With the summer holidays looming and the time stretching ahead, we’ve got a great recommendation for a family day out to add to your list. And what’s even better is that it isn’t super busy with International tourists, (although, we would like that to change ASAP!) so it’s an ideal opportunity to be a tourist in your own city!
First thing to note – the entrance. We honestly could have spent hours in this space as there was so much to look out for and too many photo opportunities! The Holyrood Palace itself is so impressive and you really do get the sense of just how special a place it is by just walking around. There was something in each room to grab Wren’s attention (especially the Queen’s bed!) and the steep winding staircases were a big hit. Staff members were on hand to help out with the buggy, so our visit was made even easier.
We’d also recommend taking your time to enjoy the Palace gardens. The grounds are beautiful and offer such a spectacular view of Arthur’s Seat and Calton Hill. We managed to fill our camera’s memory card just by taking photos!
We visited on the anniversary of Queen Victoria taking the throne, just(!) 184 years ago at the age of 18, at the Palace itself. To celebrate the day, there were some themed activities aimed at families to enjoy. Although on paper, these were more suited to older children (Wren is two years old), the staff did a brilliant job at engaging with her, telling her fun facts, and used artefacts to really bring the stories to life. She happily chatted away with them! Our favourite activity was designing a postcard, so much so that Wren has been wanting to post it for real ever since!
Due to Covid restrictions, one of the rooms in the Palace aimed specifically at children is currently closed. Staff were telling us it includes fancy dress costumes (for children AND adults!!) so you can really pretend to be a part of royalty! We will absolutely be back to enjoy this when we can.
A big highlight of the day was the fantastic multimedia guides. Super easy to use with a touch screen, and with a choice of two guides, Wren happily sat in her buggy listening along. The family guide included really great child-friendly videos, as well as a variety of interactive activities to learn more about each part.
If you have a particular interest in the history of Queen Victoria, we would also recommend visiting the Queen’s Gallery. Situated at the entrance of the attraction, and for an additional fee, you can check out the current exhibition which is artwork exploring the lives of Victoria and Albert. It is more aimed at the grown ups, however it was worth it just to enjoy the building itself – Wren was in awe with the staircase!
Facilities & Safety Provisions
In terms of Covid safety, all measures are in place without it overtaking the experience. Each room is well staffed to ensure suitable numbers and social distancing. The one way system worked really well, and we didn’t have to queue or wait at any point during our visit (a big plus when a little one is in tow!)
All the usual facilities were open to enjoy, including gift shops, toilets, and the Cafe at the Palace. We will absolutely be back to enjoy a special afternoon tea here as it looked incredible!
We would recommend booking your tickets ahead of time to guarantee entry, as they are currently open to a reduced number of visitors. Ticket prices include use of the multimedia guides, and your track and trace form is emailed to you to complete prior to your visit – so no need to wait around once you arrive! All information can be found athttps://www.rct.uk/visit/palace-of-holyroodhouse. It’s worth double checking their website in case the Palace is closed for a Royal visit!
We were invited to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, but all thoughts, words and images are our own. A big thank you to the staff for gifting us tickets, as well as the very much appreciated bag of goodies!
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