Northern Ireland is internationally renowned as an amazing film location with its high tree forests and stunning landscapes that feature in HBO’s Game of Thrones® to our urban backdrops which tell a wealth of stories in BBC Series, The Fall and our mountainscapes in Universal Pictures UK’s Dracula Untold.
Here’s a preview of some of the recent TV shows and films that have been shot in Northern Ireland.
Game of Thrones®
Based on George R.R. Martin’s best-selling novels, many of the Game of Thrones® filming locations are right here in Northern Ireland!
In a world where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime, the Westeros crown comes with a price.
Betrayal, lust, intrigue and supernatural forces shake the four corners of the Kingdom, from the scheming south and the savage eastern lands, to the frozen north and the ancient Wall that protects the realm from the darkness beyond. Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars and noble men vie for power in the bloody struggle for the Iron Throne.
With stunning backdrops like Tollymore Forest Park and Rowallane Gardens in Co. Down, rugged coastlines like the Causeway Coastal Route and historic sites such as Inch Abbey in Downpatrick all featuring in the series, it is no surprise that HBO choose Northern Ireland as the basis of Westeros.
The hit fantasy series is currently filming primary scenes for its fifth season in Northern Ireland, and scheduled to be broadcast on Sky Atlantic with a sixth season already confirmed.
Top Tip: To experience many of the locations follow the Game of Thrones self drive itinerary or how about going on a Game of Thrones inspired tour.
Made and set in Belfast, The Fall starring Gillian Anderson, better known for her role in cult TV series, the X files and Belfast born Jamie Dornan who next year appears in the role of Christian Grey in the feature film adaptation of best selling novel ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’.
In the gripping psychological thriller Belfast born Dornan plays serial killer Paul Spector who stalks his victims at random in and around Belfast with Anderson portraying the talented Detective Superintendent brought in on the case.
Season 2 of The Fall is scheduled to appear on screen in Autumn 2014.
With Ireland’s connections to the author of the original Dracula story, Bram Stoker, there was no better place to film Universal Pictures UK’s movie, Dracula Untold than right here in Northern Ireland.
Starring Luke Evans, from The Hobbit and Samantha Barks from Les Miserables the film tells the story of a very famous character but in a new and refreshing way and is proof that the hype surrounding vampire movies is certainly not diminishing.
Filming locations included Tollymore Forest Park in Co. Down, Roe Valley Country Park in Limavady, the Giants Causeway and many more.
Dracula Untold is released nationwide in cinemas on 3rd October 2014.
Winner of Best Adapted Screenplay at the 2014 BAFTAs and nominated for 3 Oscars (best actress, adapted screenplay and best picture) Skyfall star Judi Dench & Steve Coogan starred in Stephan Frears Philomena which was filmed in the picturesque village of Rostrevor, Co. Down.
Philomena is a bitter-sweet compelling narrative of human love and loss, and a heart-breaking story that ultimately celebrates life.
The production is based on the true story of Irish woman Philomena Lee (Dench) who went in search of her adopted son after 50 years with the help of English journalist Martin Sixsmith (played by Coogan).
Filming also took place in Washington & London.
Our Robot Overlords
Starring hollywood actors Gillian Anderson and Ben Kingsley, Our Robot Overlords was mostly filmed in Northern Ireland, taking in locations such as Donaghadee, Shane’s Castle in Co. Antrim, Tollymore Forest in Co. Down and the historic Carrickfergus Castle in Co. Antrim.
The science fiction film tells the story of earth being conquered by Robots from a distant Galaxy, with survivors being confined to their houses who must wear electronic implants, risking incineration by Robot Sentries if they venture outside and is due for release in 2014 and is definitely one to look out for.
Blandings (Seasons 1 & 2)
The 2nd BBC series of Blandings returned to screen in early 2014 and is likely to return for 3rd series. Based on author PG Wodehouse’s hilarious accounts of the life and times of Lord Emsworth of Blanding Castle, the show has been filmed in and around the beautiful grounds of Crom Castle in Co. Fermanagh.
The series stars well-known actors such as Timothy Spall, Jennifer Saunders, David Walliams and Mark Williams, just to name a few, during the filming of season 1 Jennifer Saunders tweeted a photograph of the castle describing it as “a small piece of heaven, well actually a big piece.”
Why not get the full experience the magic of this sublimely beautiful place by staying in the West Wing of Crom Castle itself? Whether you are seeking creative inspiration, planning a corporate get-together, a family holiday, or reunion, the interior elegance of the West Wing, together with the majesty and serenity of its surroundings makes Crom a really unique destination.
Cast on location at Crom Estate, County Fermanagh
Miss Julie starring Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton was shot entirely on location at Castle Coole in Co. Fermanagh.
Set on Midsummer’s Eve in 1890 in a large country house in Co. Fermanagh, Miss Julie details a battle of both sexes and classes, revolving around the eponymous daughter (Jessica Chastain) of a wealthy landowner, and her flirtation and seduction of her father’s valet (Colin Farrell), a power struggle that has tragic consequences. The house’s cook and valet’s lover (Samantha Morton) observes the tryst as it unfolds. It is scheduled to be released late in 2014.
Castle Coole, County Fermanagh
Shot on location in Belfast city centre with locations including the Ulster Hall, Good Vibrations premiered in Belfast in 2013, however in early 2014 it was nominated for Outstanding Debut by a British writer at the BAFTA award and also received 3 IFTA nominations for Best Film, Lead Actor & Best Costume.
The film tells the story of Terri Hooley, Belfast’s punk godfather, and the Good Vibrations record shop and garnered some famous fans such as Hollywood director Ron Howard.
Top Tip: For more on the music scene in the city check out the Belfast Music Tour.
With so much excitement surrounding all of these releases there has never been a better time to visit and explore filming locations in Northern Ireland.
For more information on TV / film locations in Northern Ireland visit our Northern Ireland TV & Film Section.