Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh – part 2

Here we are back at the Palace of Holyrood House in Edinburgh again, inside this time. As you can see the bedroom below is the King’s Bedchamber which is hung with tapestries, has a wonderfuly ornate ceiling and Dutch delft tiles around the fireplace. Most of the rooms in this palace are fairly small by royal standards.

Royal Bed, Palace of Holyrood House, Edinburgh, Scotland

On the video guide Princess Anne explained that people often assume that it must be a horrible place to have to stay in, considering that there has been at least one murder there with Rizzio having been stabbed to death (I bet there were more murders than that one!) But she tells them that it has a nice homely atmosphere. I must admit that I have my doubts about the ‘bloodstain’ in the photo below, it look a wee bit too bright for something not far off 500 years old, but there’s no doubt that this is where the deed took place. If you’re interested in the history of the palace have a look here.

Rizzio's 'bloodstain', Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland

Sadly a lot of our photos didn’t come out well due to the dim lighting to preserve the tapestries and soft furnishings, they look blurred like the two below. Obviously you aren’t allowed to use a flash.

Palace of Holyrood House, Edinburgh

King's Room, Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh

Below is a painting of King James VI.

James VI + fireplace, Holyrood House, Edinburgh

I’m sure that the dining room is used when the Queen visits this palace, usually she stays here and does some entertaining and has garden parties before continuing on to her holiday home in the Highlands – Balmoral.

Dining Table, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh

Some of the paintings in the Long Gallery below were damaged after the Jacobite Rebellion, presumably by Cumberland’s troops but they’ve been well patched up. Someone called these long galleries ‘treason rooms’ as they are the only spaces where people of a treasonous nature could talk without the danger of being overheard. When ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ took possession of this palace in 1745 he held a grand ball. I think it would have been held in this room, unless there is a ballroom which is not open to the public. There’s a secret door in the panelling!

Long Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh

I could have quite happily sat down to soak up the atmosphere, but I don’t think that would have gone down well with the attendants who I must mention were almost all young women and wearing wonderful kilts which looked to me to be men’s kilts, certainly they folded over on the male side anyway. Sadly I don’t have a photo of them as I don’t think that would have gone down well either.

Palace of Holyroodhouse,Tapestry , Edinburgh

The Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland

A couple of weeks ago we decided to visit Holyrood Palace, in Edinburgh, I had only peered at it through the railings previously. As usual it’s the places nearby that get overlooked while we concentrated on visiting far-flung places.

Holyrood Palace gates, Edinburgh, Scotland
Below is a stitch of the palace which is more correctly called the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Holy rood of course means holy cross.
Fountain, Holyrood Palace stitch
As you can see the architecture is of the Scots Baronial type which was influenced by French and Italian architecture.

entranceway Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh

Entrance, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland

The photo below is of the courtyard in the centre of the building, it’s a lovely green space to look out onto.
Holyrood Palace Courtyard , Edinburgh, Scotland

It all seemed quite empty at this point but when we got inside there seemed to be far too many people in the smallish rooms. I think I would even have felt that if there had not been an ongoing pandemic, some of them had obviously just come off planes! Anyway, we seem to have survived and I’ll blog about some of those rooms tomorrow!

Salisbury Crags, Edinburgh

Salisbury Crags from car park

One day last week we decided it was time that we hiked up the Salisbury Crags which are a part of the rocky area to the left of Edinburgh Castle, close to Holyrood Palace. It was a lovely blue sky day by the time we got there and loads of people had had the same idea, it was a busy place. In fact I have to admit that it was only after we got home that we realised it was the Salisbury Crags we had gone up, when we were there we were under the impression we had hiked up to Arthur’s Seat – we’ll do that one next time. Sir Walter Scott calls Salisbury Crags Salusbury Crags in Heart of Midlothian, it’s thought that Salisbury is a corruption of a Gaelic word meaning Willow Brae, but it was anglicised to Salisbury at some point.

Salisbury  Crags rocks

I’m well used to hill walking and this walk looks very easy but you can’t see most of the climb from the bottom and it wasn’t long before I was beginning to think I had bitten off more than I could chew because the beginning of this hike is very steep and I was huffing and puffing up it like an old steam engine. I looked up and saw a wee girl aged about four or five twinkling down the hill on her toes, and I thought if she can do it surely I can.

View from Salisbury Crags 13

The path soon levels out quite a bit and it’s only when you are almost at the top that it begins to get really steep again and now and again I found myself clutching at tufts of grass, but by then the top was in sight.

View from Salisbury  Crags 10

It’s definitely worth the trek as you get great views of Edinburgh from there as you can see. Unfortunately it started to rain when we got to the top, it was so windy that the rain was actually being pushed up again, curving away from the rock as it got about a metre away from it. Golden beads swooping up before getting over the edge and landing on us. Luckily it didn’t last too long as there’s no cover up there!

You can see Edinburgh Castle in the photo below.

View from Salisbury  Crags 2 castle

And Holyrood Palace which is just at the bottom of the Crags. There is a Royal Standard flying but I don’t think the Queen was in residence then. The Firth of Forth is in the distance, you can see one of the islands.

View from Salisbury  Crags 16 Holyrood Pal

We knew that we were going to be the worse for wear the next day, I really expected my thighs to be giving me gyp but it turned out it was our calf muscles that had taken the brunt of the strain. It was two whole days before my legs felt normal!

You can see great images of Salisbury Crags here.

Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh, Scotland

Peggy, Jack and I walked down to Holyrood Palace at the bottom of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, just so that Peggy could see what it looked like, if you want to see more photos of it have a look here.

Holyrood 2

Somehow when you’re on the other side of a big fancy set of gates and railings peering inside you just can’t help but feel like one of the underlings, the suppressed masses! Anyway, I admit it, I was a wee bit excited when I saw that the palace was flying the Royal Standard from its flagpole. That usually means that the Queen is in residence, I did think it a bit early in the year for her to be visiting mind you, but there was a posh black car parked just out of the photo and it had NO number plate.

Then when a whole load of kilted soldiers came out of an adjacent building and marched towards us and the gate I felt sure they must be some sort of escort but after a lot of shouting, stamping and bugling, they turned around and marched off in the direction they had come from. I think they must put on a performance like that every night at 6 o’clock, how disappointing. I thought that Peggy would be getting a glimpse of royalty but the standard was apparently flying because the Church of Scotland were having their annual General Assembly in Edinburgh that week and the Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland was there representing the Queen.

Holyrood guard 2

Anyway, it turns out that Peggy was more thrilled with the Scottish soldiers than she would have been of royalty. I think she managed to get a video of them performing but you’ll have to wait until she gets back to the US before she can blog about that.