Dark Hedges

The Mystifying Dark Hedges that lured Games of Thrones to make a scene!

We toured the magnificent Causeway Coast & Glens, Antrim, Northern Ireland recently.  Before we set out, we compiled a list of “things to do”. 

Top of this list was to pay a visit to:

The Giants Causeway

and then

The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

 

We were also mystified by the stunning natural landmark and eerie

Dark Hedges 

of Ballymoney in Northern Ireland.

Dark Hedges - 60 x 60 cms Oil on block canvas
Dark Hedges – 60 x 60 cms Oil on block canvas

This beautiful avenue of beech trees with their intertwining branches were planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century.   The family planted an avenue of over 150 beech trees along the entrance to their Georgian estate. It was intended as a compelling landscape feature to impress visitors as they approached their home, 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 Dark Hedges are  the most photographed location in Northern Ireland.   So much so, that even the  popular Game of Thrones  filmed a scene at this enchanting  road.

This has clearly put the Dark Hedges on the map.

I thought you might like to see a clip of the top five Game of Thrones locations in Northern Ireland:

Depending on the time of year that you visit, there is no doubt that you will capture compelling images with your camera. The  combination of  shadows between morning  and evening light, the seasons, snow, mist or haze – it’s a photographers heaven!

It is particularly eerie as the evening draws to a close and the light fades.

Dark Hedges Donna McGee

Originally, there were about 150 trees, but time has taken its toll along with storm damage and we were told that tour buses were causing difficulty too.  Sadly, only about 90 of the trees remain today.

Dark Hedges Donna McGee

An old legend tells us of a “Grey Lady” that silently glides along the avenue.  She then quietly vanishes into the ether.  But when Halloween arrives, she re-emerges accompanied on her walk by tormented souls of those who were buried beside her!

With the help of Heritage Lottery Funding The Dark Hedges Preservation Trust project has four aims – to conserve and enhance The Dark Hedges, utilise the hedges as a learning tool and improve and develop interpretation around the hedges. The Dark Hedges Preservation Trust is working in partnership with the Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust to deliver the project.

 

Let’s hope the Dark Hedges survive well into the future and if you are in Northern Ireland, take the time to check them out – well worth a visit!

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Here are some other paintings from my trip to the magnificent Causeway Coast & Glens, Antrim, Northern Ireland.

The Giants Causeway - Oil on Board 10x12" Donna McGee
The Giants Causeway
Oil on Board 10×12″

Read the blog post here

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge 10 x 8 inches Oil on Canvas
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge 10 x 8 inches Oil on Canvas
I hope that you have enjoyed this journey to The Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland.
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Two of the beech trees are pictures collapsed across the road

 

 


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Author: Donna McGee

Capturing and sharing the timeless beauty of the Irish landscape in paint !

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