Northern Ireland: The Dark Hedges


After exploring Rathlin Island we headed inland a bit to visit The Dark Hedges. The Dark Hedges are beautiful but they aren’t actually actually hedges, they are beech trees. Fans of Game of Thrones might recognize the King’s Road. The magnificent trees were planted in the eighteenth century by the Stuart family as a lead up to their estate.

Gracehill House – Stuart family home

The Dark Hedges are located on Bregagh Road. We searched for the Hedges in the GPS and once we got close enough we were able to follow the signs. One thing that I loved about Ireland was the signs. They don’t always say how far something is but at least they point you in the correct direction. The Dark Hedges are free to visit but they do get busy so don’t drive down the road they are on. Visitors can park on the Dark Hedge estate. This was the Dark Hedge Hotel until it closed in 2020. The hotel is still there and through the windows you can see the beds made up nicely. Honestly, the whole area has a weird vibe, half an air of abandonment with this odd juxtaposition of being way more popular than it should be.

I don’t think I would go back to the Dark Hedges. It’s difficult to tell from the photos but there were a ton of people visiting initially – at least two tour busses worth. There is a small cafe, The Pantry, on the path from the car park to the Hedges that has a restroom and has tea and coffee to go. It’s nice because it is a good 15 minutes on to Bushmills.

Big freakin’ trees.”

– Keltin

The Dark Hedges are worth one visit if you are in the area. In my video below you can see the less picturesque version of the Hedges along with the crowds. Have you visited the Dark Hedges If so, what did you think? Remember to leave no trace and safe travels!

Thank you KW Photography for allowing me to use your wonderful photos!

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