Dark Hedges

Dark Hedges, the King’s Road of Game of Thrones

Located on a quiet road near the town of Ballymoney in County Antrim, in Northern Ireland, the Dark Hedges is an avenue of beech trees. It’s a popular attraction for tourists from across the world. Even the wildly popular Game of Thrones has popped over to the road to film a scene at this eerily beautiful drive.

Located along the Bregagh Road between Armoy and Stranocum, the paved road is just 0.4km long surrounded by farmer’s fields. It’s now one of the most popular attractions in Northern Ireland. Lined with beech trees twisted branches forming an arch over the road it makes for impressive photographs indeed. It’s one of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland and a popular attraction for tourists from across the world. It has been painted by hundreds of visiting artists and is a favourite location for wedding photographs. Legend goes that the Dark Hedges is haunted by a "Grey Lady". The iconic trees have been used as a filming location in HBO's epic series Game of Thrones, representing the King's Road and in the 2017 Transformers film The Last Knight. Over the past 300 years or so, the beech trees guarding either side of the lane have reached up and across to each other, becoming heavily intertwined to create a natural arched tunnel where shadow and light plays through entwined branches. This beautiful avenue of beech trees was planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century (in about 1775). It was intended as a compelling landscape feature to impress visitors as they approached the entrance to their Georgian mansion, Gracehill House, which is now a golf club. Two centuries later, the trees remain a magnificent sight.

This avenue of large mature beech trees gets busier at weekends and in the main holiday season. Tour buses stop regularly here in the afternoon, so prepare to wake up early and arrive before the crowds. The road has attracted photographers, painters, and curious tourists for decades. Pedestrians should be aware of traffic travelling in both directions. This is a remarkable road trip. Remember to bring your camera. The best photographs are taken from the Southern End where you will find a bend.

It's one of the Top Haunted Roads in the world. Over the past 300 years or so, the beech trees guarding either side of the lane have reached up and across to each other, becoming heavily intertwined to create a natural arched tunnel where shadow and light plays through entwined branches. This beautiful avenue of beech trees was planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century (in about 1775). It was intended as a compelling landscape feature to impress visitors as they approached the entrance to their Georgian mansion, Gracehill House, which is now a golf club. Two centuries later, the trees remain a magnificent sight.

 

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