The Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of the Queen in Scotland and it sits conveniently at the bottom of the Royal Mile, for visitors to the city to enjoy. It is mainly used for State ceremonies and official entertaining as well as the Queen’s Holyrood week each year, when she carries out many official engagements in Scotland from her base.
The Palace was originally founded as a monastery in 1128 and it is most famous as the home of Mary Queen of Scots from 1561 to 1567. The first garden party at the Palace was held by King George V and Queen Mary and nowadays The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh entertain 8000 guests at the Palace every Holyrood Week. Other notable roles of the Palace of Holyroodhouse include being the place where The Queen received His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in September 2010 and it is also where the Queen holds The Investiture twice a year in the Great Gallery, where Scottish residents who have been recognised in the Honours List are received.
Holyroodhouse is just over 1 mile from The Royal Scots Club
The Palace of Holyrood House can be visited at most times of the year. Visitors can take a peek a 14 history and State apartments, view the beautiful ruins of the 12th century Holyrood Abbey and stroll in the royal gardens. Tours of both the ground and the gardens can be enjoyed with an accompanying audio tour and the Palace is also home to a café and gift shop.
The Queen’s Gallery at The Palace of Holyroodhouse has regularly changing exhibitions and is currently home to an exhibition of Scottish Artists 1750-1900: From Caledonia to the Continent. This exhibition looks at the works of painters who were born in Scotland but then travelled abroad including David Wilie and Allan Ramsay but also those who stayed in Scotland throughout their careers. A secondary special exhibition is also on display, in honour of Her Majesty’s longest ever reigning monarch. Long to Reign Over Us, features special photographic displays to mark her reign and is a joint-exhibition at Holyroodhouse, Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, running until 5th January.
The location of Holyrood Palace makes it a great choice for a day visit or a couple of hours during your visit to the city and whether you want to walk the grounds, enjoy the exhibitions in the gallery or learn all about the monarchy in Scotland.
Also nearby: Scottish Parliament building, Dynamic Earth, The Royal Mile itself, Holyrood Park/Arthur’s Seat.