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Best places to visit in Scotland: Mount Stuart House

Updated on March 26, 2013

History

Mount Stuart House, one of the most impressive stately homes in Scotland was built at the end of 19th century. The unusual Neo-Gothic architecture of the building is due to the imagination of the 3rd Marquess of Bute, one of the richest men of his time and a descendent of the 12th century Anglo-Norman Stuart Kings. Many features of the house have mysterious symbolism which reveals the diverse interests of the Marquess in religion, astrology, theology and art. The house also contains many technological innovations of Victorian Times such as indoor heated swimming pool, a lift and a house telephone system.In 2003 Stella McCartney’s wedding took place in Mount Stuart House which was attended by many celebrities including Madonna, Liv Tylor and Kate Moss.

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How to get there

The house is situated on the Isle of Bute, an easily accessible West Scottish island. It will take you 2.5 hours to get there from the centre of Glasgow. Starting from Glasgow Central Station, you should take in turn:

  • Train to WemyssBay railway station ( journey time 50 min.) The trains run every hour.
  • The Calmac ferry from WemyssBay station to Rothesay. The train usually meets the ferry. Sailing time about 30 min.
  • The bus to MountStuart visitors centre. The bus usually waits at the bus stop next to Rothesay marina. Journey time 15 min.

A markerIsle of Bute -
Isle of Bute, Argyll and Bute PA20, UK
get directions

Tip

If this is your first time on Bute, why not take the Open Top bus tour, which will take you around Bute and will stop near Mount Stuart House. You can hop on the next Open Top Bus or use the same tickets to return to Rothesay on the service bus which departs from Mount Stuart Visitors centre.

Opening hours

The house is open from April to November,

Daily from 11am to 5pm.

Closed on some Saturdays from 11.30

due to special functions

Main features

  • The Marble Hall, 30 m high, made entirely of white, grey and red Italian marble.
  • The Grand Staircase made of marble leading to the Gallery
  • The Dining Room decorated with intricately carved wooden panelling and Louise Quince chandeliers
  • The Gallery with painted figures from Greek, Roman and Norse mythology
  • The Drawing Room with dozens of heraldic shields and Italian art work
  • The Horoscope Room with an astrological theme
  • The Lady Bute Room with lovely deep pink colours and intricate walnut wood carvings
  • The Purple Library with thousands of antique books many of which are devoted to theology
  • The Marble Chapel made of white Carrara marble

Lucinda Lambton at Mount Stuart

Gardens

The Mount Stuart House is set on 300 acres of grounds which include delightful secluded gardens, rocky shore and sandy beach, forest walks. Just opposite the main entrance of the house is the Rock Garden with a wonderful collection of trees and shrubs.

The Rock Garden
The Rock Garden
The Rock Garden
The Rock Garden
The Wee Garden
The Wee Garden

If you take a stroll along the footpath to the left of the main lawn in front of the house you will come across a sandy beach, the WeeGarden containing exotic trees from Latin America and Australasia and Calvary Pond.

Satellite view of the Gardens

The footpath to the left of the main lawn will lead you forest walk near a rocky shore, the Pinetum and the Kitchen garden.

Other features

The grounds of Mount Stuart House also contain visitors centre with a restaurant, an adventure playground and a farm shop which sells vegetables and herbs grown in the kitchen garden and free-range eggs, freshly laid by Mount Stuart hens.

Links

For more information about Mount Stuart House and Gardens visit Mount Stuart website. For more great ideas about tourist sights of the Western Scotland look at:The Magical Island of Arran and Historic Sites in Scotland: The Callanish Standing Stones HubPages.

Autumn at Mount Stuart

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Comments

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    • Christine Wade profile image
      Author

      Christine Wade 3 years ago from UK

      Romeos, thank you very much for your comment. Yes, the House has a great architecture and the grounds are fantastic too!

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      Sounds like a great place to visit for the retired or those who appreciate architecture Christine; great photographs.

      Best Wishes,

      R.Q.