The Dark Hedges, a beech tree-lined pathway in County Antrim, is a popular tourist destination in Northern Ireland. They were planted by the Stuart family in the 18th century — the family intended them to serve as an entrance to Gracehill House, their mansion.
The notoriety of the Dark Hedges increased when they appeared on Game of Thrones, standing in for the Kingsroad in season 2. Above, Arya and Gendry flee King’s Landing by way of the Hedges in “The North Remembers.”
Unfortunately, some of the trees have now weathered damage from Storm Doris, according to Belfast Live. Heavy winds recently ripped out one tree since removed from the road.
One tree may not seem like a huge loss, but the Dark Hedges have been taking their lumps for a while. Last year, Storm Gertrude ripped out three trees. According to the BBC, there were once 150 trees on the path, but as of January of 2016, only 90 remained. Now there’re even fewer.
Caroline McComb takes Game of Thrones fans on tours of the area. “We keep the Dark Hedges as the last location on the tours, because the sight of them just blows people away,” she said after Storm Gertrude. “It’s one of the most stunning parts of our Northern Ireland countryside, so it’s greatly disappointing to see some of them damaged. Hopefully we can protect the ones that remain.”
That job falls to the Dark Hedges Preservation Trust, but as chair Mervyn Storey said, many of the trees “have well over-lived their lifespan.” So if you want to visit this piece of Game of Thrones history, you may want to act sooner rather than later.
— Karen L (@kcyalao) August 24, 2016
— Amit Sharma (@amito1993) September 4, 2016
h/t The Telegraph