Edinburgh’s Royal attractions in one day
- 48 hours in Edinburgh
- 72 Hours in Edinburgh
- A day exploring Edinburgh’s free attractions
- A day exploring historic houses in Edinburgh and the Lothians
- A day exploring museums and galleries in Edinburgh
- A day exploring the castles of Edinburgh and the Lothians
- A day in the Lothians
- A day shopping in Edinburgh and the Lothians
- A great family day out in Edinburgh
- Edinburgh’s Royal attractions in one day
- Mary Queen of Scots Trail - Edinburgh and the Lothians
- Two days of local crafts - Edinburgh and the Lothians
Spend a day exploring Edinburgh and Scotland’s Royal connections with this handy itinerary covering three of the city’s Royal attractions.
Trail MapSkip over Google map
Discover the Stone of Destiny, the former home of Mary Queen of Scots and the bedroom of HM The Queen in one day by visiting Edinburgh’s Royal attractions.
Begin your Royal day in the capital city at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland's number one paid visitor attraction, which sits on its own volcanic rock at the top of the Royal Mile. Based right in the heart of Edinburgh, admire the views of the castle before you head up, and then gaze out across the city, beyond the buildings of Princes Street to the Firth of Forth and Fife.
There’s much to see and admire at Edinburgh Castle, a mighty fortification and favoured residence of Scotland’s kings and queens. Make sure you look out for the Royal Palace, created in 1617 in honour of James VI, the Crown Room where the Scottish Crown Jewels are kept, and the Stone of Destiny, where previous Scottish Monarchs were crowned.
Join the crowds to watch the 1pm gun being fired every day (except Sundays, Good Friday and Christmas Day), a timekeeping tradition that started in 1861.
Palace of Holyroodhouse
After visiting Edinburgh Castle, head down the Royal Mile to see the Palace of Holyroodhouse, HM The Queen’s official residence in Scotland. Sitting beneath the grand backdrop of Arthur’s Seat and opposite the Scottish Parliament building, the baroque palace is well known as the former home of Mary Queen of Scots.
The palace is home to centuries of fascinating history. Visit the royal apartments, the throne room and the great gallery - with over 80 17th century portraits of Scottish Monarchs. Alongside is the wonderful Queen's Gallery, a permanent space for changing exhibitions from the Royal Collections.
Royal Yacht Britannia
Complete your day visiting Edinburgh’s Royal attractions at the Royal Yacht Britannia, now retired and berthed down in the historic port of Leith at Ocean Terminal.
The Queen’s floating palace was a favourite with honeymooning royal couples including Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips and the Princes and Princess of Wales. In addition, it has played host to some of the world's most famous people including Sir Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi.
Now a fantastic floating museum, the Royal Yacht Britannia allows you to gain a unique insight into the life of the British Royal Family. Discover fascinating royal artefacts such as the baby grand piano in the State Drawing Room where Noel Coward and Princess Diana have both tinkled the ivories, take a peek inside the Queen’s bedroom (something that’s not possible at any other royal residence) and sip tea on the deck as the Queen once did.
More Royal attractions
If you fancy spending more than a day exploring the Royal attractions of Edinburgh, there are many other things to see and do.
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh offers you peace and tranquillity amongst 72 acres of stunning scenery.
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery reopens in November 2011 to showcase portraits of monarchical Scots including Mary Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie.
At the fantastic 5-star premier whisky visitor attraction, the Scotch Whisky Experience, you can taste the flavours enjoyed by kings and queens on a special regal whisky tour.
In one of the many galleries of the National Museum of Scotland, you can follow the story of the kings of Scotland from Robert the Bruce to James VI, the first monarch to become ruler of both Scotland and England.
SearchSkip search forms
Search for accommodation
Search for attractions
Search for events
Search for activities
Book online or call us:
0845 859 1006
Monday to Friday: 0900 - 1700
Closed Saturday and Sunday
* Calls may be recorded.
Sign up now to receive regular e-newsletters and be the first to hear about the latest news, exciting events and festivals.
Edinburgh and the Lothians sits on the eastern side of Scotland's central belt, in the heart of the country.