Game of Thrones film location in Antrim faces tree felling

By Katy Thornton

November 20, 2023 at 5:12pm

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The Dark Hedges became the set for the King's Road in the hit tv show.

The Dark Hedges in County Antrim, which has grown in popularity since featuring on the HBO Show Game of Thrones, is facing tree felling due to safety requirements.

The iconic landscape featured Season Two, Episode One of Game of Thrones, as Arya Stark flees Kings Landing in disguise. Since its appearance, the avenue of beech trees has attracted GOT fans from all over the world to pay it a visit, as well as the studio tours in Belfast.

The Dark Hedges have stood for 250 years, since they were planted by the Stuart family in 1775 - beech trees have a life expectancy of 150-200 years, and the Dark Hedges trees have grown twisted given their exceptionally old age.

Incoming tourists hoping to spy a look at the iconic scene should be aware that the road will be closed until the first stage of the work can be completed. According to a statement, there will be a total of six trees lost.

Chair of the Dark Hedges Preservation Trust Cllr Mervyn Storey said this of the felling:

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"While it’s sad that we must see the loss of 6 trees we’ve been able to agree an approach with Roads Service that meets health and safety requirements while also preserving the aesthetic qualities and very special nature of the site.

"The report from Paul Hawksford and John McNamara at Arbor Consulting gives us a solid base to move forward with the future management of the Dark Hedges. Combined with better traffic management this should allow the site to be loved and appreciated for many more years.

"We may have been able to get to where we are today earlier but, thanks to the key stakeholders including DfI Roads, the landowners on Bregagh Road and the Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust, we’re now in a position where we can move forward for the benefit of this incredible location and its many users."

Header image via Getty & YouTube

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