Game of Thrones: Filming Locations in Northern Ireland
Explore the Real World of Westeros in Northern Ireland
Interested in finding out more about the epic Game of Thrones filming locations? Find out here with our quick guide to all the key locations in Northern Ireland.
It’s the most popular TV show in the world right now and is filmed right here in Northern Ireland! The medieval fantasy series is filmed in Titanic Studios in Belfast and also features many of our stunning locations from across Northern Ireland, which is the perfect setting for the epic story – with our rugged coastlines, historic castles and breathtaking scenery. We've put together a guide to some of the top locations that feature in the popular TV Show, so you can discover these epic places for yourself. Warning – some location details may include spoilers for those that have not watched or read the series.
The Stormlands, Cushendun Caves, Co. Antrim
The Caves at Cushendun were formed over a period of 400 million of years of extreme weather conditions in Ireland. They can be found just beyond the beautiful coastal village and can be accessed by foot next to the Cave House.
Season 2, episode 4: At the behest of Stannis, Davos Seaworth lands Melisandre ashore. He witnesses her giving birth to the shadow baby (which will eventually kill Renly).
(Photo: jo.bloor – Flickr)
Winterfell, Castle Ward, Co. Down
Castle Ward, which may be more familiar as Winterfel,l is situated in a stunning location overlooking Strangford Lough.
This fascinating house features both Gothic and Classical styles of architectural treatment, internally and externally. Inside the beautiful 820 acre walled demesne you will find an exotic sunken garden and paths that wind their way through woodland and suddenly open onto the quiet shores of the Lough.
The grounds featured in season 1, episode 1 where King Robert Barratheon and his retinue arrive at Winterfell.
It also features in episode 2 where King Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark talk during a hunt: “There’s a war coming Ned” and then also in episode 10 with Bran and Osha at Winterfell.
North of Winterfell, Tollymore Forest Park, Co. Down
Tollymore Forest Park, which was featured in the first episode of series one, covers an area of almost 630 hectares at the foot of the Mourne Mountains offering stunning views of the sea at nearby Newcastle. The park is a fantastic area for many outdoor activities including walking, caravanning/camping, horse riding and orienteering.
Season 1, episode 1: A member of the Night’s Watch rides through a snow-covered forest. He comes upon a gruesome sight – dismembered Wildling bodies lying in the snow. He encounters a White Walker and gallops away fleeing the scene. Later, Ned Stark and his boys come across a stag which has been gored. Nearby they find direwolf pups. The forest also featured in scenes where Theon Greyjoy is being chased on horseback by the bastard of Bolton, Ramsay Snow.
Stormlands, Larrybane, Carrick-a-Rede, Co. Antrim
Located along the stunning North Coast close to Carrick-Rede Rope Bridge, this area is exceptional in is natural beauty. Larrybane headland, which once stretched out towards Sheep Island and had a promontory fort on the top dating to 800AD, had large caves underneath which once served as home to boat builders and a safe resting place from winter storms. Despite having been quarried in the 1950s this quarry is still worth a visit for its exceptional views. Fans will recognise the Stormlands.
Season 2, episode 3: At Renly Baratheon’s camp, with Margaery Tyrell of House Tyrell. A tourney is taking place – where Brienne of Tarth bests Ser Loras and is given a place in Renly’s Kingsguard as her reward. Catelyn Stark comes to treat with Renly Baratheon (now also calling himself King), on behalf of her son, Robb Stark, King in the North. Renly Baratheon swears he will avenge Ned Stark’s death and bring Catelyn Joffrey’s head when he takes Kings Landing. Renly confirms he has the Reach and the Stormlands behind him.
Season 2, episode 4: Lord Baelish, Littlefinger, arrives at Renly Baratheon’s camp.
Season 2, episode 5: Renly is dead. Stannis’ fleet is off shore and approaching fast.
Dragonstone, Downhill Beach, Co. Londonderry
One of our most iconic locations, Downhill Beach is an 11km stretch of sand and surf located on the Causeway Coast. This magnificent location is also home to Mussenden Temple. Part of Downhill Demense, the temple was originally built as a summer library. It perches dramatically on a 120ft cliff top, high above the Atlantic Ocean with views to Magilligan Point and Fair Head. Both the Temple and the surrounding views are among the most photographed scenes in Ireland. Fans will recognise this location as the Dragonstone exterior.
Season 2, episode 1: Dragonstone – Melisandre, “For the night is dark and full of terrors”. Burning of the old gods. Davos Seaworth, Stannis Baratheon. Old retainer tries to stop her. She exhorts Stannis to draw a sword from the flames – “The Lightbringer”. The conversion to the new god is complete. Old man tries to persuade Davos to stop Stannis.
Iron Islands, Ballintoy Harbour, Co. Antrim
Ballintoy is situated in one of the most picturesque parts of the North Antrim Coast between the Giant's Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and looks out to Rathlin Island and beyond to Scotland. As you come over the Knocksoghey Brae from Ballycastle or in from Whitepark Bay you are greeted by spectacular views, each one featuring Ballintoy Church. This stunning seaside location has been used for exterior Pyke shots and as the Iron Islands.
Season 2, episode 2: Theon Greyjoy in small tender from ship, sets foot back on the Iron Islands. A woman approaches and offers to help Theon get back to Pyke. He tells her who he is, but she does not confirm her identity.
Season 2, episode 5: Theon Greyjoy admires his ship, the Sea Bitch, but he has difficulty managing his crew. His sister appears and makes fun of him and his weakness. Dagmer Cleftjaw arrives to help him out and eggs him on to ignore his father’s orders and instead to sail to Torrhen’s Square and take it.
On the King’s Road, north of King’s Landing, Dark Hedges, Co. Antrim
The Dark Hedges is a beautiful avenue of beech trees that has been used as the location for the King's road in the hit show. It was planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century and intended as a compelling landscape feature to impress visitors as they approached the entrance to their Georgian mansion, Gracehill House. Two centuries later, the Dark Hedges remain a magnificent sight and have become one of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland.
Season 2, episode 1: On the King' s Road, Arya Stark has escaped from King’s Landing, disguised as a boy. She is with Yoren, Gendry, Hot Pie and others who are to join the Night’s Watch, in a cart, travelling north on the King’s Road.
(Photo: Stevie Black)
The Riverlands, Inch Abbey on the River Quoile, Co. Down
Located on the north bank of the Quoile River, Inch Abbey was founded by John de Courcy in atonement for his destruction of Erenagah Abbey. The buildings are mainly from the 12th and 13th centuries while it is believed the church is older than that at Grey Abbey which was built around 1193. The historic site is used as the locations of the Twins in the Riverlands.
Season 1, episode 9: Robb’s army at the Trident. He is with Theon Greyjoy and his mother Catelyn. They need to cross the Trident at The Twins, which is held by the Freys. Catelyn goes to bargain with Walder Frey to allow them to cross.
Season 1, episode 10: Catelyn and Robb hear of Ned’s beheading; “We will kill them all”.
Robb’s Camp, Audley’s Field, Strangford Lough
Located along the shores of Strangford Lough in the Castle Ward Estate, Co, Down. Visitors to the area can explore the Castle Ward Farm Trail. This trail leads along the shores of Strangford Lough and then winds through the woodlands surrounding Audleys Castle.
Audley’s Tower was used during Season One as King Robert Baratheon and his retinue arrive at Winterfell. And also used to film Robb’s camp where he first meets Tulisa as she is tending the wounded on the battlefield.
The Iron Islands, Murlough Bay, Co. Antrim
Located in North East County Antrim, Murlough Bay is known for its outstanding beauty and remote location, with views across the ocean to Rathlin Island, the Mull of Kintyre, Islay and various other Scottish islands. Murlough Bay is located along the scenic Causeway Coastal Route and is also well known for it flora, fauna and geology.
Season 3, episode 1: Murlough Bay is also used for the Iron Islands and was used in the scene where Theon rides on horse with his sister Yara (he hasn’t yet realised it’s his sister) and Davos Seaworth is shipwrecked after the Battle of Blackwater Bay.
Beric Dondarrion’s hideout, Pollnagollum Cave, Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, Co. Fermanagh
Pollnagollum Cave – Irish for “Hole of the doves”. The cave is fed by a waterfall toppling down from the top of a limestone cliff and is swollen to a torrent during harsh weather. Visitors to the area can follow the Belmore Forest walk which leads to a viewing point for the cave.
The exterior of the cave was used to film Beric Dondarrion’s hideout in season 3.
Self-Guided Game of Thrones Tours and Tours run by Independent Operators
Causeway Coast and Glens Game of Thrones Tour
The Causeway Coast & Glens three-day Game of Thrones Itinerary is a great way to discover some key filming locations of the show along the stunning Causeway Coast of Northern Ireland. Plotting a path through the scenic splendour of the Seven Kingdoms, it takes you to where so many of the pivotal scenes were shot. The Game of Thrones itinerary not only brings to life the drama of the series, but also provides a front row seat at locations steeped in local myth and legend, where ancient warriors walked long before leading men.
Clearsky Game of Thrones Filming Locations Cycling Tour
The series was actually filmed ‘on location’ in the 16th century courtyard of Clearsky Activity Centre and in the surrounding estate at Castle Ward in County Down. There are 2 self guided cycle tour options: Robb's Trail (allow approx. 1 1/4 hours) and Tywin's Trail (allow approx. 2 1/4 hours). See here for more info.
Clearsky Game of Thrones Winterfell Archery Range Experience
An exact replica of the 'Winterfell Archery Range' has been masterfully recreated in Clearsky's courtyard at Castle Ward in County Down, in the very same spot that the filming took place, transporting you into the world of Westeros. Dress up in character costume and step into the movie set - don't forget your camera! See here for more info.
Game of Thrones Tour - McComb's Travel
Join McComb's Travel on their private Game of Thrones Tour, where you will visit some of the main locations where filming took place like Titanic Quarter, The Dark Hedges, Larrybane, Ballintoy and Downhill Strand. You will be driven by someone with first hand experience - their drivers transport the extras for filming and have a wealth of knowledge about where and when filming was done.
Tour of Thrones NI - Quinn's Coach Hire
Tour of Thrones NI aims to bring the TV sensation Game Of Thrones to life and we at Quinn’s are keen to make Northern Ireland one of the top destinations in the world for screen tourism. When complete, the tours will stretch across Northern Ireland. The first tour is directed to the Mournes areas of Castle Ward, Downpatrick and Tollymore Forest, with the latter being the place where the very first scenes of Game Of Thrones were filmed.
Game of Thrones Tour - Nutt's Travel
Pick up your rental car or motorcycle in Belfast and begin your self-drive Game of Thrones Tour. These itineraries are voyages of discovery that let you experience the fantasy world of author George R.R. Martin for yourself. Plotting a path through the scenic splendour of the Seven Kingdoms, it takes you to where so many of the pivotal scenes were shot.
Find out more about Game of Thrones and Northern Ireland.
With so many epic locations and landscapes to visit on your Game of Thrones journey why not book a short break in Northern Ireland – the real Westeros. Short breaks start from £49 per room.