Great Britain Autumn Adventure September 16 - September 28, 2018 | 13 Days

Many monarchs, including Charles II, Queen Victoria, and George V, have left their mark on the rooms here, but it's Mary, Queen of Scots, whose spirit looms largest. With a long history of gruesome murder, destructive fire, and power-hungry personalities, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is now Queen Elizabeth's official residence in Scotland.

Holyroodhouse has its origins in an Augustinian monastery. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Scottish royalty, preferring the comforts of the abbey to Edinburgh Castle, settled into Holyroodhouse, expanding the buildings until the palace eclipsed the monastery.

After the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when the Scottish royal court packed its bags and decamped to England, the building began to fall into disrepair. It was Charles II (1630–85) who rebuilt Holyrood in the architectural style of Louis XIV (1638–1715), and this is the style you see today. Queen Victoria (1819–1901) and her grandson King George V (1865–1936) renewed interest in the palace, and the buildings were refurbished and made suitable for royal residence.

Today this impressive palace stands at the foot of the Royal Mile, it's built around a lawned central court at the end of Canongate. When royals are not in residence, you can take a tour. There's plenty to see here besides the palace so make time for the marvelous gardens, and the evocative ruins of the 12th-century abbey.

Great Britain Autumn Adventure