on May 29, 2011
The Royal Palace of Holyrood is the Queen's official residence when she is in the Scottish Capital and is located right at the bottom of the Royal Mile so makes a great place to finish your tour of the Royal Miles attractions. It is located near to the Scottish parlament building and also the Dynamic Earth exhibition so you can do all these sights in an aternoon. I am a huge fan of historic buildings so I was in my element in Edinburgh and the Holyrood Palace was certainly striking and absolutley beautiful. As part of the Edinburgh pass we had free entry to the Queens Gallery which is located at Holyrood and if you are a fan of classic paintings then this is definately worth seeing. The actual Palace wasn't included in the pass so we had to pay for this and it cost £10.50 each. There is a combined ticket to the Palace and the Queens Gallery and this costs £14.85.Included in the price of entry was an audio guide which I highly recommend you take so that you can get the most out of your visit. The guide is fascinating and told me so many things about the history of the Palace that I was unfamiliar with previously. The inside is just as lavish as you might expect and the tapestries and artwork on the walls are better and more impressive than most museums. The Royal apartments were especially interesting and it was strange to think this is where the Queen stays when in town. For me the best part of the tour was seeing the apartments of Mary Queen of Scots and hearing some interesting tidbits about her from the audio guide as she has always been a figure of interest for me. The tour around the Palace isn't really all that long but there is so much to see that you will want at least an hour to take it all in. Although the Palace is absolutely stunning and has some beautiful furniture and art work I was slightly disapointed just in the fact that everything is so pristine that I couldn't really get a feel for the history of the Palace and that's a shame when the history is as interesting as Holyrood's. My favourie part of the tour of Holyrood was actually outside the Palace and in the gardens. They were stunning but they also contain the ruins of the Holyrood Abbey which dates back to 1128. The sense of history that I was missing from inside certainly wasn't lacking here and it has such a magical feeling to it that you can actually picture just how everything must have looked hundreds of years ago. For me Holyrood Palace was well worth visiting. It might not be as big as some of the other European Palaces but that certainly doesn't make it any less impressive and in fact it actually outshines a lot of them. For any people who love history and anythign to do with the royals then Holyrood is an absolute must see in Edinburgh and in a city teeming with history Holyrrood has some of the most interesting.
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