The Dark Hedges is truly one of north Antrim’s most popular attractions. This gorgeous avenue of beech trees was planted by the Stuart family three hundred years ago. It was intended as a compelling landscape feature to impress guests as they approached the entrance to their Georgian mansion, Gracehill House.
Over the past years, the Beech trees guarding each side of the lane have reached up and across to each other, becoming greatly intertwined to make a natural arched tunnel where darkness and light plays through entwined branches.
The path is reputedly haunted by a spectral ‘Grey Lady’ who shows up at dusk among the trees. She quietly glides along the roadside and vanishes as she passes the last beech tree. Many say the specter may be the ghost of a house maid from the nearby house who died in mysterious circumstances centuries ago. The rest think that she is a lost spirit from an abandoned graveyard that is thought to lie hidden in the areas nearby. On Halloween night, the forgotten graves are said to open and the Grey Lady is joined on her walk by the tormented souls of people who were buried close to her.
The trees keep a spectacular view and have turn into probably the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland and a famous attraction for visitors from around the world. It has been painted by a huge selection of visiting artists and is a most popular destination for wedding photographs.