The seat of government and monarchy in Edinburgh has a rich royal heritage. So much so the city abounds with world-class visitor attractions that honour the Scottish capital’s links to royalty.
Edinburgh's Royal Heritage
The Scottish capital’s most iconic royal landmark is undoubtedly Edinburgh Castle. Perched atop an extinct volcano, the castle is alive with exciting tales of its time as a military fortress, royal residence, and prison of war. Key highlights include Mons Meg (popularly known as the 1 o’clock gun), the National War Museum, the sacred Stone of Destiny, and the Crown Jewels.
Walk in the footsteps of soldiers, kings and queens, when you wander up Castle Hill.
The Royal Yacht Britannia was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family for over 40 years. Now berthed in the trendy neighbourhood of Leith, this award-winning visitor attraction is popular with both residents and visitors. Since its decommissioning in 1997, visitors have been able to step aboard and walk in the footsteps of their favourite royals. With five decks to explore including the Admirals Quarters, Crew Quarters, Royal Deck Tearoom, State Apartments and The Bridge, this really makes for a great day out with the family. With freshly prepared homemade food from the Royal Galley, you can eat like a king while enjoying the panoramic sea views fit for a queen.
The Queen's official residence in Scotland is located at the bottom of Edinburgh's Royal Mile. The Palace of Holyroodhouse, home of Scottish royal history, welcomes visitors all year round to its grounds. You can explore the State Apartments, the Palace Gardens, historic treasures, the remains of the 12th-century Holyrood Abbey, the Great Gallery and the Throne Room.
Once used for tournaments, hunting, hawking and archery, the 16th-century Palace Gardens are a hidden secret in Edinburgh's busy city centre. With its incredible backdrop of Arthur's Seat, families can enjoy its woodland paths, giant lawns, and spot some local wildlife along the way. Don't worry, the lion no longer lives here.
Standing next to the Palace of Holyroodhouse and overlooked by the dramatic Salisbury Crags, Holyrood Abbey is a majestic building that was once one of the grandest medieval abbeys in the country. The remains of the 900 years old majestic building are waiting to be discovered.
The Palace also runs an engaging programme of family-friendly events featuring trails, private tours, music displays, glorious gardens, exhibitions, talks, and much more.
The story goes way back to the 19th-century when Greyfriars Bobby, a cute little Skye Terrier, spent 14 years guarding his master's grave until his own death in January 1872. His collar, a gift from the then Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Sir William Chambers, is on display in the Museum of Edinburgh.
Originally built as a drinking fountain, the statue of Bobby, which is located near the main entrance of Greyfriars Kirkyard, is Edinburgh's smallest listed building.