If a day trip through time is what you want to experience, head off to the island of Bute to visit Mount Stuart. This “house” is simply incredible and will take you back in time to the splendor of days gone by. A short ferry ride from Ayr or Argyll will take you to the breathtaking Isle of Bute. You can stroll the streets of Rothesay taking in the stunning Winter Gardens and the grand Victorian houses before heading out to explore Mount Stuart.
The island was the Stuart of Bute’s (Steward of Bute) family seat and had been held by them since the middle of the 1100’s. This Stuart family is directly descended from King Robert the Bruce by the marriage of his daughter in 1315 to Walter, Stewart of Bute.
Originally built for the Stuarts in 1710; a devastating fire destroyed the central part of the Mount Stuart house in 1877. The 3rd Marquess of Bute took on the ambitious task of rebuilding. Unfortunately, in 1900, he died without completing the project. Major renovations and repairs were undertaken by 6th Marquess and finally, in 1995, opened its doors to the public.
A Victorian Gothic house, this spectacular piece of history enthralls its visitors. The incredible marble, stained glass, and incorporation of the astrological designs wrap guests in the history of the house. Combine these features with the family portraits and you are transported through history.
Set on 300 well-designed and landscaped acres, which includes charming woodlands, the property was created through the vision of the 3rd Earl of Bute. This is the same Earl of Bute that was an advisor on the establishment of Kew Gardens. The Victorian kitchen garden was recreated by the Lord of Bute and includes an octagonal pavilion that is glassed in. In addition, there is a Victorian Pinetum containg conifers from North America, as well as an Arboretum that is a part of the Royal Botanical Gardens and is planted with plants from around the globe.
Finish up the tour with a stroll on the serene and beautiful beach before heading back to the mainland. If you are able, you may want to stay in Rothesay and further explore the island. St Blane’s Chapel and the breathtaking Rothesay Castle are among other places that are worth going to see.