
    Open-top tour buses stop nearby. Coach parking is provided free of charge.

    By Bus:
    Numbers 35, 36 and open-top tour buses stop near the palace.

    Palace of Holyroodhouse Postcode for SatNav: EH8 8DX


    +44 (0)1315 565 100
    +44 (0)2079 309 625

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