Every natural wonder is unique in its own way, so is the Dark Hedges in County Antrim’s Bregagh Road, Northern Ireland. What’s special about that long, dreamy tree-tunnel? It was a sole family project! Wonderful, isn’t it?
The Stuart family planted those beech trees along the both sides of the road leading to their Georgian mansion known as the Gracehill House in the eighteenth century. The mansion, which has been currently transformed into a golf club, was built at the end of the road. With the passage of time, the road has been turned into one of the most photographed natural phenomenon in Northern Ireland.
It is amazing that the whim of a single family has eventually turned into the center of attractions of thousands of travelers though it’s a sure bet that the Stuart family had not have the slightest idea that their driveway would garner so much attention in future.
Kingsroad in Game of Thrones
The magnificent sight has been used as a location in HBO’s widely popular series ‘Game of Thrones’ where the road has been filmed as the “King’s Road”. The series features the road in the first episode of its Second Season where Arya Stark (played by Maisie Williams), disguised as a boy, escaped from King’s Landing with Hot Pie, Gendry, Yoren, and others in a cart to join the Night’s Watch. They were seen travelling north on the King’s Road.
Now, thousands of tourists each year flock together near the village of Armoy to watch the intertwined line of Beech trees curve in crazy cool ways, leading to Stuart manor. Northern Ireland has started promoting the sight in their tourism campaigns since the late 1990s.
The Supernatural Grey Lady
The intertwined trees definitely look mesmerizing but they also appear a bit spooky, especially at dusk and night. In fact, rumors are there that a ‘Grey Lady’ haunts the Dark Hedges! She appears to walk down the thin strips of the winding road beneath the ancient trees. The silent lady quietly glides along the roadside at dusk and gets vanished after passing the last tree of the road.
The Haunting Charm of the Picturesque Sight
At the first glance, the road will not look like something worthy of so much attention and popularity because it is just a small road surrounded by farmer’s fields. But, once you take a good look, you will understand why this eerily beautiful road has been the center of attention of curious tourists, photographers, and painters for decades. The boughs of the trees stretch from the both sides and have been intertwined with each other to form a canopy, forming the scenic and haunting natural cathedral.
Photographers from all across the world visit this road each year to capture its beauty in different scenarios. Since this day, this mesmerizing tree-tunnel has been captured under bright sunlight, golden sunsets, amid thick fog and even snowstorms. This natural wonder is also a favorite wedding destination where couples like to take their romantic wedding photos.