holyrood house image for st andrew's day free opening 2015

On Sunday, 29 November 2015 celebrate St Andrew’s Day (yes, we know it’s on the 30th…) at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and The Queen’s Gallery with free admission and activities for all the family.

Fast-track entry will be offered to visitors who pre-register for tickets online here or by calling 0303 123 7306. Explore the State and Historic Apartments with a free audio guide, discover the Palace’s dramatic history as the home of some of Scotland’s most well known figures, including Mary, Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie, and find out more about the role the Palace plays today as the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen in Scotland.

holyroodhouse from aboveIn the Palace Quadrangle a special photographic display, Long To Reign Over Us, celebrates The Queen having become Britain’s longest reigning monarch on 9 September 2015. Comprising of a selection of photographs from 1952 to the present day, the display includes both official portraits and photographs of Her Majesty undertaking visits in the UK and across the Commonwealth, as well as those capturing informal family moments. A special selection of films providing an extraordinary glimpse into royal childhood over the years will also be shown in the Palace exhibition rooms.

scottish artists from caledonia to the continent 2

Families will be able to enjoy dressing up in 17th century costumes in the Palace’s Family Room or try some arts and crafts activities in the Coach House. A free family audio guide and activity trail exploring the Palace, historic Holyrood Abbey and the Palace gardens will also be available. At The Queen’s Gallery the exhibition Scottish Artists 1750 – 1900: From Caledonia to the Continent showcases some of the finest paintings by Scotland’s most celebrated artists, including Allan Ramsay, Sir David Wilkie and the Glasgow Boys, in the first exhibition dedicated to Scottish art in the Royal Collection. See some of the paintings featured in Lachlan Goudie’s recent TV series! You can read The Edinburgh Reporter’s article about this wonderful exhibition here.

afternoon tea at Holyrood House

Throughout the day visitors will be able to enjoy mulled wine, spiced nuts and hot waffles in the Palace Courtyard or even indulge in an afternoon tea in the Café at the Palace. A 20% discount at the Royal Collection Trust shop will also be offered to all visitors on the day.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse is at the foot of Canongate here. It is open 9.30am-4.30pm (last admission 3.15pm) every day (closed 25th & 26th December; slightly different times apply on 24th and 31st December and 1st January) from November to March, 9.30am-6pm (last admission 4.30pm) April to October. Image of Holyroodhouse (below) © Ad Meskens / Wikimedia Commons.