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  • “Housing royalty throughout the ages, including Mary Queen of Scots between 1561 and 1567.” in 7 reviews

  • “The palace is especially know for its association with Mary Queen of Scots.” in 6 reviews

  • “The two standouts for me that moved this above your standard castle/palace tour were the abbey and gardens.” in 7 reviews

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  • 4.0 star rating
    4/5/2014

    A self-guided audio tour is included with your admission and is a must to get the most out of the tour.  Without the audio, the tour would be a waste.  Be sure to listen to the extra audio options to get some additional tidbits of royal info.

    Note: If you have your own earphones, bring them and plug them in as holding the tour audio up to my ear the entire time gave me a cramp in my arm!

    No photos are allowed inside the palace but the tour itself and the interior is fascinating.

    After the tour, be sure to explore the Abbey ruins and exterior paths.

    We visited the Palace at Holyrood House after hiking up Arthur's Seat.  This was a nice finish and there are some seats /benches inside the palace if you start getting tired.

  • 3.0 star rating
    25/10/2013

    You definitely need the audio guide.

    No pictures... well you can take pictures outside, but nothing within. After walking the length of the Royal Mile, we wanted to take a gander at the fancy working palace. There was a long line up at the ticket office, but there is another one inside the gift shop that was shorter. One of the ladies decked out in tartan mentioned it while we were waiting in the longer line.

    Once you pass the gates, grab an audio guide... my husband didn't really listen to his, but without it, you're just staring at a bunch of stuff in someone's house. Lots to hear, lots to see... I didn't know that royals entertained in their bedrooms and didn't actually sleep there. Also, got to learn a lot about Mary, Queen of Scots...

    We were a little jet-laggy, so we thought one of our friend's fell asleep on a chair while we explored the castle. Found him outside in the abbey where photos are allowed. Walked the gardens a bit, but did not do the tour. My hubby instead saw Arthur's Seat and decided he wanted to hike up it. I thought a scone at the cafe was a better idea.

  • 5.0 star rating
    18/10/2013

    A pretty slick palace at the lower end of the royal mile in Edinburgh. The audio guide is a huge plus for those not steeped in their Scottish history, as context is everything when it comes to historical sites. The two standouts for me that moved this above your standard castle/palace tour were the abbey and gardens. The ruins of the abbey were fantastic, as they are true long-unused ruins but not so degraded by time that you lose the sense of what the place was when it was in use. The unknown graves in the floor of the church never get old for me.

    The beautiful trek through the gardens at the end of the tour makes for a fantastic end to the visit. Walking through the paths with no-one but my friends and some ridiculously well-fed squirrels made for a peaceful, fulfilling end of the day. Or so I thought. Then we decided to climb Arthur's seat. Because we are idiots.

    (It's actually quite convenient to begin your hike up the mountain from Holyrood House; took my out-of-shape self about 45 minutes to get up there, but totally worth it.)

  • 3.0 star rating
    18/4/2014
    Listed in Across the Pond

    With an admission cost of £16 per person, we opted out and just took some pictures from the gates. The palace was quite beautiful, but I'm not sure it's worth the price. On the plus side, you do get some nice views of Arthur's Seat from that area.

  • 4.0 star rating
    31/1/2011

    Palace Of Holyroodhouse is another must see for anyone visiting Edinburgh for the first time

    Housing royalty throughout the ages, including Mary Queen of Scots between 1561 and 1567. Today, it's The Queen's official residence in Scotland where she comes to spend a week every summer to conduct state functions & ceremonies

    Sitting at 1 end of the Royal Mile, it's like you're pot of gold at the end of the mile. Start w/ Edinburgh Castle at the top of the hill, then finish up w/ House of Parliament & Holyrood Palace

    Be sure to start your tour w/ the fantastic Queen's Gallery - which is an art museum attached to the Palace grounds....the overall cost for admission & both tours is pretty darn pricey but whatever, right?  You're on holiday.

    The gardens, which should have been open while we were there, were closed off - would have been nice to see them....

    Guided through the Palace through an audio tour & the given access to lots of rooms in the house, lots of artifacts to see, lovely room furnishings, and the recorded tour provides lots of great history & stories

    We got to see the royal bed chambers, sitting rooms, great rooms, libraries, greeting rooms.....there's a lot to see

    We also got to see the room that houses the display of The Order of the Thistle, which is the highest honor in Scotland.  We learned The Order honors Scottish men and women who have made significant contributions to Scotland's national life

    Also liked the fact the tour is very Senior friendly. My parents had no problem with the stairs since the tour was broken up to accommodate a slower pace

    Only downer was that Dad couldn't hear his audio tour due to his hearing aids. The radio-thing kept triggering the annoying high-pitched squeal

  • 4.0 star rating
    2/8/2012

    Yet another palace we couldn't get into.  This time, Charles and Camilla were in town apparently and the palace was closed to tours.  My hubby tried to convince the lady at the front desk that they were expecting us, but that didn't work. lol!

    So - why I can't go into detail on the actual palace itself, I can say that the gift shop area and the small adjoining museum were pretty cool in that there was plenty of history and historical memorabilia showcased there.  The outside of the palace is, of course, incredibly ornate with golden artwork and majestic archways, not to mention several coats of arms, etc.  

    Just being around something so old and thinking of all the royal kings and queens, princes and princesses walking these very grounds was extraordinary.  You forget how young of a country the United States is, but when you visit places like this in Europe, it completely apparent.. and inspiring.  I pay the next time I am back, Charles and Cammie aren't. lol!

  • 4.0 star rating
    15/1/2009
    First to Review

    This is the residence of Queen when she is visiting Scotland. I walked here from near Edinburgh Castle. It was a nice walk. The grounds are beautiful, and their are tons of cool statues to look at. I wanted to walk up the hill and have a hike but I was too tired and wearing suede boots that I didn't want to muddy. I definitely recommend seeing this as part of your Edinburgh experience.

    Minus one star for not being allowed to go into the castle and take a nap on the Queen's bed and use her bathroom.

  • 4.0 star rating
    6/12/2012

    If I wasn't being watched, I would have skipped with glee. This place was awesome! No Photos rule on the inside, but the Gardens are a okay.

    Oh the gardens. Best view of Arthur's Seat!

    You have to go! Even if its just for the gardens. And the price of admission is a yearly pass, just make sure you get it stamped and signed.

  • 4.0 star rating
    10/1/2011

    As a student I worked a summer vacation as a security guard and tour guide at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
    Some of my colleagues did ham up the Mary Queen of Scots connection and some of the violent incidents in the long history of this Palace, but as a tourist experience a visit here is worthwhile from the point of view of those seriously interested in Scotland's history and the connection of its royal family with the modern UK royals.  A visit will also reward those whose interest is more prurient and who want to hear tales of salacious doings in years gone by.
    There are secret stairways and passages within the ancient walls and there are modern drawing rooms for the visitor to see.
    A visit here is not costly, and probably a bit of a bore for children.

  • 2.0 star rating
    26/5/2010

    Situated at the rectal end of the Royal Mile, next to the Parliament and some surprisingly grotty flats, Holyrood Palace isn't particularly impressive inside or out. It's also not cheap, and Joe Public are charged about 10-15 quid a time to come in and marvel at all the wonderfully opulent furnishings that they paid for with their taxes, but aren't allowed to touch. The palace also sells itself as being the place where the Queen stays when she visits Edinburgh, which is never.

    To be fair, her old mother was quite fond of it here before she deservedly became a coffin-dweller. I believe she particularly enjoyed sitting with her corn-ridden feet up on one of the priceless sofas, sinking bottles of gin and humiliating her servants while watching the racing on Channel 4.

    And guess who picked up the bill?

  • 4.0 star rating
    29/8/2012
    1 check-in

    Did the Garden Tour today as part of my "Edinburgh as a tourist" trek

    The Garden Tour in particular was different in that you got to not "KEEP ON THE PATH" - instead, guides were able to take you into the grounds themselves for a wee bit of a talk.

    Top tip: Get your ticket stamped on exist to turn it into a ONE YEAR WONDER PASS. This gives you unlimited re-entry into the grounds for a year from the first admission of the ticket. Great when you need to run away and hang out like a bos-- I mean Monarch.

    Go forth and visit!

  • 4.0 star rating
    3/5/2010

    I quite enjoy a bit of the Royal Family and their history. I think it's because I would like to live in a castle or palace. Actually I think Holyrood House would be perfect for me, Queenie has her big house in London and her estate in Balmoral so maybe it's time she let it out to someone like me?

    It is rather expensive for a trip round Holyrood House (13 pound for a student... eeeek) so it isn't the top of my list of places to go in Edinburgh. But the Royal Apartments are very beautiful and full of wonderful decor and paintings. In the summer the gardens are open so after viewing the house you can go for a wander around the gardens which are perfectly nice gardens.

    If you have an interest in the Royal Family then this is a must do.

  • 4.0 star rating
    5/5/2010

    Located in the opposite end of the Royal Mile to the Castle, and right across the new and controversial Scottish Parliament, this is the official residence of the Royal Family when they visit Edinburgh.
    However, when they are not in town it's open to the public.

    Although I was a bit put off by the price, (check to see if they do a combined Holyrood and Castle ticket- they used to a year ago when I visited this place) I was quite pleased with the Palace itself, as you wonder from one luxurious room to the next and observe the decor and paintings on the wall and the various functions of each room .I only have a kitchen/sitting room which functions as my main meeting place in my flat so this place truly lives up to what you would imagine a Palace to be like.

    There is an audio tour guide included in the price for your walk around- which might explain the steep price (make sure you have figured out how to use it before you enter the Palace so you don't miss out).

    So if Royalty is your thing then this is the place for you. Getting a first hand sneak peek of the royals house.  You can even hit up the Parliament briefly on your way out.

  • 4.0 star rating
    6/5/2010

    It's pretty easy to see why the Royal Mile has its name - at the top end you have the castle, and at the bottom end, you have this place - Holyrood House, the royal palace.

    It's a bit expensive to get into - but I do think its worth it. Firstly, the palace itself is amazing, it's quite a shock to see how the other half live. The rooms are luxurious and full of interesting stuff. There is also (on most occasions) some form of exhibition on which houses art, sculptures and various other artifacts connected both to royalty and british history. In the grounds you will often find squads of the queens royal guards marching about, which is a spectacular site.

    When the Queen still comes and stays, the palace is shut, but the rest of the time it seems to be open constantly. A real treat for those who love the royal family and british history.

    • Qype User Templa…
    • Stevenage, Hertfordshire
    • 380 friends
    • 498 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    26/5/2008

    I went here alone and I was impressed with the architecture of this place.
    The name means House of the Holy Stag.
    I had heard it was one of the most haunted places in Uk and I looked for the bloodstain on the floor.
    The stain is apparently permanent and can't be rubbed out.
    mary Queen of Scots lived and was married here and she and witnessed the brutal killing of her secretary Rizzio by her jealous second husband, Lord Darnley, in her private apartments.
    As well as the spectacular building and contents one can see the remains of the abbey that it once was.

    • Qype User Bel…
    • London
    • 59 friends
    • 133 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    16/6/2008

    Holyroodhouse is the Queen of England's residence in Scotland and where she stays when on official visits there.
    The Palace is open to the public when the Queen is not in residence and is a fantastic example of an ancient palace still in use.

    Once you get over the rising damp and the worn materials, you start to appreciate that this is what royal residences are all about: they are not perfectly designed and not always in the best state, but they still need to be lived in and keeping them going is a huge undertaking.

    The monastery that can be found on the grounds is quite awe-inspiring and the Queen has a wonderful gallery that is truly worth a visit if you have the time.
    For a sneak-peak into living history, this is a must-see

    • Qype User mija61…
    • Chicago, United States
    • 36 friends
    • 145 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    10/8/2008

    I loved visiting Holyrood House. It's a wonderful combination of a palace currently used by the Royal Family, and a palace saturated in history. The palace is especially know for its association with Mary Queen of Scots. She lived here while queen, and it was the scene of much drama (including the murder of her private secretary right in front of her, while she was 7 months pregnant!). There are some nice displays about Mary, and you are shown her private apartments.

    The ruined abbey is also very atmospheric: be sure to spend a little time there after you tour the palace.

  • 5.0 star rating
    21/8/2012

    I loved this palace. It felt warm and comfortable, which is saying a lot for a palace. It was really one of my favorite places that we visited during our 3 day trip to Edinburgh. I liked all of the historical objects on display too, like the embroidered picture done by Mary Queen of Scots of a cat and mouse that were supposed to be Mary and Elizabeth. On the way out you get to wander through the ruined Abbey which is atmospheric and cool.

  • 4.0 star rating
    15/6/2012

    a chance of pretending you're royalty? fancy having a "summer house"? this is it~

    want a little bit of old and a little bit new
    you'd being borrowing, so you just need to wear blue

    the palace has a nice walking tour where you learn about the stately rooms
    unlike many other of the modern palaces, enjoy being able to walk through it!

    be sure to save some time for the grounds, like many things in scotland...walkways are VERY structured...i suppose that's a part of their culture

    however, being from where i am, i'm constantly seeking escape routes ;p

    the chapel is formidable in size and structure yet vulnerable and somewhat forgotten in its broken state

    ~*~
    the people there are quite friendly, so feel free to chat up people...

    :bonus: the gift shop sells ER household approved royal tea, china, and all that other good stuff if you want to take a bit of that lavish luxury home...
    just make sure you'll be alright in weight restrictions as cans of tea and china can be quite heavy!!

  • 4.0 star rating
    8/9/2011
    Listed in Scottish Surprises

    This isn't a big, impressive palace but there's so much poignant and heartfelt Scottish history. Definitely worth a visit. Has way less tourists than the flashier Edinburgh castle

  • 4.0 star rating
    13/10/2011

    Beautiful, but we were rushed thru here by our tour guide so that kind of ruined the experience.

  • 4.0 star rating
    29/6/2012

    Oodles and oodles of history right at your fingertips.  The grounds are lovely the house is amazing and there is just so much to do and see here historically.  I'm no stranger to Scottish royal houses but this one is lovely!

  • 5.0 star rating
    7/5/2012

    Expensive yes, but you see and can learn loads of history regarding the royal family.

  • 3.0 star rating
    20/9/2012

    Circular stairs - ugh! Gallery - really pretty. Dining room - ok (have you seen Hearst Castle in California?) Mary, Queen of Scots area - historically nice.

    • Qype User tomq8…
    • Edinburgh
    • 71 friends
    • 84 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    16/10/2008

    I especially loved the Mary Queen of Scots room it was so interesting and the best room in the palace. I also loved the abbey around back of the palace and the gardens but I wasn't so fussed with the rest of the palace and probably wouldn't pay to go again.

    • Qype User lamloo…
    • Edinburgh
    • 6 friends
    • 75 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    22/1/2012

    I absolutely love it , i will go back there again and again! full of history full of cool stuff and the talking device is awesome , tells you everything you need about every room you step in! gosh I wanna live there! :D

    • Qype User becki…
    • Edinburgh
    • 2 friends
    • 51 reviews
    2.0 star rating
    14/11/2008

    This isn't my most favorite place to visit in Edinburgh. It was interesting but not as interesting as some other museums I have been to. I got bored of the audio tour and ended up skipping through them. I did love the abbey though that was next to the house and all ruined and also the gardens for holyrood house were especially nice. It is nice to go a visit once but i probably won't be having a return visit there. It is quite expensive though especially if you want to go to the queens gallery too which i didn't at the time.

  • 4.0 star rating
    22/8/2009

    Holyrood House we came across after walking to The Gathering and notice the palace. £10 admission, not too expensive considering the maintenance of the place for public access. Adio guide again is a must, you will learn for more that just walking around the place. Another must visit place for those into historic buildings and history of the Royals in Edinburgh & Scotland. The Abbey ruins was a nice place to stop and rest for a while, we had what is know as a rare hot sunny day. If you do the castle at one end of the Mile then you will need to do Holyrood House.

    • Qype User tripo…
    • Edinburgh
    • 0 friends
    • 32 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    27/11/2008

    This is worth the money (about 8GBP). I have been to the state rooms at Buckingham Palace, as well, but this was nicer as you can see more of the house. It is quite amazing that everything is still in use today. You can even see the scratches on the dinner table. Make sure you get the audio tour, it is one of the better ones.
    I liked the rooms of Mary Queen of Scots most. Unfortunately they are rather dark to protect the exhibits. I haven't seen the gardens, as they are closed during winter time.

  • 3.0 star rating
    11/1/2011

    You get to park inside the grounds if you are with someone with a disabled badge ... if you were a dishonest person one could just proceed to the house and not bother to get tickets.

    • Qype User Ellisb…
    • Dundee
    • 1 friend
    • 141 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    13/1/2011

    Holyrood House is a lovely place to walk around, although not as interesting as some royal castles etc. I like them crumbly and gothic! My parents really enjoyed it though, despite the fact that we didn't have the audio guide.

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