Forbes names Ireland one of the world’s most cinematic destinations

Leading global media company Forbes has just named Ireland one of the world’s most cinematic destinations.

Forbes is an American business magazine that is published bi-weekly. It leads the industry in sectors such as finance, marketing, technology, and lifestyle.

On 28 December 2019, Forbes named Ireland one of the world’s most cinematic destinations in the world.

This is in no small part due to its gorgeous scenery that has compelled producers and directors of all walks of life to harbour onto the Emerald Isle and produce a plethora of international TV and film smash hits.

Colossal spike in tourism following Game of Thrones

Ireland has become one of the world's most cinematic destinations thanks in part to Game of Thrones

Who can forget the impact that Game of Thrones (2011-2019) has had on pop culture around the world? Hardly a person on earth hasn’t heard of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy franchise.

Much of the TV adaption of Martin’s novels was produced and filmed in Northern Ireland. The beloved series began filming in 2010 and continued throughout the course of the show.

The Dark Hedges were a filming location in Game of Thrones
The Dark Hedges

Northern Ireland attracts thousands of people every year to popular Game of Thrones filming locations such as the Cushenden Caves, County Antrim (where Melisandre gave birth to a dark spirit), the Dark Hedges, County Antrim (known as the King’s Road), and Castle Ward in County Down (home of the Starks at Winterfell).

Since then, huge murals, a stained-glass trail, and exhibitions dedicated to the show have risen around Belfast and Northern Ireland to commemorate the incredible success that it has had over the course of the last decade.

Star Wars films boom tourism even further in 2015

Skellig Michael appears in Star Wars films

Forbes also names Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) as an influential part of why Ireland has become one of the world’s most cinematic destinations.

Some of the film was captured at Skellig Michael, Portmagee in County Kerry. Follow-up films Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) again saw Skellig Michael return as an important filming location.

Ireland has become one of the world's most cinematic destinations thanks in part to Skellig Michael's use in Star Wars

The island is difficult to reach as boats don’t get out during bad weather – which is expectedly common in Ireland, proving frustrating for tourists wanting to visit.

But officials have now considered closing the island to tourists altogether as numbers have soared so quickly that they are becoming more and more unsustainable.

Innumerable other film and TV hits were filmed in Ireland

Derry Girls is a hit TV series filmed in Northern Ireland
Derry Girls cast

Game of Thrones and Star Wars only scratch the surface, as there have been too many popular Hollywood successes and TV hits filmed here to count.

Lisa McGee’s Derry Girls became the most-watched series in Northern Ireland since modern records began, and before long became internationally available on Netflix. Huge murals dedicated to the show and its cast have since been painted in Derry, where the show is set.

Ireland has become one of the world's most cinematic destinations thanks in part to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

We shouldn’t forget The Fall, which ran from 2013 to 2016 and was filmed across various parts of the North. There was also 2007’s P.S I Love You that featured gorgeous landscapes in County Wicklow, and 2009’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince that saw Harry and Dumbledore facing evil on the seas facing the Cliffs of Moher, County Clare.

There’s no doubt that Ireland is one of the world’s most cinematic destinations, for its magnificent scenery, diverse landscapes, and rich cultural heritage make it a complex and intricate place to film.

If you’re looking for more places to see and explore, then check out our Irish Bucket List, which includes many more filming locations in the Emerald Isle.

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James Lavery grew up satiating his lust for travel with trips around the various cities and coastal regions of Ireland. Although he has since ventured far and wide for bigger bites of culture, he continues to sing golden praises of the Emerald Isle wherever he goes. When he isn't geeking over TV sitcom Friends or Disney films, James is writing or designing blog posts for numerous companies all over the UK, Ireland, and further afield.