We start off just after a morning rain, and are urged to get on our bikes and pedal ASAP as "the no-see-ems" are swarming (we see 'em - and we feel 'em - until we're underway). Soon, it begins to mist and then to rain again.
But even the wealthiest and healthiest of us is not immune from the Four Sufferings** and four years after its construction, Margaret died of dysentery while they were on a trip to Egypt. She was 45 years old.
Henry was inconsolable and threw himself into building a Gothic cathedral for her down the lane. It's the smallest cathedral I've ever seen - and the sweetest:
Subsequently one of Henry's daughters died in a horseback riding accident and we're told that broke his spirit. Still, he was 84 by the time he died. Here is the mausoleum which holds the remains of both of him and his wife.
There are charming gardens.
From here we cycle to the Renvyle House Hotel for lunch.
While awaiting our tables, we sit by a peat fire and this is the first time I get to experience the strong scent of peat, very different from wood.
After lunch, we head for home, making a wide loop around the lake on which our hotel sits.
** The Four Sufferings: Birth, Old Age, Sickness and Death
***Sponsor a tree at Kylemore: http://www.kylemoreabbey.com/forest_friends.htm