A curious and mysterious land, Ireland, an incredibly difficult place to forget. Intense landscapes, where green mixes with blue, and characteristic wind-driven melodies recall stories of knights, elves and charming women. Traditions and myths that chase each other even after a beer, sitting at the table of a pub that smacks of ancient and contemporary at the same time. Thisfairytale atmosphere and lost in time, it pervades everything and most likely it is no coincidence that it is the birthplace of great artists and writers.
Its strange and wonderful sky, with its almost omnipresent drizzle, will give you unforgettable and unexpected glimpses of a mythical paradise. Get involved ...
- The Origin of the Dark Hedges
- The Legend of Lady Gray
- Scenes and places of the Throne of Swords
- How to get there and what to see in the surroundings
- User questions and comments
The Origin of the Dark Hedges
Because of its characteristics, Ireland is the ideal scenario for anyone fantasy setting. But reality often surpasses fantasy in this enchanting land. In Northern Ireland there is a magical place, a real one magnificence of nature. Near Bregagh Road, along a side road in the village of Armoy, a tunnel made of trees perfectly arched it welcomes the visitor in a legendary atmosphere. Giant beech trees with large gnarled branches have intertwined with each other in a sort of centuries-old embrace, creating a highly suggestive place.
It was the Stuart family who had them planted in the distant eighteenth century. The purpose was to impress visitors arriving at Gracehill, the beautiful Georgian mansion that is now home to a renowned golf club. These giant beech trees have since grown, creating a scenery that looks like an illustration from an old Brothers Grimm book. But in the time of the Stuarts only the natives and a few others knew about it. In 1998 the Irish tourist board chose them as symbol for country promotion campaign. Since then, artists from all over the world have immortalized this place and, not surprisingly, is one of the most photographed locations on the planet.
Mornings and evenings are the best times to visit and photograph The Dark Hedges, but unfortunately this creates a significant influx of tourists at these times of the day. To take great photos and immerse yourself completely in nature, it would be advisable to reach the location at dawn or just before night falls. But in the hours when darkness reigns the place becomes truly mysterious and gloomy ...
The Legend of Lady Gray
It seems to appear at sunset, silent and disembodied. It floats delicately on the side of the road, swinging under the branches that open as it passes. When she reaches the end of the path she disappears dissolving in the air… They call her Lady Gray, the Gray Lady. Some say it is the ghost of a woman from a nearby house who died under mysterious circumstances. Others believe it is a lost spirit from an abandoned tomb buried somewhere in nearby fields. It is also rumored that on Halloween night you lead a procession of souls in pain.
Scenes and places of the Throne of Swords
Could such a place perhaps not attract the world of cinema? In fact different Game of Thrones scenes were filmed here. Ethereal female figures fight against evil creatures against the backdrop of the Irish beech tree which, in the television series, is called "King's Road". Numerous other locations in the series are scattered around Northern Ireland. If you are a fan of the series, in addition to The Dark Hedges, you could do some sort of tour and also visit:
- the Magheramorne quarries where the Black Castle;
- the port of Ballintoy transformed into Lordsport, thelanding of the Iron Islands;
- Downhill Beach, i.e. the beach where the burning of the statues of the Seven Gods by order of Renly Baratheon;
- Tollymore Forest Park. nestled in the Morne Mountains, location used for both Great Dothraki Sea than for the snowy forest where the Starks find the half wolves;
- the ruins of Shane's castle where the tournament in honor of Eddard Stark;
- Castle Ward where the courtyards and exteriors of the Fortress of Winterfell;
- Gosford Castle transformed into fortress of the Tullys in the fantasy series.
How to get there and what to see in the surroundings
To reach The Dark Hedges you will need to travel 50 miles northwest to departing from Belfast and head towards the Antrim coastal road.
The Dark Hedges is just a street and as such it is not marked by signs or road signs. To find it, follow the directions for Gracehill Golf Club or enter Bregagh Road as the address on the navigator. The location is Ballymoney.
Later you can also visit the beautiful ruins of Dunluce Castle just a few miles away.