Did you know that Game of Thrones is filmed in Northern Ireland? Well, now you do! While there are Game of Thrones locations all over Europe, there is an incredible concentration of stunning filming that could very easily be visited on a day trip from Dublin to Northern Ireland.
However, if you are not short on time, you could dedicate up to 4 days touring Northern Ireland and ticking off every Game Of Thrones filming location out there. To help you on your mighty quest, we’ve come up with this guide to the best-known Games of Thrones filming locations in Northern Ireland.
1. Castle Ward, County Down
Probably the most famous Game of Thrones filming location in Northern Ireland, Castle Ward is the location of Winterfell. The castle is currently used as a stately home, with stunning grounds overlooking Strangford Lough. The 16th-century ruins on the grounds were also used as the home in the House Stark TV series. Visitors to the castle can opt to dress up in a costume of Game of Thrones characters and prance around the castle learning to play archery! See more information on the Castle Ward site.
2. Magheramorne Quarry, County Antrim
Magheramorne Quarry in County Antrim is the filming location of the entrance to Castle Black. While the entrance is real, the huge ice wall was created digitally so it might be difficult to recognise when visiting in person!
3. The Dark Hedges, County Antrim
The Dark Hedges have always been one of the most visited stops when touring Northern Ireland. It is the home of a narrow road where beech trees on either side of the road meet in the middle to create the illusion of a tunnelled hedge. In Game of Thrones, you might recognise this location as the place where Arya Stark escaped from King’s Landing. The hedges also frequently appear during season 1 and 2 as King’s Road and appear totally unchanged with no digital enhancements making them one of the most recognisable filming locations.
4. Cushendun Caves, County Antrim
Cushendun Caves, situated along Antrim’s beautiful Causeway Coast, are another popular place to visit, long before their appearance in the Game of Thrones series. The caves are where Davos Seaworth and Lady Melisandre landed ashore in Season 2 and are also the where Melisandre gave birth to a terrifying shadow baby.
5. Downhill Strand, County Derry
The beautiful 11km stretch of sand at Downhill, one of County Derry’s best beaches, was the filming location of Dragonstone in Season 2. Downhill Strand is the place where the seven gods of Westeros were sacrificed by Lady Melisandre. Dragonstone was the ancestral home of House Targaryen and current stronghold of the Stannis Baratheon.
6. Quoile River, Co Down
The beautiful Quoile River area in County Down was where the Tully Family called home and was also the filming location of Hoster Tully’s funeral. Inch Abbey, another Game of Thrones filming location, can also be found along the banks of the Quoile River, a building that has been in existence since the year 800 and has a history of being plundered by Vikings. The abbey was used as the location of Robb Stark’s camp in Season One.
7. Tollymore Forest Park
Tollymore Forest Park featured in Game of Thrones as the unmistakeable Haunted Forest. The atmospheric location, situated on a hill near the town of Newcastle in County Down, was where the White Walkers marched into the realm of men and is also where the Starks discover the dire wolves. The dogs that played these wolves can actually be met in real life on guided tours of Castle Ward mentioned above.
8. Murlough Bay, Co Antrim
Murlough Bay in County Antrim is best known as the location where Davos Seaworth was shipwrecked and later rescued after the Battle of Blackwater Bay. Murlough Bay is also where Tyrion and Jorah come ashore on Slavers’ Bay, only to be accosted by slavers. Today this stunning bay has views out across the Irish Sea to Scotland, home to some of the most spectacular views on the coastal causeway driving route.
9. Ballintoy Harbour, Co Antrim
Just a stone’s throw from The Giant’s Causeway, the most visited attraction on the north coast, the quaint Ballintoy Harbour was where Theon was baptised in front of his sister Yara and was also the location of the Iron Island where Theon arrived to seek the alliance with Balon in season two.
Our Game of Thrones tour from Dublin takes you to the most important sights of the popular series.