Explore the real world of Westeros

May 3, 2013

Posted by
Jane

Interested in finding out more about the epic Game of Thrones filming locations? Find out here with our quick guide to all the key locations in Northern Ireland.

It’s the most popular TV show in the world right now and is filmed right here in Northern Ireland! The medieval fantasy series Game of Thrones is filmed in Titanic Studios in Belfast and also features many of our stunning locations from across Northern Ireland, which is the perfect setting for the epic story – with our rugged coast lines, historic castles and breath taking scenery. If you want to discover these epic places for yourself, we’ve put together a guide to some of the top locations that feature in the popular TV Show. Warning – some location details may include spoilers for those that have not watched or read the series.

 

The Stormlands, Cushendun Caves, Co. Antrim

The Caves at Cushendun were formed over a period of 400 million of years and extreme weather conditions in Ireland. They can be found just beyond the beautiful coastal village and can be accessed by foot next to the Cave House.

Featured Scene

Season 2, episode 4: At the behest of Stannis, Davos Seaworth lands Melisandre ashore. He witnesses her giving birth to the shadow baby (which will eventually kill Renly).

(Photo: jo.bloor – Flickr)

 

Winterfell, Castle Ward, Co. Down

Castle Ward which may be more familiar as Winterfell is situated in a stunning location overlooking Strangford Lough.
This fascinating house features both Gothic and Classical styles of architectural treatment, internally and externally. Inside the beautiful 820 acre walled demesne you will find an exotic sunken garden and paths that wind their way through woodland and suddenly open onto the quiet shores of the Lough.

Featured scenes

The grounds featured in season 1, episode 1 where King Robert Barratheon and his retinue arrive at Winterfell.

It also features in episode 2 where King Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark talk during a hunt: “There’s a war coming Ned” and then also in episode 10 with Bran and Osha at Winterfell.

 

North of Winterfell, Tollymore Forest Park, Co. Down 

Tollymore Forest Park which was featured in the first episode of series one covers an area of almost 630 hectares at the foot of the Mourne mountains offering stunning views of sea at nearby Newcastle. The park is a fantastic area for many outdoor activities including walking, caravanning/camping, horse riding and orienteering.

Featured Scenes

Season 1, episode 1: A member of the Night’s Watch rides through a snow-covered forest. He comes upon a gruesome sight – dismembered Wildling bodies lying in the snow. He encounters a White Walker and gallops away fleeing the scene. Later, Ned Stark and his boys come across a stag which has been gored. Nearby they find direwolf pups. The forest also featured in scenes where Theon Greyjoy is being chased on horseback by the bastard of Bolton, Ramsay Snow.

 

Stormlands, Larrybane, Carrick a Rede, Co. Antrim

Located along the stunning North Coast close to Carrick-Rede Rope Bridge, this area is exceptional in is natural beauty. Larrybane headland, which once stretched out towards Sheep Island and had a promontory fort on the top dating to 800AD, had large caves underneath which once served as home to boat builders and a safe resting place from winter storms. Despite having been quarried in the 1950′s this quarry is still worth a visit for its exceptional views. Fans will recognise the Stormlands.

Featured Scenes

Season 2, episode 3 – At Renly Baratheon’s camp, with Margaery Tyrell of House Tyrell. A tourney is taking place – where Brienne of Tarth bests Ser Loras and is given a place in Renly’s Kingsguard as her reward. Catelyn Stark comes to treat with Renly Baratheon (now also calling himself King), on behalf of her son, Robb Stark, King in the North. Renly Baratheon swears he will avenge Ned Stark’s death and bring Catelyn Joffrey’s head when he takes Kings Landing. Renly confirms he has the Reach and the Stormlands behind him.

Season 2, episode 4 – Lord Baelish, Littlefinger, arrives at Renly Baratheon’s camp.

Season 2, episode 5: Renly is dead. Stannis’ fleet is off shore and approaching fast.

 

Dragonstone, Downhill Beach, Co. Londonderry

One of our most iconic locations, Downhill beach is an 11km stretch of sand and surf located on the Causeway Coast of Antrim. This magnificent location is also home to Mussenden Temple, Part of Downhill Demense, the temple was originally built as a summer library. It perches dramatically on a 120ft cliff top, high above the Atlantic Ocean with views to Magilligan Point and Fair Head. Both the Temple and the surrounding views are among the most photographed scenes in Ireland. Fans will recognise this location as the Dragonstone exterior.

Featured Scenes

Season 2, episode 1: Dragonstone – Melisandre, “For the night is dark and full of terrors”. Burning of the old gods. Davos Seaworth, Stannis Baratheon. Old retainer tries to stop her. She exhorts Stannis to draw a sword from the flames – “The Lightbringer”. The conversion to the new god is complete. Old man tries to persuade Davos to stop Stannis.

 

Iron Islands, Ballintoy Harbour, Antrim

Ballintoy is situated in one of the most picturesque parts of North Antrim between the Giants Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and looks out to Rathlin Island and beyond to Scotland. As you come over the Knocksoghey Brae from Ballycastle or in from Whitepark Bay you are greeted by spectacular views, each one featuring Ballintoy Church. This stunning seaside location has been used for exterior Pyke shots and as the Iron Islands.

 

Featured Scenes

Season 2, episode 2 – Theon Greyjoy in small tender from ship, sets foot back on the Iron Islands. A woman approaches and offers to help Theon get back to Pyke. He tells her who he is, but she does not confirm her identity.

Season 2, episode 5 – Theon Greyjoy admires his ship, the Sea Bitch, but he has difficulty managing his crew. His sister appears and makes fun of him and his weakness. Dagmer Cleftjaw arrives to help him out and eggs him on to ignore his father’s orders and instead to sail to Torrhen’s Square and take it.

 

On the King’s road, north of King’s Landing, Dark Hedges, Co. Antrim

This beautiful avenue of beech trees has been used as the location for the Kingsroad in the hit show. It was planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century and intended as a compelling landscape feature to impress visitors as they approached the entrance to their Georgian mansion, Gracehill House. Two centuries later, the Dark Hedges remain a magnificent sight and have become one of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland. (Photo by Stevie Black)

Featured scene

Season 2, episode 1: On the Kingsroad, Arya Stark has escaped from King’s Landing, disguised as a boy. She is with Yoren, Gendry, Hot Pie and others who are to join the Night’s Watch, in a cart, travelling north on the King’s Road.

 

The Riverlands, Inch Abbey on the River Quoile, Co. Down

Located on the north bank of the Quoile River, Inch Abbey was founded by John de Courcy in atonement for his destruction of Erenagah Abbey. The buildings are mainly from the 12th and 13th centuries while it is believed the church is older than that at Grey Abbey which was built around 1193. The historic site is used as the locations of the Twins in the Riverlands.

Featured scenes

Season 1, episode 9: Robb’s army at the Trident. He is with Theon Greyjoy and his mother Catelyn. They need to cross the Trident at The Twins, which is held by the Freys. Catelyn goes to bargain with Walder Frey to allow them to cross. 

Season 1, episode 10: Catelyn and Robb hear of Ned’s beheading; “We will kill them all”.

Robb’s Camp, Audley’s Field, Strangford Lough

Located along the shores of Strangford Lough in the Castle Ward Estate, Co, Down. Visitor’s to the area can explore the Castle Ward Farm Trail. This trail leads along the shores of Strangford Lough and then winds through the woodlands surrounding Audleys Castle.

Featured scenes

Audley’s Tower was used during Season One as King Robert Baratheon and his retinue arrive at Winterfell And also used to film Robb’s camp where he first meets Tulisa as she is tending the wounded on the battlefield.

The Iron Islands, Murlough Bay, Antrim

Located in North East in County Antrim, It is known for its outstanding beauty and remote location, with views across the ocean to Rathlin Island, the Mull of Kintyre Islay and various other Scottish islands. Murlough Bay is located along the scenic Causeway Coastal Route and is also well known for it flora, fauna and geology.

Featured Scenes

Season 3, episode 1: Murlough Bay is also used for the Iron Islands and was used in the scene where Theon rides on horse with his sister Yara – he hasn’t yet realised it’s his sister) and Davos Seaworth is shipwrecked after the Battle of Blackwater Bay.

Beric Dondarrion’s hideout, Pollnagollum Cave, Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark

Pollnagollum Cave – Irish for “Hole of the doves”. The cave is fed by a waterfall toppling down from the top of a limestone cliff and is swollen to a torrent during harsh weather. Visitor’s to the area can follow the Belmore Forest walk which leads to viewing point for the cave.

Featured scenes

The exterior of the cave was used to film Beric Dondarrion’s hideout in season 3.

 

Causeway Coast and Glens Game of Thrones Tour

The Causeway Coast & Glens three-day Game of Thrones Itinerary is a great way to discover some key filming locations of the show along the stunning Causeway Coast of Northern Ireland. Plotting a path through the scenic splendour of the Seven Kingdoms, it takes you to where so many of the pivotal scenes were shot. The Game of Thrones itinerary not only brings to life the drama of the series, but also provides a front row seat at locations steeped in local myth and legend, where ancient warriors walked long before leading men.

With so many epic locations and landscapes to visit on your Game of Thrones journey why not book a short break in Northern Ireland – the real Westeros. Short breaks start from £49 per room.

 

 

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