Northern Ireland is a land of history, mystery and dramatic landscapes that has recently attracted the attention of HBO and thousands of fans from all around the world.
Game of Thrones, and the beautiful Northern Ireland landscapes featured in the hit TV series, have recently refocused the world’s attention on this ancient land which delivers on spectacular scenery, a unique and rich culture, and – of course – warm and welcoming locals.
With one-stop air access to the island of Ireland via the Middle East, and convenient access from Europe and Great Britain, this magical land is ripe for a little exploration.
If you need a little inspiration on which Game of Thrones (GoT) locations you can visit in Northern Ireland (there are dozens!), here are four to get you started…
1. The Dark Hedges: aka The Kings Road
Located near Armoy in County Antrim, this mesmerising avenue lined with beech trees was made famous in Season two, episode one, when Arya Stark escapes King’s Landing and travels down the King’s Road in a cart along with Yoren, Gendry, Hot Pie and others.
Apart from being featured in this episode of GoT, the Dark Hedges is actually one of Northern Ireland’s most photographed avenues. It was planted by the Stuart family more than 200 years ago, and its design was intended to impress those that approach the entrance to their Georgian mansion, Gracehill House. We’re definitely impressed!
2. Castle Ward: aka Winterfell
Used as the backdrop for the pilot and much of season one, Castle Ward’s historic farmyard will be very familiar to GoT fans. Indeed, it was here that Brienne confronted the Stark men, and here that the Baelor battle took place.
Fans not content to just sit and stare at the familiar surroundings can immerse themselves further into this magical world by joining the ClearSky Adventure at Castle Ward. They’ll dress up in character costume, step into the movie set, and stand exactly where their favourite characters stood. Alternatively fans can take a cycle tour through the area and visit famous scenes from the popular TV series.
3. Ballintoy Harbour: aka Iron Islands
For the locals, Ballintoy Harbour has always been popular with the local fisherman and boatman who ply their trade here. But for millions of GoT fans around the world, this harbour is known as being the baptism site of Theon. It’s also been frequently used for the exterior Pyke shots and as the Iron Islands.
4. Mourne Mountains: aka entrance to Vaes Dothra
Known for its challenging peaks, plentiful hiking trails and sparkling lakes, the Mourne Mountains in County Down are famous for a lot of things, including its staring role in Game of Thrones.
The Mourne Mountains are used in the TV series as the entrance to Vaes Dothra, whilst the Leitrim Lodge at its foothills is used is depicted as the lands north of Winterfell where Bran first meets Jojen and Meera in the woods.
Excited to visit these Game of Thrones locations in Northern Ireland? Keen to experience what makes Ireland so unique?
Then visit ireland.com today and discover it all for yourself…
If you were going to visit Ireland, where would you like to go? Let us know in the comments below…
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