Game of Thrones 2-Day Private Tour from Belfast
Northern Ireland is officially The Home of Thrones. Fabled castles, haunted forests and now a stunning, hand-woven tapestry – Game of Thrones® – has become a part of Northern Ireland’s epic story.
Westeros might feel like another world, but the Seven Kingdoms are very real. The dramatic landscape of Game of Thrones® finds a home in Northern Ireland. As one of the key filming locations for the hit television show, this is a place where fantasy comes to life.
You can imagine White Walkers roaming the forests, direwolves howling in the night and dragons soaring overheard. So be brave, and take your first steps down the Kingsroad to discover the wonders of Westeros.
This fully guided two day tour takes in the best Game of Thrones filming locations in Northern Ireland. See first-hand the stunning scenery featured as the backdrop in the HBO’s series when you join us for an unforgettable tour.
This tour is over two days. Day one covers the the North Coast filming locations in Antrim with a visit to Titanic Quarter to see the Season 8 Kings Landing set – the largest and most expensive set in TV history and to see the location of the main filming studio. Day two covers the southern locations in Down, including Winterfell, the haunted forest and much much more!
Titanic Quarter, Belfast
A quick stop to visit to the hub of productions for the show – the famous Paint Hall Studio. Once part of the most famous shipyard in the world that built the Titanic, the Paintball is now one of the biggest tv and film studios in Europe and is the location of the Iron Throne itself. You will be able to catch a glimpse of the new Kings Landing set that has been constructed for season 8. It is the biggest and most expensive tv set ever built and will be retained after filming finishes in summer 2018 to be kept as a tourist attraction!
Mussenden Temple and Downhill Beach / Dragonstone Beach
Mussenden Temple overlooks one of the North Coasts most beautiful beaches, Downhill Beach. Stretching for over 11km this beach provides the perfect location for Mussenden Temple. This Classical round temple was built to be a summer library, while today it stands dramatically on top of a cliff, with views of the Northern Irish and Donegal coast.
Both the Mussenden Temple and Downhill Beach were used in Game of Thrones as the location for the Dragonstone exterior. This is the spot where the old gods burn on the beach, where Stannis pulls the flaming sword and Melisandre chants: “For the night is dark and full of terrors” in ‘Lightbringer’.
Ballintoy Harbour / Pyke, The Iron Islands – Lordsport
Ballintoy Bay is the real-world location of Lordsport (the port of Pyke in the Iron Islands). This picturesque little fishing village and its harbour are one of the most beautiful parts of the coast of Antrim. The production team of the series chose this wonderful place to be the port of Pyke, where Theon Greyjoy sets foot back on the Iron Islands, admires his ship and has some trouble with his crew.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge & Larrybane / Renley’s Camp
Suspended almost 100 ft (30 m) above sea level, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge was first erected by salmon fishermen 350 years ago. Today it is a popular tourist destination, attracting thousands of thrill-seekers (and birdwatchers!) to the North Coast every year. If you are bold enough to cross the 65 ft (20 m) bridge, stretching from the mainland to ‘Rocky Island’, you will be rewarded with fantastic views of Rathlin Island, Scotland and the Causeway Coast. Get a bird’s eye view of the clear, green water flowing around the ancient caves and caverns far below – if you dare to look down. Larrybane was the dramatic spot chosen for Renly Baratheon’s camp in Season 2.
Murlough Bay / Storms End
Located in North East County Antrim, Murlough Bay is an awe-inspiring location. Murlough is best known for its outstanding beauty, remoteness and views across the sea to Rathlin Island and the Mull of Kintyre. Plus the cows that sometimes graze along the sandy dunes.
Murlough Bay becomes the Iron Islands in Season 3. This is the spot where Theon Greyjoy rides on the horse with his sister Yara. It’s also the spot where Davos Seaworth is shipwrecked after the battle of Blackwater Bay.
Cushendun Caves / Storms End – Melisandres cave
The caves at Cushendun were formed over a period of 400 million of years and are a product of extreme weather conditions. They can be found just beyond this beautiful coastal village next to the Cave House. In Season 2, Cushendun is where Melisandre gives birth to the shadow baby after being brought ashore by Davos Seaworth.
Fair Head / Dragonstone
Fair Head – or Benmore, from the Irish an Bhinn Mhór, meaning ‘the big cliff’ – is one of the dramatic new GOT locations in Co Antrim and right smack on the Causeway Coast which, along with Belfast, is the Lonely Plant’s ‘best region to visit’ in 2018. Northern Ireland’s tallest cliff face appeared in season 7 peaking interest in the area around the globe. The impressive Fairhead rises 600 feet above sea level near Ballycastle on the Causeway Coast and it’s believed to be the biggest expanse of climbable rock in Britain or Ireland.
HBO filmed parts of season seven at Fairhead, forming the backdrop for much of episode three ‘The Queen’s Justice’ – which saw Jon Snow finally meet Daenerys and her dragons at Dragonstone, and reunite with Tyrion Lannister. Fittingly, given that GOT is a TV adaptation of the fantasy novels A Song Of Fire And Ice by George RR Martin, much of Fair Head’s stunning landscape was created by ‘fire’ from volcanic activity, then later sculpted by ‘ice’, from the ice ages, to leave its mark over time.
The Dark Hedges / The Road from King’s Landing
The Dark Hedges might possibly be the most beautiful avenue of beech trees in the world. Planted by the Stuart family in the 18th century to impress their visitors as they approached the entrance to their Georgian mansion – Gracehill House. It is one of the most photographed sites in the country. In Westeros, the Dark Hedges are the Kingsroad, north of King’s Landing. Disguised as a boy, Arya escapes from the city with Yoren, Gendry, Hot Pie and the other prisoners who are to join the Night’s Watch.
Cairncastle / Lands North of Winterfell
From standing high atop Cairncastle, where Ned Stark beheaded the Night’s Watch deserter in Season 1 Episode 1, we travel to Glenarm, one of the Nine Glens of Antrim. Thought to be the oldest chartered town in Northern Ireland – still retaining its historic street pattern – Glenarm has over 50 listed buildings and is home to Glenarm Castle, the ancestral home of the McDonnells, Earls of Antrim, and the perfect place to stop off for an afternoon tea. Here you can visit Steensons Workshop, creators of some of the jewelled artefacts used in the series.
Binevenagh / Dothraki Grasslands, North of Meereen, Essos
Binevenagh mountain – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Area of Special Scientific Interest. With its line of dramatic basalt cliffs dominating the surrounding countryside, the panoramic views from the mountain top take in Roe Valley, the Sperrin Mountains, the North Coast and across Lough Foyle to Donegal. Binevenagh is the shooting location in the Season 5 Episode 10 when Daenerys and a wounded Dragon have landed on a clifftop and Daenarys is then surrounded by a Dothraki horde.
Shane’s Castle / The Red Keep tourney grounds & the Summer Sea
The picturesque ruins of Shane’s Castle on the shores of the pretty Lough Neagh is a working estate consisting of over 1,000 acres of peaceful forests and farmland, habited mostly by sheep and cows. The ruins, though hard to trace their origins, date back to the 16th century. In Westeros, Shane’s Castle serves as the backdrop for the royal jousting tournament in order to honour Ned Stark, as well as the dungeons of King’s Landing.
Nearby Lough Neagh became the Summer Sea where Ser Jorah commandeers a vessel on which to transport a captive Tyrion Lannister. It also was where Brienne of Tarth fought a group of bandits on her quest to take Jamie Lannister to King’s Landing.
Tollymore Forest Park / Lands around Winterfell
Tollymore Forest Park, which was featured in the first episode of Season 1, covers an area almost 630 hectares at the foot of the beautiful Mourne Mountains. This romantic forest is home to trees, woodlands, streams, grottos and caves – and offers panoramic views of the sea at nearby Newcastle. Tollymore Forest was the first state forest park in Northern Ireland, established in 1955.
The Forest appeared in the first season of Game of Thrones as the lands around Winterfell when Ned Stark comes across the orphaned direwolves – the symbol of House Stark. You might also remember this as the Haunted Forest. It was the very first scene in which a member of the Night’s Watch rides through the snowy forest and stumbles upon dismembered Wildling bodies and are hunted by Wights.
Sandy Brae in the Mourne Mountains / Vaes Dothrak
The hauntingly beautiful Mourne Mountains have some of the most beautiful hiking paths in Ireland. Vast landscapes and broad foothills go on as far as the eye can see. Cutting through the desolate Mourne Mountains is the 35km-long Mourne Wall, built to enclose the Silent Valley Reservoir, though it does little more than enclose the remote summits and vast valleys of the Mourne Mountains.
On-screen, the mystical Mourne Mountains are the entrance to Vaes Dothrak, the only city in the Dothraki Sea, and capital of the nomadic Dothraki people. Kaleesi, Ser Jorah and the Dothraki visit Vaes Dothrak in the beginning of the series. As with Ballintoy Harbour, the Mourne Mountains are no strangers to fantasy: C.S. Lewis was inspired by their magical landscapes.
Castle Ward / Winterfell
Castle Ward, County Down, is a beautiful 18th century manor house, home to the Ward family since 1570. Castle Ward’s most intriguing feature is its two-faced nature: the front half of the house and facade is designed in classical Palladian style while the back half of the house (interior and exterior) and facade are designed in Georgian Gothic, and seems right out of a Gothic horror tale! It’s also not too far from Tollymore Forest Park.
In Westeros, Castle Ward portrays the outdoor scenes of Winterfell, ancestral home of the Starks. It’s also where the Whispering Wood was filmed, along with Robb Stark’s battle camp, and a few battle scenes.
Inch Abbey / Robb Starks Camp – King in the North
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 about 1193.
This beautiful and historical place is where an alliance of Northerners rallied around Robb Stark and crowned him the King in the North.
Corbet village and castle / Riverrun
Corbet is a tiny, rural village in County Down, located not far from Tollymore Forest Park. There are ruins of a castle, a trickling stream, and a lake popular with anglers. It is located in a quiet, unspoilt region of Northern Ireland’s farmlands.
Corbet was a filming location for season 6, where the local ruins were used to film exterior shots of Riverrun Castle in the Riverlands, where the siege of the castle and other exterior shots were filmed. Further northeast of Corbet is Saintfield village, where the iconic Battle of the Bastards was also filmed in County Down.