Hedges jpg

Game of Storms

Three trees that made up part of the “Dark Hedges” came crashing down in Storm Gertrude. Photo posted by Maria MaCann on Twitter and carried by RTE.

By Irish Echo Staff

“Game of Thrones” has become an increasingly important tourist draw for Northern Ireland.

No fewer than twenty thousand visitors covered one or both of the Game of Thrones visitor trails in the North last year, Northern Ireland tourism minister, Jonathan Bell, told the Irish Echo last week during his visit to New York.

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One of those trails took a battering last week from the latest burst of violent weather to strike the island of Ireland, Storm Gertrude.

According to an RTE report, a number of trees at the “Dark Hedges,” the now-famous Game of Thrones film location in County Antrim, fell victim to Storm Gertrude.

The spectacular tree-lined avenue provides one of the backdrops for the hit TV fantasy drama and in recent years has become a popular tourist destination for fans of the show, said the report.

However, three of the iconic trees came down in the high winds that battered Ireland as Storm Gertrude blew through late last week.

The beech trees were planted in the 18th century by a local family, the Stuarts, with the intent of creating a grand entrance to their nearby Georgian mansion, Gracehill House.

“The Dark Hedges featured in Season Two of the award-winning TV series and has resulted in busloads of tourists from around the world travelling to the location to photograph the famous tree lined avenue,” the report stated.

And as if to add insult to injury, Ireland, and most especially the north of the island, was today facing into yet another storm - Storm Henry.