The Dark Hedges, Ireland


Perhaps it is the changeable yet familiar weather this time of year, or maybe its all of the rain we’ve been getting lately here in Maine, but once again I find myself thinking about home… Ireland.

It has been several years since I was last there, and every time I visit I always vow not make it so long before I return. Time and life stuff pass so fast though, and in the blink of an eye four more years have quickly gone by and I am left shaking my head and wondering when I am going to make it back over there again.

The image above is of a unique stretch of the Bregagh Road near Armoy, County Antrim that has been re-named locally as The Dark Hedges. As you can see, over the past 300 years or so the Beech trees guarding the lane have reached up and across to each other, becoming heavily intertwined to create a remarkable sight – one that I would love to return to with camera in hand when the light was more appealing.

Perhaps it is time to check out the flights on Aer Lingus…

* added a couple more images, this time looking back in the other direction. I have also written a blog post on how to find the Dark Hedges.

** it would appear that a bright, shiny, new fence has been installed inside the tree line altering the original view.

If interested in purchasing prints from this location, visit my online gallery at:

47 thoughts on “The Dark Hedges, Ireland

  1. What a gorgeous picture!! I have some Irish lineage (my paternal grandmother’s maternal line…if that makes sense) that I would like to trace. I’ve heard “McQuillan” in Ireland is as common as “Smith” here in the U.S., but I still want to try. Especially since my granddaughter was born with bright red hair!! Thanks again for sharing such a beautiful picture.

  2. Oh, David, your pictures and stories brighten up my day every day! I’ve enjoyed every one of them from Acadia to the Bangor bike trails. This current one, though, makes me realize it’s time to get back onto this blog to tell you so! I can totally understand an Irishman living in Maine. I was only in Eire once, and that was back in 1972! It was a week of traveling with my sister who lives in London. We hitched rides from Dublin to the West Coast and back, and felt safe every inch of the way — although she got kind of worried when an old geezer pulled her into dancing with him at a pub in Galway — she gave me a panicked look and I just laughed at her, my eyes saying, “Just have fun!”

    I’ll never forget the rocky coastline and vast green hillsides, or the sticky buns, smoked salmon, delightful accents and syntax (“half four” meaning four-thirty) — and when I saw the words “Aer Lingus” at the end of this daydream of yours, I thought, oh, yeah, me too!

    My first impression of Maine, when considering a major move in my life, was that it reminds me of the Irish coast, and have been here since 1980. Time to update my passport!

    Thank you, David, for all these wonderful stories and images.
    — Beth Lurie

    • David Patterson

      Thanks for the kind words Beth. I too see many similarities between the landscapes of Maine and Ireland – I think that was a big part of the draw for me to live here.

  3. Mols

    I remember seeing a photo of The Dark Hedges several months ago on Tumblr and fell in love with the haunting beauty of it. I couldn’t remember much about its locale other than Northern Ireland, but managed to use a few innocuous terms to Google it. Luckily in just about a weeks time, I’ll be there to see it in person. I’ve read recently that there were/are some plans to trim it back or cut it down completely for safety’s sake. I’d hate to see that happen.

    • David Patterson

      Thanks for the comment… I am jealous that you will be in Ireland 🙂

      I agree that it would be a shame if it were trimmed back to where it loses it’s visual impact… hopefully they can make it safe without altering it’s beauty too much. Have a wonderful time on your visit!

  4. Elizabeth Turner (Gingles)

    As of tomorrow, I will be visiting this beautiful place as well as several others in Antrim. this is where my great grandfather is from and this is my very first time to Ireland. My daughter however lives in Dublin and I have already seen some amazing sights. My cousin in Belfast will be our very own personal guide. Thank you so much for the pictures that have drawn me closer to my roots

  5. littlebangtheory

    These are stunning images – if you catch it in “more appealing” light, I’ll be gobsmacked!
    And thanks for liking my ill-planned Surgical Strike on the Maine coast, of which I imagine you have many stunning images, being now a resident.

    • David Patterson

      Thanks… rainy, cold and wet… typical summer weather in Ireland! Maine certainly is a beautiful part of the world, and methinks your long drive was worth it. Loved your foliage photographs from the slopes of Cadillac.

    • David Patterson

      Of the photographs in this post? Yes. These are from a recent visit back home… I’m now living in the US. Quite a scene, eh?

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