I have spent a glorious morning at the National Trust's Mount Stewart estate on the Ards Peninsula, County Down.
Arriving about nine-thirty, I parked the two-seater in the grass car-park and went for a good walk through the heavily wooded grounds.
A new track has been opened, past "The Folly" and along the glen.
It was sunny and bone-dry.
Eventually I emerged at the old piggery, where I continued my walk uphill and onwards to the Temple of the Winds.
|Place setting for Sir Winston Churchill|
Back at the visitor reception area I reserved a guided tour of the mansion house at eleven-thirty, which gave me ample time to admire the formal gardens.
The house tour proved to be particularly interesting and informative.
We were, I gather, fortunate to see the private chapel, which seems to have seating for about eighty worshippers.
The walls are adorned with banners of Knights of the Garter, an honour bestowed upon several of the Marquesses of Londonderry.
Also on display, in a silverware room off the central hall, were insignia of various orders of chivalry including the star of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick (KP).
I lunched in the tea-room and ate a very good prawn salad, with a pot of tea.