Everything down to the evocative name, “Dark Hedges” screams atmosphere, but when the rows of trees on this lane were originally planted, they were simply meant to welcome visitors to a manor house.
Planted in the 18th century by the Stuart family, the opposing rows of beech trees were meant to create an impressive, scenic road leading up to their estate, Gracehill House. However as the trees matured they began to bend over the road and their upper branches intermingled creating a shadowy arboreal tunnel that gives off a sinister ambience.
The bent trunks and gnarled branches give the road an aura of the supernatural, which has landed the Irish thoroughfare a number of background roles in both movies and television shows such as Game of Thrones. The Dark Hedges have even developed their own ghost story featuring a “Grey Lady” who floats along behind the rows, and disappears just as the lane ends.
Know Before You Go
If using a GPS search for the Hedges Hotel. There are coach/car parking and toilet facilities available at the Hedges Hotel—a two-minute walk from the Dark Hedges.