Worth a visit: February 2019

By Lucy Oliver

Take a trip to Edinburgh to explore the medieval old town and enjoy spectacular views from the castle.

At one end of Edinburgh's Royal Mile, the Palace of Holyroodhouse – the Queen's official residence in Scotland – welcomes visitors to learn of the troubled history of its monarchs and discover their treasures. The palace's great gallery became the court of Bonnie Prince Charlie for a period of six weeks before his troops marched south of the border, prior to their eventual defeat at the 1746 Battle of Culloden and his own flight into exile.

The north-west tower is the oldest section, at over 500 years old, and was home to Mary, Queen
of Scots. The visitor today can climb the winding staircase to her outer chamber and see the oak-panelled oratory where she prayed daily. The palace has witnessed intrigue and tragedy, and it was in the supper room that Mary's private secretary, Davide Rizzio, was murdered; indeed some claim the marks of Rizzio's blood still remain.

Short talks are held daily at the neighbouring Holyrood Abbey, where visitors can wander through its ruins, overlooked by the Salisbury Crags. Before you leave, visit the café to try the haggis, or tea and cakes.