The Dark Hedges

One of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland

Guide to Visiting The Dark Hedges GOT in Northern Ireland

The enchanting and captivating avenue of beech trees that currently stands as a remarkable spectacle was actually planted centuries ago by the illustrious Stuart family in the eighteenth century. 

The plantation of trees was intentionally meant as an impressive and breathtaking landscape feature that would entrance and amaze visitors as they journeyed to the entrance of their Georgian styled mansion, the renowned Gracehill House. 

Astonishingly, after two hundred years, the beech trees continue to be a magnificent sight to behold and have even become one of Northern Ireland’s most photographed and cherished attractions.

These iconic beech trees have been featured in the popular and highly-acclaimed HBO’s series Game of Thrones®, particularly as a filming location that represents the famous Kingsroad. 

One notable scene is from Season 2, Episode 1, The North Remembers, which showcases how Arya Stark, disguised as a boy, escaped from King’s Landing and embarked on a journey north with Yoren, Gendry, Hot Pie, and other companions in a cart, travelling through the Kingsroad.

Why are they Called the Dark Hedges?

It is indistinct when or for what reason the moniker of the Dark Hedges was given, although there are two plausible explanations. 

Firstly, the most explicit reason is that the colossal trees obstruct a great deal of light, producing a “dark” tunnel that appears synonymous with a hedge. Furthermore, the other reason behind the name is relatively eerie.

It is believed that the hedges are collocated by a ghost named the Grey Lady, who roams around the avenue of trees and vanishes at the final beech tree. On Halloween, it is believed that other spirits from a close-by forgotten cemetery join her.

The dark hedges is a must see when visiting Northern Ireland

What are the Dark Hedges trees?

The Dark Hedges” refers to a series of beech trees planted approximately in 1775, situated along a lengthy avenue near Gracehill House. The prevalent appearance of these trees creates an impression similar to a tunnel, enveloping anyone who strolls through it, and also providing an exceptional photographic setting.

The Dark Hedges

When should I visit the Dark Hedges?

The Dark Hedges prove to be a widespread tourist attraction, which leads to heavy foot traffic during peak hours. In light of this, we highly recommend visiting early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid congestion. 

It is advisable to note that visiting during the week tends to be more peaceful than on weekends. Moreover, the off-season, typically during Spring and Autumn, is undoubtedly the finest time to relish the tranquillity of The Dark Hedges. 

Therefore, we urge you to plan your visit accordingly to enhance your experience.


Per historical accounts, the hedges hold a mysterious presence known as the Grey Lady. This apparition is purported to traverse the thoroughfare, darting between the trees along the way. 

Some assert that the Grey Lady is the spirit of James Stuart’s daughter, known as “Cross Peggy,” or one of the estate’s now-deceased maids whose circumstances remain unclear. 

Others suppose that the specter originates from an abandoned burial ground concealed beneath the adjacent fields, accompanied by other ghosts on her journey.


In circa 1775, James Stuart oversaw the construction of a novel edifice christened Gracehill House in honour of his spouse, Grace Lynd. The approach to the property was transformed into an awe-inspiring entrance with the planting of over 150 beech trees.

Why are the Dark Hedges so famous?

The Dark Hedges Game of Thrones

The Dark Hedges 1

The Dark Hedges have gained worldwide recognition following their prominent feature on the popular HBO television series, Game of Thrones. Specifically noted as the Kingsroad, this picturesque route is showcased in Season 2, Episode 1 (the North Remembers), where Arya Stark is captured disguised as a boy whilst she travels north to evade King’s Landing, accompanied by Hot Pie, Mr. Gendry, and Yoren. 

The Dark Hedges is also featured in the film Transformers: The Last Knight, where the location can be observed as Merlin crosses the trees atop a horse. The natural attraction has attracted countless visitors since its rise to fame as a filming location for Game of Thrones, who have flocked to photograph the famous route.

Is the Dark Hedges worth it?

It is highly recommended to visit the Dark Hedges if you have the opportunity. This particular scenic filming location is easily recognizable and holds significant value for fans of the television series, Game of Thrones. 

Its accessibility makes it a feasible and worthwhile stop on your itinerary. Additionally, there are numerous other Game of Thrones filming locations and places of interest conveniently located nearby.

The dark hedges location

The Dark Hedges in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, is a charming site situated between the villages of Armoy and Stranocum. It is an enchanting location that is a must-visit if you’re planning a trip to Northern Ireland. 

The beautiful hedges span across an impressive 0.6 miles and are a sight to behold. This serene, picturesque site is situated on a section of Bregagh Road, near the Hedges Hotel, adding to its allure. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply looking for a peaceful place to relax, the Dark Hedges should be top on your list. 

The address of this magnificent location is Bregagh Rd, Stranocum, Ballymoney BT53 8PX, making it easy to locate and plan your travels accordingly.

How to Get to the Dark Hedges?

If you do not have access to a car, there are still options for you to choose from to reach the breathtaking Dark Hedges. There are three main ways to make your way there, each providing a unique experience. 

The first option is to drive yourself, which allows for ultimate flexibility and control over your journey. Alternatively, you can sit back and enjoy the ride on a tour, where you can benefit from the insightful commentary of an expert guide and let someone else take care of the transportation logistics. 

Finally, public transport is another viable option, with the nearest train station being in Ballymoney. You can take a relaxing train ride from Belfast Botanic (which takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes), and then hire a taxi to take you straight to the enchanting Dark Hedges. 

Whatever option you choose, there are many different ways to make your journey truly special and memorable.

What is the Cost of Visiting the Dark Hedges?

It is currently free to park and visit the Dark Hedges.

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How many Days should I Spend in Belfast?

For an authentic experience in Belfast, it is suggested that at least 3 full days and 2 nights be allocated to discover the city’s offerings. The duration of the visit is dependent on the visitor’s preferences and availability; however, we highly recommend the aforementioned timeline to ensure an in-depth exploration of the city. We highly recommend this 3-day itinerary from Belfast.

Dark Hedges by Day Tour

Should you not have an automobile or prefer a chauffeur-driven experience, Belfast Tours NI offers a variety of guided day tour choices which include a visit to the Dark Hedges. In addition, these tours feature other celebrated locales within the district such as the Giant’s Causeway and the Titanic Museum and many other attractions on the day.

See also when you are in the area.

The Giants Causeway

Carric-A-Rede Rope Bridge

Dunluce Castle

Old Bushmills Distillery

Bushmilss Village


Have more time? Why Not Take a trip to Giant's Causeway

Giants Causeway Tour

The Giant’s Causeway is undoubtedly a sight to behold, and it has been recognized as such by UNESCO, who have designated it as a World Heritage site. Located on the stunning North East coast of County Antrim, this geological formation is not only magnificent but also mysterious. 

The area is characterized by polygonal columns that appear to have been placed with great precision, giving rise to countless theories regarding its formation – from the mythological to the scientific.

 As you explore this incredible site, you’ll have the chance to marvel at the interlocking basalt columns and incredible natural landscape. The Giant’s Causeway truly takes you on a journey through time as you explore the area and discover its fascinating history, making it a must-see destination for anyone interested in the natural world or Ireland’s rich and diverse heritage.

Best tips for your Northern Ireland Holiday So you are planning a trip to Northern Ireland, maybe you want to explore the Giants Causeway? Here are some useful tips and advice on how to plan your trip, so that you can get the best out of it. Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland has been voted one of the top travel destinations in the world by Conde Nast Traveler readers. 

You can visit this place by taking a private tour trip. The Causeway Coast area is home to many beautiful attractions, many of which are well known such as the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, where you can walk over the ocean on a rope bridge. Another attraction is Dunluce Castle, which has been abandoned since the 16th century and is said to be haunted. 

There is also Old Bushmills Distillery where you can witness whiskey being produced in a traditional way. And not to be missed The Dark Hedges one of the most popular natural phenomena in Northern Ireland. How to get there: Getting around Northern Ireland is easy if you have a car or take a private tour.

This blog post will help you plan your next holiday in Northern Ireland, You will find out lots of information that will help you plan your next trip, activities during your holiday and when is the best time to visit.

Frequently Asked Questions | Things to do in Belfast

Travel between multiple peacelines and walls on an eye opening tour of discovery through the once no go areas and learn of Belfast’s troubled past and rich shared history. Visit both Catholic and Protestant areas to get a balanced understanding of the past. You will be fully guided by a real black taxi driver who worked Belfast’s streets during an era known as the troubles.

For an authentic Belfast experience give yourself three days to soak up the history, culture and sights. Belfast has a compact heart, and many of its best sites are within walking distance of one another.
Belfast is the second friendliest city in the UK, according to Condé Nast Traveller magazine’s readers’ choice awards. Ten cities across the UK were featured on “The friendliest cities in the UK 2023” list. Northern Ireland’s capital was pipped to the post by the Welsh capital, Cardiff.
The town of Belfast was established by Sir Arthur Chichester, with the name ‘Belfast’ being an Anglicisation of the Irish Béal Feirste, which roughly translates as ‘the mouth of the sandbar. 
Most people need a valid passport to enter the Republic or Northern Ireland but there are some exceptions: If you’re a UK citizen, you can also use official photo identification.
How many passengers can travel on a black cab? All our black cabs have seating for up to 6 passengers.

Like most of the rest of the UK and Ireland, the summer months are usually regarded as the “best” time to visit Belfast. From May-September, your chances of hitting more sunny days than rainy ones are much higher – though you’ll still definitely want to pack a rain coat, just in case!

Cathedral Quarter: best neighborhood for nightlife and the arts. The Cathedral Quarter, on the fringes of Belfast city center, takes its name from St Anne’s Cathedral, an early 20th-century Romanesque Revival edifice characterized by its rounded arches and turrets.

Popular Bars to Visit in Belfast

  • The Crown Liquor Saloon

  • The Duke of York

  • The Dirty Onion

  • The Spaniard

  • Lavery’s

  • The Perch

We're here to help, so if you can't find the info you're after, or you just want to ask a really odd question, then we're here for you.

Popular Private Tours in Belfast

The Giant’s Causeway is one of the most beautiful sites that Northern Ireland has to offer. This natural phenomenon was created by a volcanic eruption.

The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, suspended almost 100ft (30m) above sea level, was first erected by a salmon fisherman 350 years ago.

Bushmills Whiskey Distillery has been creating beautiful ‘ water of life ‘ since 1608 making this the oldest working distillery in Ireland.

Bushmills Whiskey Distillery has been creating beautiful ‘ water of life ‘ since 1608 making this the oldest working distillery in Ireland.

Bushmills Whiskey Distillery has been creating beautiful ‘ water of life ‘ since 1608 making this the oldest working distillery in Ireland.

Bushmills Whiskey Distillery has been creating beautiful ‘ water of life ‘ since 1608 making this the oldest working distillery in Ireland.

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