Home to more Seven Kingdoms locations than anywhere else in the world, Northern Ireland has truly earned its title as Game of Thrones® Territory
Explore the real-world Westeros. In Northern Ireland, the lush Riverlands lie side-by-side with the Iron Islands, the Dothraki Sea and Winterfell are neighbours and you never know when you might come upon a direwolf. Follow the stories of of the Seven Kingdoms, in Game of Thrones® Territory.
Transport yourself to Westeros – travel through the bewitched forests and ill-fated camps of the Seven Kingdoms, experience Winterfell in the North, and the azure waters of Castle Stokeworth.
Into the woods
We’re throwing you in at the deep end – Tollymore Forest Park is home to magnificent red woods, centuries-old stone structures and the forbidding White Walkers. Known as the Haunted Forest in Westeros, this expanse of wild woodland is where we first came face-to-face with the cold-blooded creatures. It’s also where the Starks encountered their newborn direwolves for the first time. Seek out treasures of your own in the mossy glow of these ancient trees – but be on the lookout for any blue eyes watching you from the gloom…
Stop over at the quirky Olive Bizarre in Newcastle, and grab a baked creation to start your day out right.
Monastic ruins with a view
Inch Abbey has quite the history – not only is it a beautiful Cistercian Abbey founded in 1180, it’s also where the War of the Five Kings began. The houses of the North took up the cry of “the King in the North!”, after learning of Ned Stark’s death, spurring his son Robb on to war. Sitting beside the gushing River Quoile, on a clear day you can see Downpatrick Cathedral from the abbey, where St Patrick is said to be buried.
From one legend to another, stop over at the St Patrick Centre in Downpatrick to uncover the saint’s fascinating history.
The house that Stark built
Since the 16th century, the Ward family have called Castle Ward home. But in the Seven Kingdoms, this sprawling demesne has another name – Winterfell, ancestral home of House Stark. Here, you can practice archery in the same spot as Jon Snow, model some authentic Westeros attire and feast on a lavish medieval banquet inspired by the show.
IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME
Head to The Cuan Guesthouse for a hearty lunch and marvel at the Game of Thrones® inspired door, depicting scenes from the sixth season of the series. These intricate masterpieces are dotted across Northern Ireland, and were carved from the wood of the 200 year old beech trees at the Dark Hedges.
The plot to rescue a princess
In the shadow of Castle Stokeworth, Jaime Lannister and Bronn of the Blackwater hatched a plot to retrieve Princess Myrcella from Dorne. Quintin Bay provides the backdrop for this dramatic scene – take a stroll along the immaculate sands below Quintin Castle, which has overlooked this pretty bay since 1184.
Take the ferry across the Narrow, the name for the strip of water between Strangford and Portaferry. From here, take a moment for yourself and gaze out over the tranquillity of Strangford Lough.
Prepare yourself – you’re about to travel from the North, through the Neck and into the turbulent Stormlands! Follow Tyrion and Jorah as they come face to face with the slavers of Essos, visit Pyke where the Greyjoys rule and take yourself down the mighty Kingsroad…
The Neck and the North
Dramatic. It’s the only word that can truly capture the Antrim plateau – with windswept plains and basalt outcrops creating a spiny ridge against the sky, it’s no wonder this location was chosen to represent the Neck. This craggy landscape is the site of one of the most tense scenes in the show, where Sansa Stark learns from Littlefinger that she is betrothed to the terrible Ramsay Bolton.
IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME
Clamber towards Knockdhu, a Bronze Age promontory fort that sits high above the landscape.
Stride across the Dothraki Sea
Beneath Slemish Mountain, where St Patrick once served as a shepherd, lies the Shillanavogy valley. But this peaceful land is home to some rowdier residents in Essos – in the show, this is the setting for the Dothraki Sea. Khal Drogo rode across this land towards Vaes Dothrak with his new bride, Daenerys Targaryen, and her wicked brother Viserys.
Where the robin rests
Over millions of years, the Glens of Antrim took shape when Ice Age glaciers carved the landscape into a series of valleys and hills, creating a rich land that is now dotted with pretty villages and areas of incredible natural beauty. Glenariff, a valley of tumbling waterfalls and twinkling forest canopies, is the filming location for Runestone in Game of Thrones®. This is where Lord Yohn Royce takes Robyn Arryn, the Lord of the Eyrie, in order to raise him as his ward and where Santa Stark and Littlefinger watch his attempts at duelling.
The secret shadow in the Stormlands
The Cushendun Caves are over 400 million years old. Found along the Antrim coastline, near the cosy village of Cushendun, they look out over the stony beach and the turbulent sea. In Westeros, these caves are the site of a dark crime. This is where Melisandre summons her shadowy demon beneath Renly’s Camp, in order to murder Stannis’ brother in the name of the Lord of Light.
IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME
Call into the Corner House in Cushendun town for a warming lunch to refuel after a morning of exploring the caves.
Stop in Slaver’s Bay
Watch out – Murlough Bay is home to slavers! This stunning stretch of shoreline along Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route is where Tyrion Lannister and Jorah Mormont ran afoul of slavers on their way to Meereen. With views out towards Rathlin Island, see if you can spot the Scottish Islands lying in the North Channel.
IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME
Take in the breathtaking vista at the Fair Head crag where you can gaze out over the stormy North Sea and look back across miles of verdant green countryside.
Paying the iron price
Set sail across the seas, and prepare to come in to contact with some of the most fearsome people in Westeros. Ballintoy Harbour, a picturesque port nearby the town of Ballintoy, is also known as Pyke – the home of the infamous Ironborn. This is where Theon Greyjoy arrives in the capital of Lordsport after his many years away as Ned Stark’s vassal. Nearby, Ballintoy Beach is where Euron Greyjoy is drowned to become the king of the Iron Islands.
Swing out over the open ocean at the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Erected by fishermen more than 350 years ago, a flourishing fishing industry existed here until the 1960s.
Stride down the Kingsroad
Can you imagine anything more terrifying than fleeing from the Lannisters? But that’s just what Arya Stark did, as she escaped down the Kingsroad alongside the Night’s Watch. The Dark Hedges provides a superb backdrop for Arya’s flight – the beech trees, with their twisting trunks and rustling canopy far above, are over 200 years old. Walk this legendary road, and transport yourself to the Seven Kingdoms.
IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME
At the very end of the hedges lies Gracehill House – call in for dinner and a drink, and see another of the Game of Thrones® doors, commemorating Bran’s transformation into the Three-Eyed Raven.
The coast of Dorne, the beaches of Dragonstone and the lair of a Lannister fugitive – you’ll find all this and more in Northern Ireland.
At the mercy of the Sand Sisters
Two miles of golden sands and gentle lapping waves – that’s Portstewart Strand. It was here among the huge sand dunes and clumps of grass, that Jaime and Bronn found themselves captured by Dornish soldiers on the coast of Sunspear, and where Ellaria and her Sand Snake sisters conspired to start a war with the Lannisters.
Get yourself to Harry’s Shack in Portstewart – this Georgina Campbell favourite is the perfect place to dine on delectable seafood while you gaze out over the sun-dappled ocean.
The Temple and the Lord of Light
Downhill Beach is a stretch of spotless white sands, overlooked by Mussenden Temple, a replica of the Temple of Vesta in Rome. Here, tourists and locals alike converge to watch surfers take on the waves. But this immaculate beach has a darker side – this is where Stannis Baratheon rejects the seven old gods of Westeros. He is proclaimed as the champion of the Lord of Light by Melisandre, and enters Dragonstone into the War of the Five Kings.
Watch the skies
Keep your eyes peeled – dragons abound in Binevenagh! This mountain is where Daenerys and her dragon Drogon find refuge in the Dothraki Grasslands after they flee the fighting pits of Meereen. The mountain itself marks the very edge of the Antrim plateau, looking out over County Armagh and County Londonderry. Walk the trail, and take in unparalleled panoramic views that stretch for miles – on clear days, you can even make out the west coast of Scotland in the distance.
The lair of the Lightning Lord
Through the tangled woods and behind a gushing waterfall, Pollnagollum Cave in County Fermanagh is part of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark. Traverse the Belmore Forest trail, and visit the cave where the Brotherhood Without Banners shelter from the invading Lannister forces. Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie are captured by the rag-tag group as they try to reach Riverrun, and in the darkness of this cave, Sandor Clegane faces his trial-by-combat against the fearless and immortal Beric Dondarrion…