The lines of beech trees were planted by the Stuart family in the XVIII century and have become one of Northern Ireland’s most photographed natural phenomena and a popular attraction for tourists from across the world.
Everything started with a house called GRACEHILL HOUSE.
James Stuart built Gracehill House in c.1775 and named it after his wife, Grace Lynd. The family planted an avenue of over 150 beech trees along the entrance to the Georgian estate. It was intended as a compelling landscape feature to impress visitors as they approached Gracehill House. Today this unique, tranquil and spellbinding tunnel of ancient beech trees stretches along the Bregagh Road, intertwining and entangling to create a spectacular fusion of light and shadow.
The house and grounds around are now private. There is Golf Club now, 18 hole parkland golf course beside The Hedges Hotel.
Ballycastle man Gordon Watson took this picture at the Dark Hedges.
He shoot this photograph (below) at the Hedges on Friday and when he processed it on his computer, he spotted the wispy, grey shape in the centre which looks almost like a grey figure floating in the air.
Well-known local photographer Kevin McAuley examined the photograph and stated that there was no way the image had been digitally enhanced in any way. Kevin said: “It looks like a dress going towards the shape of a figure and it’s at this end of the trees where the Grey Lady has been seen by a variety of people over the years.
“This is the only known version ever to have been recorded in any fashion,” he added.
On Halloween night, the forgotten graves are said to open and the Grey Lady is joined on her walk by the tormented souls of those who were buried beside her.
THE DARK HEDGES (serial name: King’s Road)
The Dark Hedges is an iconic road in the Game of Thrones. You can see the Dark Hedges in Season 2, episode 1
On the King’ s Road, Arya Stark has escaped from King’s Landing, disguised as a boy. She is with Yoren, Gendry, Hot Pie and others who are to join the Night’s Watch, in a cart, travelling north on the King’s Road.
THE HEDGES HOTEL
Near the beech trees is located a hotel called The Hedges.
The hotel also has restaurants and hairdressing salons.
The hotel organizes weddings and various events.
There are good reviews of the hotel and restaurant.
Visit the hotel website for more information: www.thehedgeshotel.com