Palace of Holyroodhouse
King David I founded the abbey here in the shadow of Salisbury Crags in 1128. It was probably named after a fragment of the True Cross...
This stunning modern gallery, which occupies the shell of a former church and school, is a showcase for exhibitions of art from the...
Scottish Parliament Building
The Scottish parliament building, on the site of a former brewery, was officially opened by HM the Queen in October 2005. Designed by...
A successful attempt at reinventing the local neighbourhood pub, complete with polished mahogany, stained glass and snug booths, the...
Café at the Palace
This cafe in the courtyard of the Queen’s Gallery serves soup and snacks, including baked potato with haggis.
Horse Wynd · interesting places nearby
Palace of Holyroodhouse information
This palace is the royal family's official residence in Scotland, but is more famous as the 16th-century home of the ill-fated Mary, Queen of Scots. The highlight of the tour is Mary's Bed Chamber , home to the unfortunate queen from 1561 to 1567. It was here that her jealous second husband, Lord Darnley, restrained the pregnant queen while his henchmen murdered her secretary – and favourite – Rizzio. A plaque in the neighbouring room marks the spot where he bled to death.
The palace developed from a guest house, attached to Holyrood Abbey, which was extended by King James IV in 1501. The oldest surviving part of the building, the northwestern tower, was built in 1529 as a royal apartment for James V and his wife, Mary of Guise. Mary, Queen of Scots spent six turbulent years here, during which time she debated with John Knox, married both her second and third husbands, and witnessed the murder of her secretary David Rizzio.
The self-guided audio tour leads you through a series of impressive royal apartments, culminating in the Great Gallery . The 89 portraits of Scottish kings were commissioned by Charles II and supposedly record his unbroken lineage from Scota, the Egyptian pharaoh's daughter who discovered the infant Moses in a reed basket on the banks of the Nile. The tour continues to the oldest part of the palace, which contains Mary's Bed Chamber, connected by a secret stairway to her husband's bedroom, and ends with the ruins of Holyrood Abbey.