Mount Stuart’s 300 acre gardens and grounds are home to a spectacular collection of native and exotic flora, which give life to several gardens with distinct personalities. Important botanical specimens and champion Rhododendrons grow alongside plants endangered in their native habitats.

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Our glorious woodlands, or Policies, stretch along the drive towards the Firth of Clyde. These were laid out by the 2nd Earl and are a significant representation of 18th Century landscaping ideals.  You can wander through woods full of broadleaf and conifer, native and non-native trees, which give way to the shore walk and the wonderful beach which reaches right up to the tree line. Download the map below which tells you exactly how long it’ll take to walk through our amazing gardens!



Stroll down Limetree Avenue, past the Shore Chapel and through the trees that grow right up to the beach to find our coastline. Landscape gardener Thomas H Mawson remarked that the coast at Mount Stuart was ‘indeed a spot for meditation’ but it can be so much more. Whether in beautiful sunshine or bracing wind the shore at Mount Stuart is always astonishing. The perfect place for a brisk walk or a picnic with kids, it’s not to be missed!

“Step back in time and lose yourself in one of Britain’s finest landscapes; currently being re-invigorated to enhance many of the original Eighteenth century features while capturing the gardens Twenty-first century charm, romance, wistfulness and spirit of adventure”. Don Murray, Head of Island Landscapes and Horticulture

Rock Garden

A brilliant mix of colour and contouring, the Rock Garden showcases a collection of trees and shrubs acquired during intrepid expeditions to the near and far east. Situated at the westerly front of the House, water features meander through the landscape, a trademark of the famous English landscape architect Thomas H Mawson, who designed the garden in the late 1890s.


Wee Garden

The Wee Garden is a veritable ark of exotic plant life, hailing from Latin America to Australasia. Spread out over an area of five acres, it’s anything but wee!

Species from the southern hemisphere in particular flourish here, benefiting from the sheltered nature of the site. One such plant is known as Banksia Marginata, or the Silver Banksia. Named after the famous botanist Joseph Banks; it was grown from seed collected from New Zealand and Tasmania


Kitchen Garden

A botanical gallery of parallel lines interrupted by splashes of vivid colour, the Kitchen Garden is a feast for the eyes, as well as the palate!

Inspired by the Victorian Pinetum, the celebrated garden designer Rosemary Verey remodelled the gardens in the early 1990s, using as its centrepiece the large glass Pavilion acquired from the 1988 Glasgow Garden Festival by the 6th Marquess.


Calvary Walk

A series of pools and magnificent cascades replicate the Via Dolorosa, where Christ’s final steps were taken en route to his crucifixion. This stretches from the gently lapping pebbly shore to Calvary Pond at the top of the hill. The waters follow the path of the once unassuming ‘Racers Burn’, which the 3rd Marquess asked Thomas H Mawson to transform in the late 19th century.



Light frequently breaks through the thick foliage, illuminating a hauntingly beautiful expanse populated by some of the most majestic trees in the policies. Greenwalks weave around these colossal conifers, themselves fetched from some of the farthest corners of the world over 100 years ago.