This beautiful avenue of beech trees was planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century. It was intended as a compelling landscape feature to impress visitors as they approached the entrance to their home, Gracehill House. Two centuries later, the trees remain a magnificent sight and have become known as the Dark Hedges. The Dark Hedges is one of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland and a popular attraction for tourists from across the world. It has been painted by hundreds of visiting artists and is a favorite location for wedding photographs.
Legend tells that a supernatural ‘Grey Lady’ haunts the thin ribbon of road that winds beneath the ancient beech trees. She silently glides along the roadside and vanishes as she passes the last beech tree. Some say the specter is the ghost of a maid from the nearby house who died in mysterious circumstances centuries ago. Others believe that she is a lost spirit from an abandoned graveyard that is thought to lie hidden in the fields 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 those who were buried beside her.