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Palace Admission information
Opening Times
09:30 - 18:00 every day (last admission 17:15) Closing time 1 hour earlier Nov - March
The Queen's Gallery is open every day except:
4-13 May
8-18 November
25 and 26 December
Entry is by timed ticket. Pre-booked tickets are available from the booking line (+44) (0)131 556 5100 or click here to buy tickets on line.


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A great place to visit, while staying at Sherwood Guest House is Holyrood Palace which impressively punctuates the end of the Royal Mile. Tall wrought-iron gates lead into a spacious forecourt, in the middle of which stands an ornamental fountain fountain of ancient design, a copy of a famous one at Linlithgow Palace.

Holyrood Palace, which is still a royal residence, has been the scene of so many dramatic episodes in Scotland's story, was founded by James IV in 1498. However, much of the current building is the result of a reconstruction in 1671 to the orders of Charles II. The palace had suffered serious damage by the Earl of Hertford in 1544 during his notorious sack of Edinburgh, and again in 1650 when Oliver Cromwell's troopers caused serious fire damage.

Adjacent to the palace stands the ruin of Holyrood Abbey, whose history spans some 800 years. Holyrood Abbey A Monastery of the Holy Rood was founded here in 1128 by David I, in gratitude for his miraculous escape from an enraged stag while hunting in the Drumshelch Forest. This dense woodland at that time covered a very large area to the south and west of Edinburgh. The coat-of-arms of the former burgh of Canongate bears a stag's head with a holy cross between the antlers . The Canongate was more likely spelt Canons Gait, as the walk ( gait ) of the Canons from the abbey.
T he abbey came to play a great part in the religious life of a succession of Scottish monarchs.

  • James II, was born there, married there and buried there. He was killed in his thirtieth year when a cannon burst near him during a siege of Roxburgh Castle in 1460.
  • James III and James IV were both married in Holyrood Abbey.
  • James V was crowned there (1524) and buried in the abbey (1542).
  • 1565, Mary, Queen of Scots and Henry Darnley were married.
  • Charles I was crowned in the abbey in 1633.

Although the Reformation caused the main damage to the abbey the new roof provided in 1758 collapsed a mere ten years later, due to bad architects design ( could history repeat itself with the new Parliament building ) leaving the venerable thirteenth-century nave was once more a ruin and open to heaven.

Holyrood Palace is open to visitors for most of the year, except when a member of the Royal Family is in residence or during the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, usually May each year,when a Lord High Commissioner represents the queen and take up residence at Holyrood Palace entertaining guests on her behalf.
The palace is set against the incomparable backdrop of Holyrood Park, which extends to 650 acres and is one of Edinburgh's great outdoor plus points. Within minutes of Holyrood Palace you can be lost among the intriguing hill paths and valleys. The highest point in Holyrood Park is Arthur's Seat (822 ft), thought to be a corruption of Archer's Seat ( the approximate height a longbow could reach ) , although here are theories about 'THE KING ARTHUR' and his kingdom in the north. The ascent is not as difficult as it looks. The peak is most easily tackled by way of Dunsapie Loch, and there is the most glorious view from the top, with the whole city, the Forth estuary and kingdom of Fife laid out for all to see.
Holyrood Palace




Holyrood Palace Hallway



Outside Holyrood Palace


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Holyrood Palace at twilight Who slept her then

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