Game of thrones tours and film locations
There seem to be more Game of thrones events, locations, tours and exhibitions opening frequently across the area so do have a look at them if you are a big GOT fan.
For centuries the scenery of Northern Ireland has been entertaining and inspiring visitors and locals alike, from Thackeray (author of Vanity Fair) who referred to the Glens of Antrim as ‘Switzerland in miniature’, to CS Lewis whose love of the Mourne Mountains was the inspiration for Narnia. The three decades-long conflict known as ‘The success of HBO’s Game of Thrones comes the positive portrayal of this northwest corner of Europe as one of outstanding landscapes and scenery.
There are two great journeys through Northern Ireland’s main locations for Game of Thrones. The first is to start in Belfast and head north along the Antrim coast. This trip can be done in a day at a rush or preferably in two days with plenty of time to stop and admire the views. The second journey is to travel south to the Mourne Mountains and County Down. Both make for a great long weekend’s sightseeing.
Some of the nearby locations
The Dark Hedges
One of the most visually spectacular scenes from the second series of Game of Thrones featured County Antrim’s Dark Hedges, which served as the King’s Road. The road and its avenue of beech trees is one of the most photographed natural sights in Northern Ireland, even more so now that it welcomes Thrones’ fans looking to follow in the footsteps of Arya Stark.
Binevenagh, The Antrim Plateau
Formed over 60 million years ago, the steep cliffs and rolling green of the Antrim Plateau is at its most impressive at Binevenagh on the plateau’s western tip. This is where Daenerys Targaryen was captured by the Dothraki in the finale of season five. Any scene featuring the Dothraki is pretty badass, but the backdrop of Binevenagh’s cliffs and a mass of galloping horses make this extra impressive.
Ballintoy is a small village on the coast of County Antrim where you can find a quiet fishing harbour. The area shows none of the flamboyance of show business, but it was here that Theon Greyjoy sailed to as he returned to Pyke and the Iron Islands in season two. The area has since been used as a set for the Iron Islands.
The Cushendun Caves can be found near the village of the same name on County Antrim’s wild and beautiful east coast. The caves formed over 400 million years ago and it was here where the mysterious, and slight creepy, Red Woman, Melisandre, gave birth to some sort of evil shadow baby who then went on to murdered Renly Baratheon. Who said this show was just castles and dragons?!
Cairncastle is the perfect representation of the wild lands of The North in Game of Thrones. The rocky slopes of Cairncastle was one of the first backdrops we see in the entire series, used as the location where Ned Stark executes a Night’s Watch deserter while giving his speech to Bran about how ‘the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword’. Ned Stark was great.