Displaying items by tag: dark hedges

Monday, 15 April 2024 23:53

Return to the Dark Hedges, April 2024

Antrim's Dark Hedges are famous for mature beech trees but each year sees several fewer making the iconic road feel less like an avenue.

After scheduled maintenance saw six trees of the famous Dark Hedges removed in late 2023, Storm Isha in January 2024 brought down another three of the beeches.

Large gaps have appeared now in sections of the avenue, and whilst new trees have been planted it seems that the Dark Hedges will disappear for the best part of a century until the replacement beech trees have matured. 

Here, images from April 2024 on a wet and windy day on Ireland's most photographed road. 

Join me, Panoramic Ireland, to photograph on Ireland's Antrim Coast or Wicklow.

Dark Hedges, April 2024
Dark Hedges, April 2024
Published in Guide

I don’t think County Antrim’s Dark Hedges need much of an introduction. The visually stunning avenue of beech trees have arguably become one of the most famous stretches of road in the world.

Certainly, it must be Ireland’s most photographed road.

Having appeared for a few brief seconds in HBO’s Game of Thrones the once unknown row of 300 year old beeches are now often overrun by tourists, many thousands arriving throughout a typical day en route to the Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle or covering a dedicated Game of Thrones tour.

The tree tunnel is surely a photographer’s dream with its intertwining overhead branches and large tree trunks of silvery bark that take on the colour of the weather and lighting.

Originally there were around 150 beech trees planted along what was the avenue to Gracehill House at the end of the 18th century, built by the Stuart family - now almost 250 years old there are only 86 mature beech trees left.

And as of next week, there may be 11 fewer; after examination more of the Dark Hedges will be cut and significantly or taken to the stump leaving at least 75 healthy trees. Six are to be removed for definite.

This work is being carried out because of the age and neglect of this man-made natural wonder over recent decades, with lofty boughs breaking and posing potential risk to the visitors underneath.


Dark Hedges with Damaged Trees
Dark Hedges with Damaged Trees


So, will the Dark Hedges still be worth visiting in 2024? Yes I do think so, if you can get here without the crowds then yes. The location has lost a lot of its charm, having gone from grassy and shrubby verges to muddy and unsightly but for the photographer there are still elements worth photographing here.


Large Gaps at the Dark Hedges
Large Gaps at the Dark Hedges


And it will be a long time yet before all of the trees reach end of life. Of course the new trees being planted will take a longer time again to develop into what has been a quiet tourism site for decades.



Join Panoramic Ireland in 2024 to photograph the Dark Hedges, the Antrim Coast and all of its beauty spots.


Published in Guide
Friday, 30 September 2022 23:13

Into the Canopy, Beech Trees at the Dark Hedges

The Dark Hedges are one of the most famous locations associated with Game of Thrones.

But of course for those of us from the area, from the fine Causeway Coast and Glens of Antrim, it was always a scenic avenue.

Here, a view into the canopy of those centuries-old beech trees.

Join me, Panoramic Ireland, to photograph in Ireland. From the Antrim Coast to West Cork.

Published in Photo Tours

County Antrim's Dark Hedges is by now one of the most famous avenues in the world. Made by a local landowner who planted the beech trees almost 250 years ago to mark the approach to his house; made famous by HBO's Game of Thrones as the King's Road over the past decade.

The fine scene has changed much since this image, in recent times (COVID excepting) most of this long scene would have been filled with throngs of people in on tour buses, as a result the nice and grassy verges have turned to mud.

The trees have diminished greatly, having fallen to storms in the intervening years and weakened as a result of vehicular traffic parking up on the verges, as I mentioned in a previous post about beech trees they do have shallow roots so are prone to damage.

Published in Guide

Northern Ireland's most photographed road, the Dark Hedges on Bregagh Road known to many Game of Thrones fans around the world as the King's Road needs little introduction.

It is a scenic, leafy avenue of beech trees close to the UNESCO World Heritage Site The Giant's Causeway.

It is also a place that I enjoy photographing in, even with the challenges of overtourism that have blighted this leafily scenic route to the coast.

Published in Guide
Saturday, 09 June 2018 23:02

Northern Ireland's Dark Hedges

One of my favourite Irish locations is no longer a secret place, my own County Antrim's Dark Hedges.

Known to us locally as Bregagh Road the Dark Hedges have seen a lot of visitors in recent years due to the influx of Game of Thrones fans from around the world.

This avenue of beech trees has become arguably Ireland's most photographed road, I've written about it before here on Panoramic Ireland of course but this is one of my favourites from 2006, long before this scenic road became famous and had hardly any visitors.

Join me on a photography tour of the Antrim Coast, a place I know well, to learn how to make better travel photographs here at the Dark Hedges and along the amazing Causeway Coast.

Published in Photo Tours
Thursday, 19 April 2018 23:29

Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland

Recently while leading another photo tour to my own part of Ireland, County Antrim, we stopped off at the Dark Hedges.

Choosing a morning before all of the groups arrived we had the famous avenue of beech trees pretty much to ourselves as S.S. visiting from California photographed Bregagh Road on this, his first visit to Northern Ireland.

Published in Photo Tours
Cookies make it easier for us to provide you with our services. With the usage of our services you permit us to use cookies.