Welcome back! Have you read the first part? If not, let’s take a look here. Game of Thrones® has been known for its many locations and visual effects. The TV show took place in around 25 locations around Northern Ireland and other filming locations, such as, for instance, Canada, Iceland, Malta and Spain. In the first part you already took a look at some of the sets of Game of Thrones®, but let’s continue…
Glenariff Forest Park
Glens of Antrim were formed over millions of years when the Ice Age carved the landscape into a series of valleys and hills, creating a rich land, now dotted with characteristic villages and areas of incredible natural beauty. The village of Galboly, near Glenariff, a valley of cascading waterfalls and glittering forests, were the Runestone sets in the Game of Thrones®. Here Lord Yohn Royce hosted Robin Arryn, the Lord of The Eyrie, to raise him as his protégé and Sansa Stark and Littlefinger watched him train Robin in art of dueling.
Treat yourself with a horseback ride at Shean’s Horse Farm. Is there a better way to feel like you’re in the TV show with the characters of Westeros than riding through the green hills of Antrim or instead along a windswept beach on a trusty steed? Whatever your journey is, it will be a memorable one.
The Cushendun Caves date back over 400 million years. Hidden along the Antrim coast, near the cosy village of Cushendun, they overlook the rocky beach and the turbulent sea. In Westeros, a dark crime was committed in these caves. It is here that Melisandre summoned her shadow demon below Renly’s camp to kill Stannis’ brother in the name of the Lord of Light.
Stop at Cushendun’s Corner House for a refreshing lunch after a morning of cave exploration.
Be careful: Murlough Bay is a land of slave traders! This beautiful stretch of coastline in Northern Ireland, along the Causeway Coastal Route, is where Tyrion Lannister and Jorah Mormont clashed with slave traders on their journey to Meereen. It offers wonderful views of Rathlin Island and, on a clear day, you might even spot the Scottish islands beyond the North Channel.
Admire the breathtaking scenery from the cliff at Fair Head and let your gaze wander over the stormy North Sea and beyond, the vastness of the green countryside. You might recognise this place as Dragonstone, where Jon Snow had an interesting face-to-face with Daenerys and her dragon.
Get out there and get ready to meet some of Westeros’ most fearsome characters. Ballintoy Harbour, a picturesque harbour near the village of Ballintoy, is also known as Pyke, home of the infamous Ironborn. It is here that Theon Greyjoy landed in the capital of Lordsport after his long absence as Ned Stark’s vassal. Ballintoy Beach, not far away, is where Euron Greyjoy was drowned to become King of the Iron Islands. He swung over the ocean at the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Founded by a few fishermen more than 350 years ago, there was a thriving fish industry here until the 1960s. Fans with the sharpest eyesight will be able to see Larrybane nearby. This quaint spot is the same place where Catelyn Stark first met Renly Baratheon who vowed to avenge her husband’s death.
See the Giant’s Causeway, the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland, from a whole new perspective with the Clifftop Experience. Local guide Eimear Flanagan and her staff will guide you on this eight kilometre route along the beautiful coastline of the Causeway.
Can you imagine anything more terrifying than running from the Lannisters? That’s exactly what Arya Stark did, running down the Kingsroad with the Night’s Watch. Dark Hedges provided the backdrop for Arya’s escape – these beech trees with their twisted trunks and high, rustling hair have been here for over 200 years. Travel this legendary road and explore the Seven Kingdoms. At the edge of Dark Hedges you’ll find Gracehill House: sit back for dinner or a drink and admire one of the doors of The Iron Throne®, which tells the story of Bran’s transformation into the Three Eyed Crow.
If you want to hear the anecdotes of those who participated in the filming, spend a day with Giant Tours Ireland. Moreover, Flip, your guide and driver for the tour, was Hodor’s stand-in, so he can tell you the fantastic stories of his experience.
The Dorne coast, the beaches of Dragon Rock and the hideout of a Lannister on the run – you’ll find this and more in Northern Ireland.
Portstewart Strand: two miles of golden sand gently caressed by the waves. It is here, amidst the imposing sand dunes and tufts of grass, that Jaime and Bronn were captured by the Dornian soldiers on the coast of Sunspear, the same place where Ellaria and the Snakes of the Sands planned their war against the Lannisters.
The early bird catches the worm: take a Catch and Sea breakfast fishing trip in the waters off Portstewart, in other words an exciting adventure to share with the rest of the crew. And for lunch, take a seat at Harry’s Shack, Georgina Campbell’s favourite, for delicious fish dishes overlooking the sun-kissed ocean.
Downhill Beach is an expanse of white sand, guarded against above by the Mussenden Temple, a copy of the Temple of Vesta in Rome. Here, tourists and locals gather to watch the surfers challenge the waves. But this immaculate beach has a dark side: here Stannis Baratheon rejected the Seven Ancient Gods of Westeros. Melisandre proclaimed him champion of the Lord of Light and marked the arrival of Dragonstone into the War of Five Kings.
Be careful: there are plenty of dragons at Binevenagh! This mountain, in the Dothraki Sea, was the refuge of Daenerys and Drogon after escaping from Meereen’s battle pit. The mountain itself marks the border of the Antrim Plateau, which overlooks the counties of Armagh and Derry. Walk along the trail and enjoy unparalleled views stretching for miles and miles – sometimes you can even see the west coast of Scotland.
Have you ever visited these places? Did you know they were filming locations of Game of Thrones®? Comment below and let us know!