Updated: May 21, 2015
Touring The Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh:On my recent trip to Edinburgh, Scotland I was able to take a tour of the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The tour took about 1 hour as you can visit the State Apartments, historic rooms and ancient Abbey church. The gardens are beautiful, but I chose to look at them from afar and did not take a walk through them. The Royal Mile in Edinburgh has the Palace on one end and the Edinburgh Castle on the other. Arthur's Seat is the backdrop to the Palace and Holyrood Park is just a short walk away. Edinburgh is a fairly quiet city in the Old Town section, although the Scottish Parliament is right across the street from the Palace so you will see government employees coming and going throughout the day. The Palace is used by both the Queen of England and other Royal Family members. The Queen spends the summer months living in Holyrood Palace so hours can be limited during that time.
Perhaps the most famous resident of the Holyrood Palace was Mary, Queen of Scots. She lived a life full of drama and was married at Holyroodhouse. However, she was present at the killing of her secretary Rizzio - Mary's husband Lord Darnley was the one who killed him. During your tour you will be able to stand right where this terrible murder took place. The baroque palace is beautiful from the front courtyard as you enter the main gates - be sure to pick up a FREE audio guide at this point so you can follow the tour and get the most out of it. Each stop on the tour only takes a few minutes and historically you will get details on life at the Palace and who has resided here. There is an expert guided private tour of Holyroodhouse if you want for an additional fee. The exclusive guided tour takes place after the Palace has close to the public in the afternoon. The plasterwork ceilings in the State Apartments and the Great Gallery room are 2 things that you don't want to miss on the tour. Other highlights of the visit include seeing the Darnley Jewel and the Abbey church which is falling apart but still an architectural gem. It's a great place to tour on a rainy day as 90% of it is indoors or at least under cover. Edinburgh is a fun city to be a tourist in as you can practically walk everywhere and I would definitely recommend that you include a tour of the Palace of Holyroodhouse in your itinerary. The address of Holyroodhouse is Palace of Holyroodhouse, Canongate, The Royal Mile, EH8 8DX. The official website for the Palace can be found HERE