The final season of Game of Thrones® may have aired in 2019, but fans’ love of everything GOT still lives on. These are the filming locations you must see in Northern Ireland. 

One of the best ways to relive the magic of Game of Thrones® is through a travel odyssey to the now-iconic locations where the series was filmed. Fortunately, there are dozens Game of Thrones® filming locations easily accessible in Northern Ireland, plus the brand new Game of Thrones® Studio Tour at Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge is just a short drive from Belfast. 

Game of Thrones Road Trip

Still reeling from the Battle of Winterfell? Plan the ultimate Game of Thrones roadtrip through Northern Ireland with Tourism Ireland's tips

Publiée par sur Dimanche 28 avril 2019

Game of Thrones® would not be the same without the island of Ireland. Before the TV show was even a glimmer in the eye of HBO, the Emerald Isle had already made a massive impact on the George R. R. Martin series A Song of Ice and Fire.

Martin, who is a quarter Irish on his mother’s side of the family, based the geography of his fictional universe on that of Ireland and the United Kingdom. Look at a map of Westeros closely and you’ll realize that you’re looking at the island of Ireland turned upside down, with famous Westeros landmarks in place of major cities: King’s Landing as Galway, Donegal Bay as the Sea of Dorne, Belfast as Old Town, and Dublin as Casterly Rock.

This makes it all the more fitting that when the time came to shoot the Game of Thrones® HBO series, Northern Ireland got the lion’s (and the wolf’s!) share of filming locations: 49 in total, from 2010 to 2018. Throughout the series, you've also seen 12,986 extras from Northern Ireland grace the screen. 

The ultimate Game of Thrones® fan’s travel guide.

Departing from Belfast International Airport and driving 30 minutes north and west, your first stop should be Toome, a village that sits on the northwest side of Lough Neagh, one of the largest freshwater lakes in Europe.

This area has held many supporting roles in Game of Thrones®. Lough Neagh appeared as the Summer Sea, the body of water to the south of Essos and Westeros, and the Toome Canal filled in for the Old Valyrian Canal, where Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) and Tryion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) are attacked by the stone men in season five.

Since season two, most of the scenes involving Winterfell, the home of the Stark family, have been shot in Toome and the nearby village of Moneyglass, making them must-sees for diehard fans.

Toome Canal filled in for the Old Valyrian Canal. Credit: Tourism Ireland

Toome Canal filled in for the Old Valyrian Canal. Credit: Tourism Ireland

A mere 15-minute drive to the east, on the northeast bank of Lough Neagh, sits the ruins of Shane’s Castle near Randalstown, Co. Antrim. The lands and castle ruins, which date back to the 1300s, were the scene of the dramatic Tourney of the Hand in season one and have represented both the dungeons of King’s Landing and the crypts of Winterfell.

Next, head for Northern Ireland’s famously beautiful coast! Magheramorne Quarry near Larne. Co, Antrim, represents an ingenious piece of location scouting. The abandoned quarry was retrofitted to be the setting for multiple locations in the north of Westeros, including Castle Black where the Night's Watch are stationed, the Wildling village of Hardhome, and the massive wall that separates the realms of night from the kingdom of men.

Magheramorne Quarry, which doubles as Castle Black and The Wall. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Magheramorne Quarry, which doubles as Castle Black and The Wall. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

The rolling hills of Cairncastle, which sit on the other side of Larne, have portrayed a range of Westerosi locations.  In the Game of Thrones® universe, it would take weeks to get from Moat Cailin to the Dothraki Grasslands, but luckily the Shillanavogy Valley is just a 20-minute drive to the west from Cairncastle. Shillanavogy Valley, which rests in the shadow of Slemish Mountain in Co. Antrim, is the setting for the Dothraki Grasslands where Mother of Dragons Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) is most often seen in Season 1.

Scoot on over to Carnlough, a charming town that sits on Carnlough Bay. The stone walls and docks of the harbor are where Maisie Williams filmed Arya’s scenes along the Bravos Canal in season six. The town is also renowned for its fish and chips, so tuck in! 

En route out of town, stop at Glenariff in the Glens of Antrim, which was the ideal location to represent the lush Vale of Arryn.

Glenariff in the Glens of Antrim. Credit: Tourism Ireland

Glenariff in the Glens of Antrim. Credit: Tourism Ireland

Veer back north towards the craggy coastline and brace yourself for a visit to the mysterious and beautiful Cushendun Caves. This is the spot where the Red Priestess Melisandre (Carice van Houten) births the shadow assassin to carry out Stannis Baratheon’s (Stephen Dillane) bidding.

A 25-minute drive up the coast will land you at Murlough Bay, known as Slaver’s Bay - and, later, the Bay of Dragons - in Essos in the Game of Thrones® universe. Murlough Bay is a highlight of the Causeway Coastal Route and boasts unparalleled views of Rathlin Island. On an especially clear day you can even see the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland.

An imposing cliff at the northeast corner of Co. Antrim, Fair Head was the location for one of the most anticipated meetings in Game of Thrones® history - when Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) meets Daenerys’ dragon/child Drogon for the first time in season seven. A popular rock-climbing spot, Fair Head also makes a lovely hike for those less vertically inclined.

Another 30 minutes or so along the Causeway Coastal Route will take you to Ballintoy Harbor, which has been used as the location for Pyke, the seat of power of the Iron Islands, the kingdom of the Ironborn that splintered from Westeros.

Many pivotal scenes between the Greyjoy family have been filmed here, and Dunluce Castle - adorned with digital effects - has stood in for Castle Greyjoy. 

Dunluce Castle. Credit: Tourism Ireland

Dunluce Castle. Credit: Tourism Ireland

Take some time to explore the beautiful town of Ballintoy and make sure you fit in an excursion to the world-famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, just 10 minutes away.

From there, swoop back inland and down to one of the most iconic Game of Thrones® locations, the mysterious Dark Hedges of Gracehill House in Ballymoney, Co. Antrim. They have been used as a location for The King’s Road, which is the longest road in the Seven Kingdoms, running from the Wall at Castle Black all the way to King’s Landing.

Dark Hedges. Credit: Getty

Dark Hedges. Credit: Getty

Less than 20 miles from the Dark Hedges, you’ll find the sandy beaches of Portstewart in Co. Derry-Londonderry, the filming location for the Dornish coast.

Binevenagh Mountain, also in Co. Derry-Londonderry, boasts a mountain walk, a scenic route, and gorgeous views of Lough Foyle. Like the the Shillanavogy Valley, it is a location for the Dothraki Sea in Essos.

Dip down to the Mourne Mountains next. This granite mountain range in Co. Down has performed double duty as the setting for Vaes Dothrak, in addition to the woods north of Winterfell where Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) meets Meera and Jojen Reed (Ellie Kendrick and Thomas Brodie-Sangster).

Sunrise over the Mountains of Mourne. Credit: Getty Images

Sunrise over the Mountains of Mourne. Credit: Getty Images

As you begin your journey back north to Belfast, stop at Inch Abbey, an ancient monastic site in Co. Down. The historic ruins, which date back to 1180, are the spot where Catelyn and Robb learn of Ned Stark’s death, and where Robb Stark (Richard Madden) becomes King in the North. While there, check out the town of Downpatrick too, believed to be the burial place of St. Patrick himself.

Finally, it’s time to head to Belfast City, to the Titanic Quarter where many of Game of Thrones®’ interior scenes and special effects have been filmed over the last 10 years. At Titanic Belfast, six shooting stages were used to house the interiors of - well, pretty much all of Westeros! Winterfell, Castle Black, High Hall of the Eyrie, the Sky Cells in the Eyrie, the Hall of Faces, the House of Black and White, the Great Sept of Baelor, the Great Pyramid of Meereen Throne Room and the iconic King's Landing Throne Room - all filmed at Titanic Belfast. 

After getting your fill of Game of Thrones®, head to the nearby Irish pub Kelly’s Cellars, where cast members Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Jacob Anderson, and Peter Dinklage delighted regulars with a visit in March 2018. The series may be over, but the memories will live on!

As you may have noticed, Winter Is Coming. Or Coming Back. Or whatever.
But whatever it is, it was a pleasure to welcome some of the cast of Game of Thrones yesterday evening.
Because that's what they do.
They drink. And they know things.

— Kelly's Cellars (@kellyscellars) March 4, 2018

Proudly produced in partnership with Tourism Ireland.

* Originally published on April 15, 2019. Updated in 2022.