autumn, County Antrim, Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland, photography, Uncategorized, walking

The Delightful Dark Hedges

Saturday 11th November 2017

Stranocum Village to The Dark Hedges – 8 miles

As we parked up in Stranocum village we were planning a short walk as we were later in starting.  Stranocum, from the Irish Straith Nocam or ‘River Meadow’, is a small village west of the River Bush with a population of about 300 people.  We left the village along the Fivey Road and headed towards the Metal Bridge Walk, off Gracehill Road.

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Leaving Stranocum village

After some road walking we soon found the public footpath towards the metal bridge – it was a bit muddy, with some very big puddles to negotiate!

 

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Metal Bridge over the River Bush

The River Bush was in full flow & we decided to have an early lunch before heading on towards the Dark Hedges.

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River Bush in full flow

Along the way we enjoyed some lovely autumnal sights & stumbled across a really impressive thatched house!

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Quiet country roads

 

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Impressive thatched house

As we approached Bregagh Road we spotted Knocklayde in the distance & I couldn’t resist taking a few photos!

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Knocklayde in the distance
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Knocklayde through the beech hedge

The Dark Hedges is a natural phenomena which draws thousands of tourists from all around the globe – we were really lucky to have the avenue to ourselves, only having to dodge a few tourists!

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An almost deserted road

The Dark Hedges beech trees were planted by James Stuart around 1775 for his wife Grace Lynd.  He originally planted 150 trees to form an impressive avenue to Gracehill House, his Georgian estate.  To date there are about 90 surviving beech trees & the hedges are among the Top 5 ‘Tree Tunnels’ in the world!

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Beautifully designed information board
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Autumnal Leaves
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Our final bridge back into Stranocum

Our ‘short’ walk turned into about an 8 mile loop back into Stranocum village along some country roads, dodging a few sharp shower & rounded off with some great tea & scones in The Hedges hotel.

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