When Scotland won it’s parliamentary independence from England in 1999, work began on a building to house it’s own Scottish Parliament. After being accommodated by the Church of Scotland in the General Assembly Hall on the Royal Mile for 5 years, the Scottish Parliament moved into it’s new home opposite the Queen’s Edinburgh residence, Holyrood Palace. On 6th October, 2004, Queen Elizabeth 11 opened The Scottish Parliament Building.
The building, designed by architect Enric Miralles, is home to some 129 members of Scottish Parliament, representing constituencies from all over Scotland. The building received mixed reviews from Edinburgh residents when it was opened in 2004 as the design was considered too modern. However the design blends well into the adjacent Queens Park.
The Scottish Parliament is a great place for visitors but perhaps younger children will not be as enthralled by the inside designs as older ones, our recommended age is 8 upwards. Visiting the Scottish Parliament is free and you are able to access the public areas of your own free will or partake in a guided tour. A guided tour of the building is highly recommended as you will learn lots of fascinating facts about the building and the Scottish Parliament. You are also able to sit in on a debate though you will need to book tickets. It is worth noting that parliament does not sit on a Monday or a Friday.
Of particular interest are the inside designs of the Debating hall where the ceiling architecture is frequently described as ‘Striking’. There is an exhibition which describes how the Scottish Parliament works which you will find factual and entertaining.
The Scottish Parliament website has everything you will need to know to make you visit to the Scottish Parliament enjoyable. Please feel free to comment below on your visit and leave your tips for other visitors.