NORTHERN IRELAND ROAD TRIP: GAME OF THRONES

The UK has always been one of my dream destinations, so before I left Dubai, I made sure to step foot on the land of British tea and scones (also the Queen). When I was plotting all the things I want to do, a friend of mine sent me a message and she was excited for my trip (it’s somehow a Filipino trait), that I will get to visit the Game of Thrones (GOT) shooting locations……right…..well, to be honest, I wasn’t really thinking about it (SHAMEFUL), I was in a way, thankful that my friend blunted that out and I ended up plotting these places around the map of Northern Ireland.

[caption id="attachment_5307" align="alignnone" width="800"]Northern Ireland Road trip game of thrones locations travel blog trip Travel brochure hoarder! haha.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5308" align="alignnone" width="800"]Northern Ireland Road trip game of thrones locations travel blog trip Plotting our Wild Atlantic Way route (with GOT locations as our priority).[/caption]

Good thing about it, I am traveling with an Irish local and our route was from Belfast going to the Republic of Ireland along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Though a lot of GOT scenes are heavily done in CGI, they still use beautiful actual-locations as the basis for these scenes.

Thank God for the internet, I was able to find several resources to help me plot each location. The official Tourism Website of Ireland has a detailed DIY Itinerary all dedicated for Game of Thrones fans, that’s how serious Ireland on being a Game of Thrones Territory. (if you don’t fancy doing a DIY tour, there are a lot of independent tour operator banking on the Game of Thrones bandwagon).

So here are the places we successfully visited. Some, we got to visit not knowing that it is a shooting location, while some I have to research about it (some a bit underwhelming) but hey, it is GAME OF THRONES!!!

We started our journey in Belfast. We were there to attend a wedding, YES, I crashed a wedding and it was amazing (hopefully I'll get to write about this soon).
TOLLYMORE FOREST PARK - HAUNTED FOREST

[caption id="attachment_5302" align="alignnone" width="800"]Northern Ireland Road trip Tollymore Forest game of thrones locations travel blog trip Touring Tollymore Forest on a horseback[/caption]

Believe it or not, I didn’t know that the Tollymore Forest Park is a known Game of Thrones shooting location. I went there to do some horseback riding with friends as this is a good spot to walk the horses around.

Surprisingly this is also the location of the very first Game of Thrones scene, the Haunted Forest. The place where the first encounter with the White Walkers happened. Also, this is the location where the Stark family found the newborn direwolves.
TITANIC STUDIOS - GAME OF THRONES STUDIO SET

[caption id="attachment_5306" align="alignnone" width="800"]Northern Ireland Road trip Titanic Studios game of thrones locations travel blog trip Titanic Museum[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5305" align="alignnone" width="800"]Northern Ireland Road trip Titanic Studios game of thrones locations travel blog trip On the far right, you can see the Titanic Studios.[/caption]

The Titanic Studios is the main Game of Thrones studio set. Here, they do a lot of green screen and studio scenes. We weren’t able to explore the set that time, so we just toured around the Titanic Museum haha. (we can see the studio from a distance though).
CUSHENDUN CAVES – THE SHADOW PRINCE

The Cushendun Caves located at the small village of Cushendun is the location of one of the darkest scenes in GOT history, the birth of the Shadow Prince. During our visit, there were no signs stating this, you just have to trust the map and your instinct. Until know, I am assuming that the cave we went to was the correct one.

[caption id="attachment_5303" align="alignnone" width="800"]Northern Ireland Road trip Cushendun Caves game of thrones locations travel blog trip The entrance of the Cushendun Cave[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5311" align="alignnone" width="800"]Northern Ireland Road trip Cushendun Cave game of thrones locations travel blog trip Somewhere there, Melisandre gave birth to the Shadow Prince.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5312" align="alignnone" width="800"]Northern Ireland Road trip Cushendun Cave game of thrones locations travel blog trip The beautiful view outside the Cushendun Cave[/caption]
MURLOUGH BAY – SLAVERS BAY

Although located just in between Torr Head and Fair Head, we had a hard time finding Murlough Bay. We parked at Torr Head and just walk around the area assuming that we were already at Murlough Bay (the landscape here is amazing).

[caption id="attachment_5315" align="alignnone" width="800"]Northern Ireland Road trip Murlough Bay game of thrones locations travel blog trip Taking all this beautiful scenery in[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5314" align="alignnone" width="800"]Northern Ireland Road trip Murlough Bay game of thrones locations travel blog trip Such a peaceful place. Can't believe that this is the location of Slavers Bay[/caption]

Murlough Bay is the location for the Slavers Bay. The scene where Tyrion and Jorah encountered the slavers on their way to Meereen .
BALLINTOY HARBOUR - HOME OF THE IRONBORN

[caption id="attachment_5320" align="alignnone" width="800"]Northern Ireland Road trip game of thrones locations travel blog trip Ballintoy Harbour[/caption]

Ballintoy Harbour is the location for Pyke. The home of the Ironborn. There were several scenes shot here. The arrival of Theon Greyjoy after his long “captivity” at Winterfell. The beach also witnessed the drowning of Euron Greyjoy to become the kings of the Iron Islands.
CARRICK- A -REDE   - RENLY BARATHEON CAMP IN STORM’S END, STORMLANDS

[caption id="attachment_5318" align="alignnone" width="800"]Northern Ireland Road trip game of thrones locations travel blog trip Posters of GOT locations around Irelend[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5325" align="alignnone" width="800"]Northern Ireland Road trip Downhill Beach game of thrones locations travel blog trip The walk trail going to the Carrick-a-Rede[/caption]

The Carrick- a – Rede is a famous rope bridge in Northern Ireland, it is just a walk away from the Ballintoy Harbour; you are hitting two locations in one stone (plus it is near Giant' Causeway--so basically 3 locations). Though the bridge itself isn’t part of any filming locations, the nearby Larrybane Quarry is the site of Renly Baratheon’s Camp (before he got killed by the Shadow Prince --- SPOILER!! Haha).
DARK HEDGES – KINGS ROAD

I think this is the most famous and picturesque GOT location in Northern Ireland. The Dark Hedges is an avenue of beech trees planted during the 1800s. The lined (huge) trees creates an eerie feel while you cross along the road.

[caption id="attachment_5317" align="alignnone" width="800"]Northern Ireland Road trip Dark Hedges game of thrones locations travel blog trip The beech avenue along the Dark Hedges[/caption]

The Dark Hedges is the location set for the Kings Road, remember in season 1 where Arya left Westeros to escape the Lannisters and traveled along with the Night’s Watch.

[caption id="attachment_5304" align="alignnone" width="800"]Northern Ireland Road trip game of thrones locations travel blog trip Getting the selfie thing going.[/caption]
DOWNHILL STRAND - THE LORD OF LIGHT

Last but not the least, we ended our location hunting at the Downhill Strand as it was already late when we arrived there. Also, this is a good place to catch the sunset.

This place was seen also during the 1st season of Game of Thrones where Stannis Baratheon rejects the seven old gods of Westeros while Melisandre proclaimed him as the champion of the Lord of Light.

[caption id="attachment_5322" align="alignnone" width="800"]Northern Ireland Road trip Downhill Beach game of thrones locations travel blog trip The location of the Lord of the Light proclamation of Stannis Baratheon. Far from being a bloody place.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5321" align="alignnone" width="800"]Northern Ireland Road trip Down Hill Beach Mussenden game of thrones locations travel blog trip The Mussenden Temple overlooking the stretch of the Downhill Strand[/caption]

There are a lot more Game of Thrones locations around Northern Ireland which we weren’t able to cover on a full day roadtrip. But in the end, just to stand on one of the sets feel really good and a big tick on the Bucket list as an avid Game of Throne fan.

Leaving Game of Thrones behind, Northern Ireland is indeed very beautiful. The landscape is very rich with vast plains and jaw dropping cliffs. Surely a place worth visiting. I definitely write about the whole Ireland (North and Republic) on a future blog.

Northern Ireland Road trip Downhill Beach game of thrones locations travel blog trip

 

kenneth surat Dubai Travel Blogger Philippines

20 comments

  1. I have not watched the game of thrones so I can't relate to the place that way. But I would still like to visit these spots for their sheer natural beauty. Particularly The beech avenue along the Dark Hedges , taking a walk here would be a lifetime memory

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  2. It is lovely the way you have captured the essence of the place and related it to a highly popular TV series. Makes me feel that most of the fantasy world gain inspiration from real world which makes it a fantasy that is believable and livable!

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  3. Absolutely breathtaking photos! I just watched the latest episode last night and it just reminds me how great a series GOT is. Would love to go on this tour someday!

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  4. I haven't watched the TV series but have read the book. So the home of the iron born (pyke) and Lord of Light vividly evoke scenes from the book. There could not have been a better choice of location for these. Was good to see these shoot locations from GOT !

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  5. What a great adventure you got to experience! I would love to do this one day. There is little wonder the producers chose this area for filming, it is very beautiful.

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  6. GOT is really an exciting series. These places bring alive the spirit of GOT. Would love to visit this amazing terrain. It always gives a thrill to visit places that are associated with films or television serials that you have seen or books you have read.

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  7. I am not that much a fan of GOT but if ever I will become one, I'm definitely gonna visit this post again to see the similarities xD

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  8. Wow, this is truly one of a kind adventure. I've been dreaming to traipse my feet on these places ever since the GOT started. For now, I enjoy reading your post and actually your post is so timely as GOT season 7 have just started last Monday. You're so blessed to be able to visit Northern Ireland. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

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  9. I have never watched got but these look really scenic

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  10. Nor I have read the book neither seen the series. But for sure these places are breathtaking. I loved your pictures and can feel the natural essence there. And now, I will love to explore this trail only after watching the series.

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  11. I just read an article of a blogger who was included in a GOT press trip and now this. Is the Game of Thrones trip calling me?! Hahaha... I like to believe so, I mean come on, I am such a huge fan of this show! And wow I cannot help but be quite envious that you took the trip too. It was such fun reading this post and seeing the locations in photos. Damn I gotta make this trip!

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  12. Oooh you are correct, i think even before the show used these locations, visitors already came. :)

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  13. I think I am will agree with you on saying the the fantasy world is a reflection of our reality haha (so deep).

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  14. I'm a big Game of Thrones fan and I kept on wondering where did they shoot those beautiful locations. I only knew a handful of them like in Iceland for the Wall and Croatia for the King's Landing. I never thought that they will also have some shoots in this place. Northern Ireland is filled with beautiful, medieval-like places which is appropriate for the scenes depicted from the book. The temple of Mussenden is memorable for me, it is where the Melisandre born to a shadow figure which killed King Renly. Haha! Geek mode on! Thank you for sharing this :)

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  15. Makes me want to visit Ireland! Ang ganda!! Thanks for sharing, Kenneth! :)

    -Hannah Behind The Lens

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  16. aaaaaw hahaha tapos malaman ko bukas makalawa nsa Ireland ka na LOL.

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  17. I admit that I have only seen a few episodes of GOT but my significant other is a die-hard fan. He has been urging me to watch this series I just haven't had time yet and I wanted to so I wouldn't be left behind. Seeing your post makes want to actually visit this place. The place is truly amazing and deserves to be on anyone's bucket list. I have been wanting to have a vacation for quite sometime already and this looks like the perfect place to visit. I am so looking forward to seeing the dark hedges in person. Its just really amazing for me I can't wait to finally see them!

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  18. Thank you. Let us know once you visit them and what you think about these locations.

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  19. […] fiction can be the best inspiration to travel. I have written in a previous blog about my trip in Northern Ireland and how we visited location shoots of the famous HBO series Game of Thrones (favorite!!!!), and the truth is that it’s just one of many fine examples. Some of the best and […]

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    ReplyDelete