Holyrood Palace is the other major site I wanted to see while visiting Edinburgh. It’s the official residence of the King and Queen of Scots and is open to the public as long as the Royal Family isn’t staying there.
The palace is located on the opposite end of the Royal Mile from the castle. It was a nice little walk downhill through an area of the Royal Mile I hadn’t been before. There are lots of cool old buildings like you might expect.
At the end of the road I can see the entrance to the palace and on my right is a modern building that seems out of place. It’s the Scottish Parliament building.
As I have a wander around in front of Parliament I notice small groups of people coming down the road from what looks like a park and decide to check it out. I see a small sign and realize it is trailhead to climb Arthur’s Seat, the most well-known hill in the city with great panoramic views.
I really wasn’t prepared for a hike but wanted to walk up a little way and check things out. It is a fairly easy hike, with a steady but not too aggressive incline, but as I’m out of shape it did get my heart pumping.
I get about halfway up and decide to head back down. I wasn’t dressed or prepared for a hike, especially in this chilly weather. I thought it was better to stick to my plan of visiting the palace, and not push things with a hike.
I make my way back to the Holyrood entrance to get a ticket for the tour. The Queen’s art gallery is also located on site, but I choose to just tour the palace. You can take all the pictures you want of the outside, but once inside no photos are allowed.
The self-guided audio tour was interesting, with lots of background on Mary Queen of Scots and the palace intrigue surrounding her life and death. While I had seen enough palaces on my way through Europe that I wasn’t sure I’d visit another, I’m glad I decided to give Holyrood a visit.
The tour ends outside in the ruins of the old Holyrood Abbey.
I make my way back up the Royal Mile for some food and then to call it a night. I snap some photos of the odd shop or building that catches my eye.
I thought this pub had a cool name.
My time in Edinburgh was grand and it fully lived up to my expectations, but it was time to move on.
The express bus takes me to the airport the next day. Next stop, London.