Mount Stuart And The Isle Of Bute - DBH1 The Web Site 2020

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Mount Stuart And The Isle Of Bute

Locales > Scotland
The script

To get to the Isle of Bute you need to go to a place called Wemyss Bay to catch the ferry. To get to Wemyss Bay you follow the M8 out of Glasgow then follow the A78 through Port Glasgow and Inverkip The ferries  are run by Cal Mac – the company who run all of the major Scottish ferry services.. The ferries to Bute  go about once an hour and a return with a car costs something like  £30.  Most people just turn up and go – nothing to prebook.

So we  drive onto the ferry,  park and and go up to the passenger deck. The ferry is on it’s way in a matter of a couple of minutes. Then there is just time for a cup of tea and a bun whilst you enjoy the ride and look out for any interesting birds or sea life. Sadly on this trip we saw none. Half an hour later we are pulling into Rothesay Bay on the Isle of Bute. We drive off the ferry and within moments we have driven out of Rothesay.

A few minutes later we are pulling into the Mount Stuart Visitor Centre carpark We go into the rather nice visitor centre to buy the tickets – the whole purchase process is tortuous and prolonged. It takes a long time to get your tickets. The house tickets are timed because you have to have a guided tour – the number of tours is limited and you may have to wait a long time. You’ve come a long way and to give up here would not be good. Once through though you enter some verdant woodlands and wander down the paths. The orangery is more properly known as the Barretts Octaganol glass pavilion. It was a centrepiece at the 1989 Glasgow Garden Festival – before being moved here and planted with these exotic trees.

Then we are wandering down more green forest paths. Then the main Mount Stuart building appears. What do you call this ? – A home – or maybe  gothic palace extraordinary. This is the back of the building facing out to sea over the manicured lawns. The red gothic sandstone exterior covers a modern iron backbone, which from the start had central heating, electricity and telephones. When we approach the front of the building we are beguiled by a rock garden with a dense planting and streams. The azaleas shimmer like flowering gems as the waters cascades over the rills.

The front of the house has an extraordinarily large entrance porch and steps. We are booked on the tour and it starts as we enter the jaw dropping Marble Hall. Lets listen to the guide for a moment or two. Then we are in the drawing room which has an amazing ornament. The fireplace, ceiling, stained glass  are fantastic enough but the walls have an astonishing collection of religious art – much from the renaissance.  There is no time to linger on the tour but we can enjoy a few moments now. We go through other extraordinary rooms but there is no time to linger as we move on to the final masterpiece the marble chapel and here it is. An hour has passed and we are back out enjoying the wee garden.

Eventually we tear ourselves away and drive down deserted roads to try and see the seals at Scalpsie bay. So we say farewell to the Isle of Bute. The Island is soft easy and almost deserted. Mount Stuart is a gothic masterpiece wow which we could have explored for far longer if we had had the chance.
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