If I’d got to the Dark Hedges pre-dawn as intended, they might have appeared as dark as their name suggests. But the light-coloured beech trunks and even just a hint of morning sunshine made this tunnel of trees a fairly light and airy one, not spooky at all.
Spookier is the fact that the number of trees has practically halved since they were first planted in the late 18th century, some through storm damage, but also as the flux of visitors has intensified.
This part-flooded walkway required a bit of nimble footwork here and there – easy enough even in heavy, water-resistant boots. But it was difficult to pause to take in the exhilarating and almost overwhelming experience of the waterfalls gushing into the valley below, accompanied by the constant roar and wind-tossed spray. I noticed some people had taken off their shoes and socks – that for me was the scary bit: are feet on slimy wet wood slip-resistant?