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8. Mount Stuart House and Gardens, Isle of Bute

Top 10 ten places to visit in Scotland - Argyll

Mount Stuart House and Gardens, Bute

In 1877 the heart of the old Mount Stuart, a building of the reign of Queen Anne, was destroyed by fire. Under the direction of the 3rd Marquess of Bute and his architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson a new house arose from the ashes of the old - a Gothic palace which fused powerful architecture with intricate details and lavish designs. The house was never finished, much only being completed in an ambitious restoration programme begun by the late 6th Marquess in the 1980s, a programme which continues to this day.

Mount Stuart Gardens
Mount Stuart’s gardens, amongst Europe’s finest, date back to circa 1717 when the 2nd Earl of Bute started to lay out substantial grounds - the beginning of the three hundred acres of wilderness, woodland and designed landscape that can be enjoyed today. Later his son, the 3rd Earl, a founder of Kew Gardens, considerably expanded on these schemes.

The 19th century saw the development of the Wee Garden (at 5 acres it is anything but) and - in 1896 - the celebrated English landscape gardener Thomas Mawson designed a remarkable walk for the 3rd Marquess of Bute replicating the Via Dolorosa – the route Christ took with the Cross to Calvary. Mawson, an expert on water features, also designed the exquisite Rock Garden to the front of the house.

The 20th century witnessed further developments, including the replanting of the Rock Garden in the 1950s and 1980s and the remodelling of the Victorian Kitchen Garden by Rosemary Verey in the 1990s. As in the best of gardens work does not stand still: a new contemporary garden was created for the Visitor Centre in 2001 and further developments are proposed.

Mount Stuart House and Gardens Address:
Mount Stuart Isle of Bute
PA20 9LR
Scotland, UK

Mount Stuart House and Gardens Opening Times:
Open daily from 1st May to 30th September.

House
11.00am - 5.00pm, Sunday to Friday
10.00am - 2.30pm, Saturday Only
 
Gardens
10.00am - 6.00pm

Mount Stuart House and Gardens Admission:
Day/Season tickets available at reception desk in Visitor Centre and include courtesy shuttle transport between Centre and House. You of course have the option to walk to the House through the grounds, the Kitchen Garden and Victorian Pinetum – about ¾ mile. 
 
House & Grounds   
Adult £7.50          
Child (5 - 16 years) £3.50          
Family (2 adults and 2 children) £18.00         
Concession £6.00
           
Grounds Only       
Adult £3.50
Child (5 - 16 years) £2.00
Family (2 adults and 2 children) £18.00
Concession £6.00
 
Season Ticket
Adult £17.50
Child (5 - 16 years)  £7.50
Family (2 adults and 2 children) £35.00
Concession £17.50

T  +44 (0)1700 503877

F  +44 (0)1700 505313

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