Once a local secret and now, thanks to a wee TV series, they are globally famous.
An avenue of around 150 beech trees was planted in the 1800’s to impress visitors arriving at Gracehill House, a large home built around 1775 by James Stuart for his wife Grace.
The avenue of beech trees has featured as the King’s Road in Game of Thrones. Early in the series on the 1st episode of season 2, Arya Stark escaped King’s Landing dressed as a boy and the Dark Hedges featured as King’s Road.
The tree lined Bregagh Road can be found if you detour off the Causeway Coast route to Stranocum, Ballymoney, 8 miles from Ballintoy and Ballycastle. They are well worth the detour and are a stunning natural phenomena to see all year round.
Such was the popularity on the GoT tourist trail that heavy coaches and traffic visiting the road was compacting the roots of the trees and causing damage to them. The road is now pedestrianised and fingers crossed the trees can recover from any damage. Some fallen trees were salvaged and reused to create a trail of doors around Northern Ireland in key bars near filming locations.
Parking is available at the Dark Hedges Estate at the end of the road.