Holyrood Palace

Visit the Queen’s official Scottish residence.


Situated at the foot of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh is Holyrood Palace – a majestic, striking palace with turrets, gardens and ancient abbeys to explore.

Holyrood Palace has been serving Kings and Queens for centuries and hosts official engagements in the city. In fact Queen Elizabeth II stays here for one week at the end of June into July each year. When she is in residence the Scottish Royal Standard is raised and many dignitaries from around the world arrive at Holyrood.

The palace itself lies on the foundations of an Augustinian abbey dating back to 1128. From the years 1195 to 1230 more buildings were added, including a chapter house and refectory, cloisters and guest houses. This became the blueprint for what is Holyrood Palace today. During the reigns of James IV, V and VI further construction of the palace took place, a huge rectangular tower was added and a drawbridge. The west front was remodelled to house further reception rooms and the south side to include a new chapel, gardens were also extended and became more ornate. However, when a fire broke out in the east quarter of the Palace during Oliver Cromwell’s visit, the section of the palace was abandoned, it wasn’t until Charles II came to power that it was restored to its former glory.

The fascinating history coupled with turrets, artwork and antiques, extensive gardens and unique architecture makes Holyrood Palace a must visit when you visit Edinburgh.