As if the undulating Irish countryside wasn’t magical enough, close to the town of Ballymoney you can treat yourself to a magical and mysterious moment with a visit to the Dark Hedges. This breathtaking avenue of gnarled beech trees lines the Bregagh Road close to the village of Armoy in County Antrim.
The Stuart family, who wished to impress visitors to their home in the nearby Gracehill House, planted the beech trees here some 200 years ago. It is quite apparent from a visit here just how successful they were, as the Dark Hedges still astound visitors today.
Particularly popular with photographers, the Dark Hedges are probably one of the most photographed attractions in Northern Ireland. Whether you’re here to photograph the Dark Hedges or simply to enjoy driving through them, you will be hard pressed not to marvel at the way the branches reach across to each other, like lovers lost in the dark. Now protected by a tree preservation order, the Dark Hedges should impress visitors for many more years to come.
As the Dark Hedges are 20 minutes’ drive north-east of the town of Ballymoney, you’ll definitely need a car if you want to visit them. However, as Bregagh Road is now the approach towards the Gracehill Golf Club, you could always kill two birds with one stone by coming here for a round of golf. However you intend to enjoy the Dark Hedges, always be sure to keep your eyes on the road!