Visit the Historic Holyrood Palace, Home of Mary Queen of Scots

Visit the Historic Holyrood Palace, Home of Mary Queen of Scots

Holyrood Palace is a royal palace in Edinburgh, Scotland. It has been the official residence of the monarch of Scotland since the 16th century. The palace is closely associated with Mary Queen of Scots, who lived there between 1561 and 1567.

The palace is located at the end of the Royal Mile, at the eastern edge of the Old Town of Edinburgh. It is surrounded by the ruins of Holyrood Abbey, which was founded in 1128 by King David I of Scotland.


The original palace was built in the early 16th century for King James IV. It was extended and remodelled in the 17th century by Charles II. After the union of England and Scotland in 1707, the palace fell into disrepair and was used as a barracks.

In the 19th century, the palace was restored and expanded by Queen Victoria. It is now used by the British royal family for official visits to Scotland.

Mary Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots was the only surviving child of James V of Scotland. She was born at Linlithgow Palace in 1542 and became Queen of Scotland when she was just six days old.

Mary was a controversial figure in Scottish history. She was married three times and was implicated in the death of her second husband, Lord Darnley. She was forced to abdicate the throne in 1567 and fled to England.

Mary spent most of her time in Scotland at Holyrood Palace. She held court there and entertained foreign dignitaries. It was also the site of her coronation in 1543.

Holyrood Abbey

Holyrood Abbey was founded in 1128 by King David I of Scotland. It was a major centre of religious life in Scotland and the burial place of many Scottish kings and queens.

The abbey was badly damaged during the Scottish Reformation in the 16th century and fell into disrepair. Today, the ruins of the abbey are a popular tourist attraction.

Visiting Holyrood Palace

Holyrood Palace is open to the public from April to October. Visitors can explore the palace and its grounds, including the ruins of Holyrood Abbey. The palace also hosts a range of events, including concerts and guided tours.


  • The Great Gallery, where Mary Queen of Scots held court.
  • The Royal Apartments, where the British royal family stay when they visit Scotland.
  • The ruins of Holyrood Abbey.
  • The Queen’s Gallery, which houses a permanent collection of works of art.

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