Fancy a private tour of Her Majesty The Queen’s official residence in Scotland? Yes please! On this special morning, we will take a privately guided tour of the Palace of Holyroodhouse during the morning hours when it is closed to the public. Go behind the ropes in several rooms as our expert guide unveils the Holyrood’s dramatic past and the Palace’s important role today. Enjoy special access to the areas not normally open to the public such as the State Apartments and the West Drawing Room, used by members of the Royal Family as a private sitting room. To top it off, the wedding garments worn by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (aka Harry and Meghan) will be on display. Our palace tour will finish in the café with light refreshments. (Note: At the time of this publication, the privatization calendar for 2019 has not opened up, we will do our best to secure this booking when sales become available.)
We’ll also see the Edinburghian ‘Acropolis’ and unfinished National Monument on Calton Hill, the charming, private Regent Gardens, tucked behind grand Regent’s Terrace and usually accessible only to residents, and the New Scottish Parliament.
Lunchtime and the afternoon are free to do what you will, though of course we have some suggestions:
❖ Enjoy the last day of the Fringe Festival.
❖ Stroll in the 70-acre Royal Botanic Garden, founded in 1670.
❖ Get tickets for the current exhibition at the National Gallery of Scotland.
❖ Find famous Scots in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery – including the photographic collection.
❖ Tour Mary King’s Close (‘Close’ is the Edinburgh word for alley), the lost world of the labyrinthine 18th-century city, hidden from view until the early 2000s.
❖ Visit the extraordinary Rosslyn Chapel (made famous by the Da Vinci Code), just 30 minutes’ drive south of Edinburgh, where every inch of stone is decorated.
❖ Hop over to the port of Leith for tea on the Royal Yacht Britannia, the much-loved personal vessel of the Royal family. The Queen is said to have shed a tear when the yacht was retired. If you have any room left, or decide to focus on dinner instead of on tea, Leith is also home to Michelin-starred Wishart’s restaurant.
THE BALMORAL HOTEL (B)