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“Worth a visit” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Palace of Holyroodhouse

Palace of Holyroodhouse
Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DX, Scotland (Southside & Holyrood)
+44 131 556 1096
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Top Rated
$22*
and up
City Sightseeing Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Ranked #18 of 471 things to do in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence in Scotland of Her Majesty The Queen. The palace stands at the end of Edinburgh's Royal Mile against the spectacular backdrop of Arthur's Seat. This fine palace is closely associated with Scotland's rich history and is used by The Queen when carrying out official engagements in Scotland. The State Apartments reflect the changing tastes of successive monarchs, and are renowned for their fine plasterwork ceilings and unrivalled collection of Brussels tapestries. They are furnished with numerous fine paintings and other works of art, many of which have long associations with Holyroodhouse. The visit to Holyroodhouse includes Mary, Queen of Scots' Chambers and the Darnley Rooms, the setting for many dramatic episodes in Mary's short and turbulent reign. In the Palace's west corner tower are Mary's Bedchamber, described as 'the most famous room in Scotland', and her Outer Chamber, the scene of the murder of her Italian secretary, David Rizzio'. During the summer months, you can join a guided tour of Holyrood Abbey, which lies adjacent to the Palace in the spectacular setting of Arthur's Seat. Escorted by Wardens dressed in their ancient hunting Stewart tartan, you will learn about the building's extraordinary history.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Level Contributor
30 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Worth a visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

Beautiful palace, lots of history inside, worth to pay a visit. Don't forget to visit the Abbey ruins just aside the palace.

Visited October 2012
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Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
47 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“The Real Deal”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

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.

Visited October 2012
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Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
54 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Rich history and over-the-top interior”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

In terms of interior decor/furnishings Holyrood really was over the top. As you progress further in your tour, the plaster work ceilings become ever more grandiose. Downside is that you are unable to take photographs. Upside is that there are many willing and enthusiastic docents available to answer your questions.
Very interesting to see where Lord Darnley was murdered in front of Mary Queen of Scots - I know, gruesome, but this is history!
The abbey ruins are also quite compelling. Overall, we are very glad we visited and enjoyed this just as much as Edinburgh castle, perhaps a tad bit more.

Visited September 2012
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Perth, Australia
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118 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“I am glad I went...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

I wasn't so sure if I wanted to come here, having said that I would now say it is not to be missed.
So much history, such beautiful artworks and old tapestries, and such a beautiful garden.

Visited November 2012
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Edinburgh
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Not really that much to see”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

The Palace is ok if it's a rainy day with nothing else to do.

There's not that much to see and what there is isn't that thrilling.

Signage is poor and you get lost quite often.

Don't blink or you might miss it.

We were expecting sumptuous rooms (the Queens bedroom was good) and fine jewels, ornaments and table settings.

It all looked like it had been done on the cheap. I've seen grander hotels in Edinburgh where you can pop in for a look free!!!

Visited November 2012
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