Travel to This Remarkable Site of Beautiful Trees
A famous stand of trees in the middle of nowhere, Northern Ireland.
A winding path through backroads as narrow as the Sprinter van is wide, just a thirty minute drive from Giant’s Causeway, is where we found the Dark Hedges of Bregagh Road.
The beech trees were planted in the 18th century by the Stuart family with the intention of impressing visitors who approached Gracehill House, their Georgian mansion. The producers of Game of Thrones had the same idea when they shot the location as the King’s Road.
Never having seen Game of Thrones, we went purely on recommendation by locals. We were a little shocked to find a crowd of GOT fans milling about upon our arrival. This spot was out of the way of everything, what were they doing here?
We underestimated the obsession of the fans. All the ones we spoke with were hitting all the spots in Northern Ireland where any GOT actor had ever walked (some had already done the same in Iceland or planned to).
GOT obsession aside, the Dark Hedges were beautiful. Today, these trees are one of the most-photographed natural sights in Northern Ireland. In photos, the beech trees appear to be densely packed, but in reality, they stand about 20 feet apart from one another. Since the straight road is about a half-mile long, there are enough trees to create the tunnel illusion when you look into the distance.
But my favorite details were visible only upon closer inspection — the scars on the trees where the bark had grown into an old barbed wire fence many years ago. These scars provided a sense of history that otherwise felt lacking with the fans milling about.
There are no signs explaining the history or significance of the trees nor Bregagh Road (but that information can be found with the help of Google!). If it weren’t for Game of Thrones, I’m not sure that any tourists would have been there. But thanks to the show, we found our way there and are happy for it!
I recommend checking it out if you’re ever in Northern Ireland on a pleasant day. Though it would probably look awesome with some moody gray skies that are more typical of the region. So maybe just check it out regardless of weather…Happy traveling!
Where have you traveled to because it was featured in in your favorite show or movie?