Adding to the rich tapestry of one of the most popular shows of all time, these Game of Thrones filming locations to visit in Northern Ireland are certainly worth a visit.
It seems that ever since Game of Thrones used various locations around Northern Ireland as filming locations, the region has become a prime spot for TV and film productions.
This has been a wonderful shot in the arm for tourism in Northern Ireland and has put the north in the spotlight for reasons it deserves – for example, beautiful sweeping landscapes, talented actors and crew, and some of the friendliest folks you’ll find.
So, let’s take a look at the prime Game of Thrones filming locations to visit in Northern Ireland.
Ireland Before You Die’s fun facts about Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland:
- While many scenes in Game of Thrones were filmed on location in Northern Ireland, some were shot on set at Belfast‘s Titanic Studios.
- While in the North’s capital, many of the cast and crew enjoyed a pint in The Spaniard, one of the best bars in Belfast.
- The city also has a trail of stained glass windows depicting scenes from the show. The trail is one of the top free things to do in Belfast.
- The success of Game of Thrones has helped establish Northern Ireland as a film and television hub. Other productions filmed here recently include TV shows Line of Duty and Derry Girls, and movies The Northman and High-Rise.
10. Castle Ward, County Down – Winterfell
Fans of the show will instantly recognise Castle Ward, near Strangford Lough, in County Down as the location for Winterfell, the seat of House Stark.
This historic farmyard and National Trust property was transformed into Winterfell to bring us some of the most memorable episodes and scenes from the show – for example, the show’s pilot.
In fact, it was recently named one of the most majestic filming locations around the world. This is one location you should definitely check out when visiting the area.
Address: Strangford, Downpatrick BT30 7BA
READ: Irish estate named among most majestic film locations in the world.
9. The Dark Hedges, County Antrim – Kingsroad
The Dark Hedges were always a beautiful spot in County Antrim, but when Game of Thrones used it as the filming location for Kingsroad, the area received a huge spike in tourism and visitors.
As a result, the Dark Hedges have become one of the most photographed landmarks in Northern Ireland. If you want to get the real Game of Thrones feel when visiting, head to the hedges when it’s snowing!
Address: Bregagh Rd, Stranocum, Ballymoney BT53 8PX
READ: IB4UD’s guide to visiting the Dark Hedges.
8. Ballintoy Harbour, County Antrim – the Iron Islands of Westeros
Ballintoy Harbour is one of the most stunning and picturesque regions in Northern Ireland. Now, it is recognised as one of the filming locations for the Iron Islands in Game of Thrones.
The area was used for a number of sweeping exterior shots as well as the location for Theon Greyjoy’s return to the Iron Islands and where he first meets his sister Yara. This is a stunning location with a rich history that should certainly be on your NI Bucket List.
Address: Harbour Rd, Ballintoy, Ballycastle BT54 6NA
7. Tollymore Forest, County Down – the haunted forest
A nature lovers’ dream, Tollymore Forest Park is a beautiful spot in County Down with close proximity and easy access to Northern Ireland’s stunning Mourne Mountains.
Tollymore Forest was the first natural site to be used in the show as the haunted forest.
Address: Bryansford Rd, Newcastle BT33 0PR
6. Cushendun Caves, County Antrim – the caves of King’s Landing and the Stormlands of House Baratheon
One of the more unique locations along the Causeway Coastal Route, the Cushendun Caves are truly something special as they formed by natural erosion over the course of 400 million years.
One of many locations around the north coast in the show, this spot is most memorable for the season eight battle scene between Jamie Lannister and Euron Greyjoy!
5. Dunluce Castle, County Antrim – House Greyjoy
As far as ancient Irish castles go, Dunluce Castle is one of the most mind-blowing. With its coastal location and ruins, Dunluce Castle posed as House Greyjoy in season 2 of Game of Thrones.
While CGI was used to boost its appearance, you’ll recognise this location from when Theon Greyjoy returns home to persuade his father, Balon, to aid Robb Stark in the war.
Address: 87 Dunluce Rd, Bushmills BT57 8UY
4. Downhill Strand, County Derry – Burning of the Seven
This stunning coastal stretch in Derry was used in Game of Thrones for the ‘Burning of the Seven’ scene that you might remember from season two.
The beach itself and the mighty Mussenden Temple that overlooks the ocean also served as the face for Dragonstone.
3. Murlough Bay, County Antrim – Slavers Bay, Stormlands, and the Iron Islands
Set between Torr Head and Fair Head on the north coast, Murlough Bay was used for several scenes in Game of Thrones.
For example, when Ser Jorah Mormont and Tyrion Lannister land ashore after being attacked by the Stonemen.
Address: Murlough Bay, Co. Antrim
2. Fair Head, County Antrim – the Dragonstone cliffs
Fair Head is the setting for a number of pivotal scenes throughout the series. For example, these incredible cliffs featured the castle of Dragonstone in season seven.
Another time you’ll spot this majestic location is when Melisandre tells Varys he will die in Westeros, leaving him disturbed and shaken.
Address: Ballycastle BT54 6RD
1. Larrybane Quarry, County Antrim – Renly Baratheon’s Camp
As you can tell from this list, the north coast played host to a lot of Game of Thrones filming locations to visit in Northern Ireland, and Larrybane Quarry is another one of them.
Just a short distance from the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, the Larrybane Quarry in Ballycastle served as part of Renly Baratheon’s Camp.
It is here that Brienne of Tarth joins forces with Renly Baratheon in the War of the Five Kings and where she is subsequently named to his Kingsguard.
Address: Ballycastle BT54 6LS
MORE: Our guide to the best Game of Thrones tours in Ireland.
Portstewart Strand: One of the most beautiful beaches in the north, fans will recognise this Portstewart beach as the location for the Coast of Dorne.
Inch Abbey: Located on the north bank of the Quoile River on the outskirts of Downpatrick, Inch Abbey is a ruined Cistercian monastery that acts as the location for Riverrun and several Riverlands scenes.
Slemish Mountains: The Shillanavogy Valley that sweeps below the Slemish Mountains was used to portray the Dothraki Sea in Game of Thrones.
Glenariff Forest Park: Tucked away in the Glens of Antrim, this is one of the most incredible locations in Northern Ireland. It was this area that was used to portray Runestone in the show and where Robyn Arryn tried his hand at duelling.
Your questions answered about Game of Thrones filming locations to visit in Northern Ireland
In this section, we answer some of our readers’ most frequently asked questions and those that appear often in online searches about this topic.
Where was Game of Thrones filmed?
Game of Thrones was mainly filmed in various locations in Northern Ireland, including the iconic landscapes of Counties Antrim and Down. However, the show also used filming locations in Croatia, Iceland, Malta, Morocco, Scotland, Spain, and other European countries.
What was the castle used in Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland?
The main castle that people will remember from the show is the majestic Dunluce Castle in County Antrim.
What are the main filming locations for Game of Thrones in Ireland?
We have compiled a list of the top filming locations in Northern Ireland for Game of Thrones above. Other than the numerous natural sites, the show was also filmed at the Titanic Studios in Belfast.
Was any of Game of Thrones filmed in Dublin?
No. All filming locations for the show are in the north.