Categories: TV & Film

For over eight glorious years the stunning coastline and countryside of Northern Ireland literally chewed the scenery in many a Game of Thrones® episode. So, why not don your fanboy or fangirl hat and unashamedly geek out at the 20-plus film locations dotted around the country. Take a tour by bus, be led by a GoT insider, join your cosplay cousins, or DIY it if that’s how you roll.  Even if you’re not joining in the Throne-fest, you’re going to end up in some jaw-droppingly beautiful places. So, here’s your county-by county guide to the best locations. Mount your dragon… 

Kingsroad, Pyke Harbour and Dothraki grasslands in County Antrim 

You have to start (or maybe end) at The Dark Hedges, the spectacular site serving as the Kingsroad. Follow in the footsteps of Arya Stark on this beech-lined piece of Thronie heaven. You might be there for a while – it does get busy – but so worth the wait for the photo opp! You can find Cushendun Caves near the village of the same name on the county’s wild east coast. Over 400 million years old, it was here that the Red Woman, Melisandre, gave birth to an evil shadow creature who later showed up behind Renly Baratheon and…well, you know the rest. 

The rocky slopes of Cairncastle was one of the first places you saw in the series and used as the location where Ned Stark and a Night’s Watch deserter have a set-to. Ballintoy Harbour is not showbizzy by any stretch of the imagination but Theon Greyjoy fancied sailing in here on his return to Pyke Harbour. The area has also been used as a set for the Iron Islands and as the Free Cities where Varys was born. 

You’ll recognise the landscape of the Sallagh Braes in the Glens of Antrim as the place where Sandor Clegane, aka the Hound, lives a peaceful existence with a band of villagers in the Riverlands. Other Antrim stunners include the Shillinavogy Valley and Glenariff which respectively double as the Dothraki grasslands and Vale of Arryn’s Runestone. 

Winterfell, Stokeworth and The Haunted Forest in County Down 

Castle Ward wasn’t just House Stark’s Winterfell home. Around 20 other key scenes were filmed in the castle and demesne which you can visit all year-round. It took some battering, though, from Ramsey Snow and the Boltons! Within the Castle Ward demesne, you can make your way over to Audley's Field where Robb Stark meets Talisa after the battle at Oxcross. 

A short drive away is Inch Abbey beside the River Quoile. Both locations were used – the abbey as Robb Stark's camp at Riverrun, and the riverbanks as the perfect spot in Season 3’s “Walk of Punishment” episode and a Tully funeral scene. Quintin Bay is about 2 miles east of Portaferry on the southern end of the Ards Peninsula. You will recognise it as the location setting for Stokeworth where Jaime Lannister and Ser Bronn hatch a rescue plan. 

In the Mourne Mountain foothills you’ll find Tollymore Forest which doubles as the Haunted Forest in the opening season and is where the direwolves are found. Head into the Mournes to find Leitrim Lodge near Hilltown where Bran and Rickon Stark plan their escape from Theon Greyjoy. 

Hollow Hill in County Fermanagh 

If you’re in this neck of the woods, head to Pollnagollum Cave in Belmore Forest, part of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark as Hollow Hill in the Riverlands, the hideout of Beric Dondarrion and the Brotherhood Without Banners. 

Dragonstone and the Seven Gods of Westeros in County Derry-Londonderry 

The county is awash with locations from the show. Like Downhill Strand which doubles as Dragonstone where Melisandre set fire to the effigies of the Seven Gods of Westeros.  

On the edge of the Antrim plateau, Binevenagh boasts panoramic views stretching for miles on end. Little wonder this astonishing location was chosen as the backdrop for where Daenerys Targaryen goes head-to-head with the Dothraki. Dragons also look very impressive here. 

Rickard Karstark and Robb Stark face off in County Armagh 

The stunning 19th century Gosford Castle near Markethill was used to shoot exterior scenes in Season 3, most notably where Rickard Karstark and Robb Stark have a go at one another. 

Where to next…? 

While you’re here, take the Glass of Thrones or Journey of Doors tours if you haven’t had enough Game of Thrones® action. Don’t forget to download your Journey of Doors Passport and get it stamped at each location – a must-have souvenir for any self-respecting Thronie.  ‬‬Oh and keep your Filming Locations app at the ready to find out where other GoT scenes were filmed – they could be right next to wherever you stop off.