As long as the Queen is not in residence, the palace is open for a guided tour. All the state rooms and private rooms are included in the tour as well as the bedroom of Mary Queen of Scots with an excellent narrative of the bloody history. The bedrooms and the Victorian collection room are of special interest where you feel that you are a witness to past and current history. The portrait gallery is unique in that all the portraits were restored and all reframed in the same plain frame, a very strange sight. You exit the palace into the ruins of a 13th to 14th century abbey that has enough dramatic arches and walls to keep you well occupied. When you step out onto the exterior of the abbey, notice the impressive wall decorations which are in excellent condition. The pathway back to the entrance gate is through the Queen's private garden. A nice touch to end the tour.