Located east of the city centre at the base of the Royal Mile, Holyrood is Scotland’s official residence and the site of the Scottish Parliament. Holyrood is a major section of the heart and Old Town of Edinburgh. The Edinburgh Waverley train station, which provides service to the remainder of Scotland and the United Kingdom, is conveniently located nearby.  

Prior to Edinburgh’s expansion in 1856, Holyrood was a part of the burgh of Canongate. The Royal Park of Holyroodhouse. In Edinburgh, the name “Holyrood” refers to three distinct locations: the windswept, gorse-tangled hillside of Holyrood Park, the Scottish Parliament building on the park’s outskirts, and the Royal Palace of Scotland, Holyroodhouse. The Holyrood neighbourhood is located in the eastern part of the Old Town, just off the Royal Mile.

Historic Holyrood forms the border between the downtown and Old Town areas and is curved around its huge namesake park. At the bottom of the Royal Mile, which also features the Scottish Parliament Building, the Museum of Edinburgh, and the ruins of Holyrood Abbey, is the royal residence, the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The contemporary white-tent museum, Our Dynamic Earth, houses hands-on planetary exhibits.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, is at the end of the Royal Mile and is open all year. Learn how The King still uses the Palace today for official engagements in Scotland and about its close ties to some of Scotland’s most famous historical figures like Mary, Queen of Scots, and Bonnie Prince Charlie. 

Located at the start of the Royal Mile is Holyrood Palace. Holyrood Palace, which dates back to 1503 and was originally home to Mary, Queen of Scots, now serves as the monarch’s summer residence at the close of each June. Prince Charles spends a week of the year in this location. The palace is available for tours at other times.

The Scottish Parliament, which opened in 2004, is another must-see and is immediately over the street. Tours of the building are free and are given six days a week. Hearings in parliament are open to the public at no cost. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy breathtaking vistas over the entire city of Edinburgh from the summits of Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crags, both of which are accessible via Holyrood Park.


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