Holyrood Palace, #Edinburgh. #HistoricBuildings Scotland

This year I’m having to work extra hard to make up for the need to take 3 months off: 6 weeks to recover from each hip replacement, with the second looming at the end of September. No time for a full holiday this year, but a few busy days sight-seeing in Edinburgh provided a welcome change of perpective.

The first day kicked off with a visit to Holyrood Palace, the queen’s official residence, positioned at the opposite end of the Royal Mile from Edinburgh Castle. This was where Mary, Queen of Scots, resided, and married both of her husbands. The section on the left of the photo is the original part of the building, built in the early 16th century, and houses Mary’s apartments.

The palace was built alongside the 12th century Augustinian abbey that provided the name, which derives from a legendary vision of the cross witnessed by David I, or possibly from a relic of the true cross known as the Holy Rood. 

The ruined Abbey is currently undergoing structural repairs and is not currently open to tourists
As you can see on the left of the photo, the palace and abbey are built on the edge of Holyrood Park, in the shadow of the extinct volcano know as, ‘Arthur’s Seat’

The palace itself is built around a huge quadrangle

On your way in, at the base of the grand staircase is a typically Scottish display of weaponry

Beautiful but deadly

And then we moved on through the state rooms

State dining room

The throne room is dominated at one end by the matching thrones of King George V and Queen Mary

And at the other, by an imposing portrait of King Charles I

There palace is filled with the most exquisite furniture

Even the ceilings are works of art

As are the beds!

And, of course, everywhere you go, there are family portraits!

The romantic Bonny Prince Charlie – boy, did he cause a ruckus in 18th century Scotland!

There are also plenty of display cases of interesting artefacts, including the Order of the Thistle habit and insignia

The Order of the Thistle is the greatest order of chivalry in Scotland

And then it was up the narrow winding stair, and into the oldest part of the palace, to view Mary, Queen of Scots rooms.

‘It was in the Queen’s private apartments that she witnessed the murder of David Rizzio, her private secretary, on 9 March 1566. Darnley (Mary’s first husband) and several nobles entered the apartment via the private stair from Darnley’s own apartments below. Bursting in on the Queen, Rizzio and four other courtiers, who were at supper, they dragged the Italian through the bedchamber into the outer chamber, where he was stabbed 57 times.’ [Courtesy of Wikipedia]

Finally it was time to exit the building and wander out through the gardens where the current monarch holds her Scottish garden parties. With more excellent views of Arthur’s Seat, you can also see how much more extensive the abbey buildings used to be.

The grand gates, through which the royal family arrive when they visit.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your whistle-stop tour of Holyrood Palace?

Next, we visited the Queen’s Gallery, built at the western entrance to the palace, and housing paintings from the queen’s own collection. I was particularly keen to visit this time as the display was of grand masters usually housed in Buckingham Palace, but more of that next time…


  1. Such beauty, history. So much happened that changed the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s always an amazing experience wandering around such places, imagining how it was and what really happened.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks amazing! I love places like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, what a fabulous tour Deb. I love British history and everything monarchy. How amazing it would be to step inside a palace and see artifacts and how they lived back in the 1500s! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m delighted I could bring you a flavour of what it’s like to wander through a palace – I love visiting such historic places and imagining what it must have been like to live back then. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Me too, that’s why I so enjoyed it. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Fantastic tour, Debby! I’m so glad I FINALLY found time to take a look! Thanks for sharing this tidbits of history and the beautiful photographs. Would sure LOVE to visit someday! 🤗❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you found time to take a look, Marcia – now keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming post featuring LOTS of men in kilts! I always have you in mind when I’m filming… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Consider my eyes PEELED, Debby! 😁 I’ll be eagerly looking forward to this one! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m glad you got out and about, Deborah. What an amazing place – history really comes alive there. The furniture, tapestries, and ornamentation are astonishing. Thanks for sharing all the photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Imagine living in those surroundings! I wonder if you’d get so used to it you’d start to take it for granted?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Or sleeping in those beds! Lol. I can’t imagine it.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Amazing photos and history. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for taking a look 😁


  8. […] spent Sunday night in the throne room at Holyrood Palace (see my recent post for photographs), today, the Queen’s coffin will travel up the Edinburgh Royal Mile to St […]


  9. […] times I visit Edinburgh, I never tire of wandering up and down the Royal Mile, which stretches from Holyrood Palace to Edinburgh Castle. The shops are eclectic, and the architecture fascinating. Some of the […]


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