THE PALACE OF HOLYROOD HOUSE
Holyrood House was built in 1498 by James IV and ever since that time it has been closely linked with royalty. The Palace is located on the site of Holyrood Abbey, an Augustine monastery dating from1128. The Palace of Holyrood house is now the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II when she is in Scotland, and she is usually in residence for a few weeks in May and July each year. When the Queen is not there parts of the palace are sometimes open to visitors with guided tours available.
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Situated at the end of the Royal Mile the Palace of Holyrood House is now the setting for state ceremonies and official entertaining when the Queen is in Scotland. Lurking at the bottom of the Royal Mile, it serves as a reminder of Scotland's volatile history. Famous incidents include the murder of the secretary of Mary Queen of Scots.
Tours of the Palace cost between £4.50 and £8.50 and are available from the 1st June to the 31st December. Tickets can be ordered over the internet so that tickets can be collected on the day, be sure to retain all appropriate documentation.
The Palace is set in the grounds of Holyrood Park that extends to a quite amazing 650 acres. This is thought to be the largest area of untamed countryside within any city. The park is almost always open to the public even though the grounds are actually owned by the royal family.
Within the park is Arthur's Seat, which is an extinct volcano, and some say resembles a crouching lion. Arthur's Seat looks like a mountain towering over the city but in fact the summit is actually only 823 feet above sea level.