What if we told you that this photo is real? That it’s a photo of an actual place, would you believe it? Many people do not. Many people say that it’s a painting, an edited photograph or a graphic artwork.
But its magnificence exists in real life. The Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland is a real place. A real magical place. In fact, it’s one of the most photographed scenic views in the world. It’s also a favorite tourist destination.
It’s a stunning avenue of beech trees cultivated in 18th century by the Stuart family. Its purpose was to provide an impressive entry to the family’s home. After 200 years, it has become an incredible sight, and a major tourist attraction in the country.
Apart from the mind-blowing view, another thing that makes the place interesting is the story of how it is “haunted” by a Gray Lady who makes an appearance at dusk. She is said to glide silently between the trees and suddenly disappear at the last beech tree. Scary, right?
Back to reality, the beech trees are now under the protection of a Tree Preservation Order from the Northern Ireland Planning Service. The trust fund of the forest was given £43,000 in 2011 to ensure that the beauty and uniqueness of the avenue is preserved for the many years to come.
The Dark Hedges is just one of the best things that you’ll encounter in your Ireland vacation. To make the most out of it, consider these vacation tips:
- Plan your itinerary carefully. There’s so much to see and do in Northern Ireland! Some of the top attractions that you also wouldn’t want to miss are the Giant’s Causeway, Bushmills Distillery, Irish Linen, Belfast City, Belleek Pottery, The Crown Liquor Saloon, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, and the Odyssey Complex.
- Pack smart. Whether you’re traveling for 2 weeks or one month, it’s best to pack only a week’s worth of clothes. Just re-wear your clothing items or have them washed at a laundrette, which is abundant in the local towns.
- Rent a car. It’s okay to travel by coach bus if you don’t want the hassle of driving and figuring out directions. But if you like to see more and enjoy your own pace, you’d be better off renting a car.
- Cook your own meals or buy snacks at a local Irish store. This will save you money. As you know, eating in restaurants everyday can cost a lot. It’s also a great idea to go on a picnic, or eat heavily if your bed and breakfast offers a free breakfast buffet.
- Check out off the beaten path. The regular tourist spots are incredible but you should also explore beyond that, and visit the country’s hidden gems. Talking to locals is one way to find out what these places are.
Enjoy!Image Source: dazygraves.tumblr.com