Do not Miss This When Visiting The Holyrood House

The Holyrood House is the official residence of the Monarchy in Scotland. It was founded as a monastery in the year 1128 at the end of the Royal Mile in the city of Edinburgh. It is closely associated with the history of Scotland. No private day tours from Edinburgh are complete without a visit to the Holyrood Palace. So here is a list of things you should not miss at this medieval Palace.

The Great Stair

Any royal palace is nothing without a grand entrance. So, as you enter the Holyrood palace, you will see the stunning stone staircase built for Charles II. The spectacular ceiling plasterwork, where a life-size angel holds the Scottish crown, is also remarkable. You can also see the amazing tapestry on the walls that was sent to the Palace by Prince Albert during the private day tours from Edinburgh.

Charming Charles II

There are some amazing paintings you will see on your visit to the Holyrood House. The major highlight is the magnificent portrait of Charles II by John Michael Wright that hangs in the Throne Room. Most of the Palace that we see today was built after the renovations and rebuilding work started during the reign of Charles II. However, he never visited the place himself. The Palace is known to be packed with some extraordinary treasures like incredible tapestries and furniture.

Royal Dining Room

Make sure you see the room where the Royal Family dines. It is said that Queen Elizabeth II used this Royal Dining Room. But Queen Victoria was the first to decide that this room should be used as a royal dining room. You can also have a look at the wonderful portrait of Queen Elizabeth II that was specially commissioned to hang at Holyrood House.

Darnley Jewel

As you make your way through the room where the Queen of Scots, Mary, lived, you can see the spectacular heart-shaped locket made of rubies, blue glass, and emeralds. It was made for Mary’s mother-in-law, Lady Margaret Douglas. It features the emblems and inscriptions that reveal Margarest’s ambitions for her grandson, the future James VI and I.

The Spectacular Unicorn

The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland. So, while you make your way around the Palace, keep an eye on the unicorns on gate posts, on ceilings, and carved into walls. Some carved unicorns are present on the ceiling of the Presence Chamber and above the Palace’s front door.

Keeping the Kids Keen

The Family Room is where your kids will have the most fun. It consists of costumes for dressing up and fun activities to entertain the kids. You can also try out the magnetic wall that can allow you to create your own coat of arms.

The Stunning Gardens

The beautiful 4-hectare Palace Gardens is where Queen Elizabeth II hosted garden parties while in Edinburgh. You can wander through these stunning gardens, which have amazing views towards the Queen’s Park or Holyrood Park. It includes the Wentworth Elm, a species that was until recently thought to be extinct, and the Physic Garden, which contains medicinal and culinary plants that may have grown at the site in the 17th century.

Winding Up

You can end your visit by treating yourself to tea and relaxing at the Cafe at the Palace, which is set in the historic Mews Courtyard and offers seasonal home-made dishes from locally sourced and fresh produce, which includes a delicious afternoon tea.

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