A JOURNEY TO 14 GAME OF THRONES FILMING LOCATIONS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

Last updated on February 6, 2024

You can take a trip around Northern Ireland and see the famous sights – and you’ll have a nice tour.

But if you’re as “hooked” on Game of Thrones as I am, you might want to take a trip to the Game of Thrones locations?

Winterfell Castle
Winterfell Castle (photo: Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)


Intro

The series was filmed to a large extent in Northern Ireland. Apart from the film studios in Belfast, there are numerous film locations in Northern Ireland that you can visit on a motorbike tour.

By the way, I know Northern Ireland very well from several trips. Originally from Germany, my family and I have lived (second home) in Ireland, south of Dublin, for several years. We run our motorbike rental business here in the summer months (www.easycruiser.tours) and also offer nice guest rooms for travellers (www.the-view-accommodation.ie).

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Ad for our own business Easycruiser.tours


But now back to your GOT tour. By the way, you can easily look up all the locations I list below on Google Maps.

Game of Thrones filming locations in Northern Ireland

1) Tollymore Forest Park

2) Inch Abbey

3) Castle Ward / Winterfell

4) Audley`s Castle

5) Belfast Titanic Studios

6) Sallagh Braes

7) Cushendun Caves

8) Fair Head

9) Larrybane Quarry

10) Ballintoy Harbour

11) The Dark Hedges

12) Downhill Beach / Mussenden Temple

13) Binevenagh

14) Game of Thrones Studio Tour in Banbridge (not a filming location, but the official studio tour)

GoT tour in Northern Ireland
GoT tour in Northern Ireland (map: Google Maps)

1) Tollymore Forest Park

Our tour begins in the forest, specifically the woods of Winterfell, where Jon Snow and the Stark family found and took in their orphaned direwolves. The park is open to walkers and was also used as a filming location for other forest scenes in GOT.

2) Inch Abbey

Inch Abbey is, of course, actually in the Riverlands. That’s where Rob Stark’s army has gathered to cross the River Trident. The river is actually called Quoile River, but that doesn’t matter to a true GOT fan.

Tower at Winterfell Castle
Tower at Winterfell Castle (photo: Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)


3) Castle Ward / Winterfell

The often pictured Castle Ward is not the filming location. There is another small old castle on the ground. It is a good 10-minute walk away. It is picturesquely situated on the shore of Strangford Lough and is well worth a visit. Most of the exterior scenes of Winterfell were filmed here, especially scenes in the courtyard.

4) Audleys Castle

We are now in the Westlands. This is where the Battle of Oxford took place, in which Robb Starks army inflicted a crushing defeat on the Lannister army.

Belfast Titanic Experience
Belfast Titanic Experience (photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)


5) Belfast Titanic Studios

Many interior scenes were filmed at the Belfast Titanic Studios. The studios in Belfast Harbour cannot be visited, but the Titanic Museum immediately adjacent can. A licensed GOT Studio Tour has been set up at the old Banbridge studios instead, see Station 14).

6) Sallagh Braes

Sallagh Braes is part of the Glens of Antrim and is a scenic area. After Sandor Clegane “The Hound” was wounded by Arya Stark, he found shelter with a farming family and stayed there for some time – the scenes were shot in this landscape.

By the way, in the nearby Ballygally Castle Hotel you can admire one of ten Game of Thrones wooden doors. These were made from the wood of trees from the Dark Hedges (see Station 11).

Each door features ornate carvings of Game of Thrones motifs. The entrance door to the Ballygally Hotel Restaurant shows motifs from the Battle of the Bastards and a direwolf.

Cushendun Caves
Cushendun Caves (photo: ireland.com)


7) The Cushendun Caves

The Cushendun are a place of interest on the beautiful North Antrim Coast. In these caves of the Stormlands Melisandre gave birth to her shadow child.

8) Fair Head

Fair Head was a filming location for Daenerys and Jon Snow on the cliffs of Dragonstone. Jon made closer acquaintance with the dragons there, who accepted him to Daenerys’ amazement (and fortunately did not eat him…).

Cushendun at the North Antrim Coast
Cushendun at the North Antrim Coast (photo: Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)


9) Larrybane Quarry

Larrybane Quarry near Ballintoy, is an old quarry in a picturesque location right on the coast. Its rocks served as a backdrop for Renly Barratheon’s camp in the Stormlands, where Brienne of Tarth first met Renly and Magaery Tyrell.

10) Ballintoy Harbour

Ballintoy Harbour is the setting of the harbour of Peik on the Iron Islands, where Theon Graufreud came from. The Graufreuds’ castle stands here and Peik is also the capital of the islands.

Ballintoy Harbour
Ballintoy Harbour (photo: discovernorthernireland.com)


11) The Dark Hedges

This is one of the most important landmarks in Northern Ireland, not just since GOT. The hedges are not actually hedges, but an avenue of beautiful old trees along the Bregagh Road near Gracehill Golf Course. The beeches were planted in the 18th century and look truly mystical, with their twisted branches. You used to be able to drive through it on a motorbike, but it is now closed to traffic but open to pedestrians.

12) Downhill Beach or Downhill Strand

The cliffs above the beautiful beach served as a backdrop for Dragon Stone. The small Mussenden Temple on the edge of the cliffs is 18th century and is part of the Downhill Demesne estate. The beach, the estate and the temple can be visited. In front of the estate is the Lion Gate which marks the entrance.

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Ad for our own business The View Accommodation


13) Binevenagh

Binevenagh, near Londonderry, lies on the edge of the Antrim Plateau. From the top there are wide views to the north-west and west over the surrounding countryside and coasts. The slopes are very steep and impressive cliffs. When Daenerys was rescued from Mereen by her dragon Drogon, he brought her to safety up here on the plateau.

14) Game of Thrones Studio Tour in Banbridge

South of Belfast lies Banbridge. In the old studios there, the licensed GOT Studio tour has been set up and will open its doors to visitors from February 2022. From script to screen, the stages of the making of Game of Thrones series are shown here: sketches and scripts, green screens and effects, makeup and make-up, sets, backdrops and props, weapons and costumes. This is not an original filming location, but a visit to the GOT Studio Tour is certainly the crowning glory of your motorbike trip to the Game of Thrones filming locations in Northern Ireland.

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Ad for our own business Easycruiser.tours


Conclusion

Ireland is worth a visit – and so is Northern Ireland. On this tour to the Game of Thrones filming locations, you can practically visit the whole of little Northern Ireland at the same time.

So let’s go to Northern Ireland!

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Photo credits cover photo: Mussenden Temple, photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg (www.easycruiser.tourswww.the-view-accommodation.iewww.irland-insider.dewww.ireland-insider.com)

Uli Written by:

Hello and welcome to my blog. Originating from Germany, my family and I now live in Ireland (at least part time). We have travelled this amazing isle many times and know many parts of it very well. In this blog, I would like to share valuabe tips and information for your next trip to Ireland with you. Enjoy the content, yours, Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg