Historic Scotland

Opening times

Access to Holyrood Abbey is through the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Her Majesty The Queen’s official residence in Scotland.

There is a charge for entry to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

To find out more, call 0131 556 5100 or visit the Royal Collection Trust website.

Facilities

 

Overview

Walk in royal footsteps around Holyrood Abbey, founded by David I in 1128. The cloister precinct was later turned into a modern Renaissance palace – Holyroodhouse – and became the royal family’s main home in Scotland.

The abbey’s choir and transepts were lost soon after the Protestant Reformation, though the nave survived as a parish church. But it too fell to ruins after the Catholic James VII and II evicted the worshippers in 1687.

What to see and do

  • Wander through the abbey nave and gardens after touring the Palace of Holyroodhouse (run by the Royal Collection Trust)
  • Admire the east processional doorway, the only surviving part of David I’s original ‘monastery of the Holy Rood’
  • Take in the west front of the rebuilt abbey church, one of the most impressive Gothic façades anywhere in Scotland
  • View the royal vault, the final resting place of both royalty and Augustinian canons
  • Visit the Abbey Sanctuary, a shop in a building dating to the late 1400s or early 1500s just outside the palace gate