The Holyrood Palace is currently the official residence of the Monarch of the United Kingdom. It is located at the bottom of the Royal Mile, Edinburgh, on the opposite end of the Edinburgh Castle. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Scotland, having more than 8,000 visitors every year.
Since the 15th century, it became the principal residence of the King and Queen of Scots. However, the Holyrood Palace has had a long history. It was built in 1128 by David I, the King of Scots, initially as a monastery. However, the Holyrood Palace is best known because of its close association with Queen Mary, the Queen of Scots. This is where all the dramatic action is during her reign.
What is there to see at Holyrood Palace? You can visit the Royal Apartments, where the successive monarchs spent most of their time. You can see the monarchs’ varying and changing tastes in design, and admire the decorated ceilings, splendid furnishings and their fine set of amazing Brussels tapestries. One room you wouldn’t want to miss is the Great Gallery, where you can see portraits of the monarchs of Scotland, all by Jacob de Wat.
You may also visit the Palace gardens, depending on the time of the year. Today, the gardens are usually used for garden parties. You are allowed to visit the gardens as long as you walk on the paths, and these paths extend to around 400 yards long.
A must try if you go to the Holyrood Palace is the Exclusive Evening Tour. You will be accompanied by an expert guide so that you can learn and explore the rich history and interiors of Holyrood Palace once the doors have closed to the public. These tours costs £30.00 and every penny is well worth it!