Located at the opposite end of Royal Mile from Edinburgh Castle, The Palace at Holyroodhouse (sometimes just called Holyrood Palace), is an official residence of Queen Elizabeth II.  Holyrood Palace has served as the principal residence of the Kings and Queens of Scots since the 16th century.  Queen Elizabeth spends one week in residence at Holyrood Palace at the beginning of each summer, where she carries out a range of official engagements and ceremonies.

  • Royal Residence:

You can visit parts of the royal residence when the Queen is not in residence and view 14 historic rooms.  The rooms are ornately and uniquely decorated --incredible plasterwork ceilings, paintings and French and Flemish tapestries.

  • Mary, Queen of Scots

Between 1561 and 1567, the Palace of Holyroodhouse was also home to Mary, Queen of Scots. These rooms are not to be missed! The winding, narrow staircase up to the north-west tower leads you back in time to a tale of betrayal, treachery, and murder. Watch your head as you enter the bedchamber--it is a very low doorway!  But, once inside you'll view a beautiful room with an oak ceiling.

  • Holyrood Abby

Tested Travel's favorite part of our visit was seeing the Holyrood Abby.  Now a ruin, Holyrood Abbey was once one of the grandest medieval abbeys in Scotland. The Abbey was enlarged over the centuries and the surviving roofless nave, Romanesque arcading, Gothic windows and vaulted ceiling help us imagine the grandeur of this once magnificent building.  Be sure to take a guided tour! The guides do a fantastic job of pointing out significant historic and architectural details.

Read more about the Palace at Holyroodhouse here.