Game of Thrones is perhaps one of the most loved series of all time and millions were hooked on the TV show, eagerly anticipating each new episode. The award-winning TV series won hordes of fans both domestically and internationally. Did you know that Ireland hosted much of this filming, and there are many Game of Thrones filming locations in Ireland that you can visit yourself?
We’ve put together some of the most popular Game of Throne spots in Ireland so you can go to them during your visit to the country, whether you’re on a road trip around Ireland or just have a few days. There are 13 on this list so you can plan the ultimate GOT trip or visit your top favorite ones!
Without further delay, here are 13 places Game of Thrones was filmed in Ireland that you’ll recognize from the show.
What to Know About Game of Thrones Locations in Ireland
Here are a few quick things to know before going in search of your favorite location.
Where was Game of Thrones Filmed in Ireland?
The show brings alive a world filled with warring factions, dragons, White Walkers, giants, and vivid characters that you will fall in love with over and over again. Set in fictional continents known as Westeros and Essos, Game Of Thrones has everything you could wish to see in a fantasy story or movie.
But for those asking, “Where in Northern Ireland is Game of Thrones filmed?” we’re proud to present the multiple filming locations in this beautiful part of the world.
The filming headquarters for this show were at Belfast Studios, but producers often took scenes out into the wild, using natural landscapes to bring these fictional characters and worlds to life.
Game of Thrones Tours in Ireland
Visiting Ireland without a car, or just don’t feel like driving in Ireland on your own? You can join plenty of tours to have someone else be a tour guide while you relax and take pictures. Many of them include other popular tourist attractions as well, so you’ll get in plenty of sightseeing!
- This GOT tour from Dublin includes stops in Belfast, Giant’s Causeway, and filming locations like the Dark Hedges and the Antrim Coast.
- You’ll love this interactive Winterfell Trek that lets you put on winter cloaks, see video clips to see how certain scenes were filmed in the very place you’re standing at, and walk through crumbling 12th-century ruins.
- This Northern Ireland tour will take you to the Dark Hedges, Cushendun Caves, and more while you learn fun facts about the show and even get to dress up in costumes for pictures if you want.
13 Game of Thrones Filming Locations in Ireland
Here are some of the top Game of Thrones locations you can see for yourself.
1. The Dark Hedges
One of the earliest and most popular Game of Thrones shooting locations is the Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland. The site appeared in the first episode of season two, King’s Road, and this was where Arya Stark disguises herself as a boy and escapes King’s Landing with several other members of the Night’s Watch.
Since airing, the eerie row of trees has become one of the most popular attractions in the region and sits on many people’s Ireland bucket lists. It is often included in Coastal Causeway tours, making for a wonderful day trip from Belfast or Dublin.
The UNESCO-listed Coastal Causeway is a must-see Irish landmark. When touring, you will get to see the magical location along with several other Game of Thrones filming sites. You will also learn more about the tree-shrouded Dark Hedges road and get insider gossip about popular characters with a guide.
The Dark Hedges is one of the most popular places where Game of Thrones was filmed. However, local authorities have recently banned non-essential traffic to protect the trees from damage in degradation because of its popularity. You can park at several places across the street and then walk to the Dark Hedges.
Location: Bregagh Rd, Stranocum, Ballymoney
2. Dunluce Castle
Several important scenes from Game of Thrones season two were filmed nearby at Dunluce Castle. You can find this attraction in County Antrim, which is two hours north of Dublin and 20 minutes west of Ballintoy Harbour by car.
Keep in mind that the show heavily embellished the structure before filming. So don’t expect a replica of the Greyjoys’ tower which saw the torture of Theon Greyjoy. While Theon may never want to see this island again, this is a lovely place to visit on your Northern Ireland trip to experience the true essence of life in Ireland.
Game of Thrones isn’t the only reason this castle is famous, though. Another fun Ireland fact is the castle was also chosen to feature in the centerfold of “Houses of the Holy,” Led Zeppelin’s 1973 album.
Although it’s a small attraction, visitors can explore each of the castle rooms (including information boards) and take magnificent pictures of the views and the palace itself.
Location: 87 Dunluce Rd, Bushmills
3. Pollnagollum Cave
Yet another natural attraction and one of the popular Game of Thrones Ireland filming locations is Pollnagollum Cave (the name is Irish for “hole of the doves”). This marble arch cave is in Bellmore Forest and is Ireland’s longest cave.
Pollnagollum was used as the ‘Brothers without Banners’ hideout spot in Hollow Hill. Viewers may recognize it from scenes where Arya was taken, along with Gendry and Hot Pie, after ‘The Hound’ (aka Sandor Clegane) reveals her true identity.
To see the cave, a walk through Bellmore Forest is needed, and this is a great activity for anyone who enjoys forests, waterfalls, and caves. The actual cave has a beautiful waterfall and viewing deck, and a picnic is a fabulous way to enjoy this spot.
4. Ward Castle
Before Game of Thrones appeared on the scene, this 18th-century National Trust property had already been used as a filming location for a few small shows and movies. However, this went to a whole new level when they chose this for one of the Game of Thrones filming locations in Ireland.
Castle Ward was used as Winterfell in Game of Thrones season one. So it is perhaps one of the most easily recognized Ireland Game of Thrones filming locations that are shown on tours. Apparently, it took eight weeks to set the location up for filming, and that was before any of the scenes were even shot.
It is also, without a doubt, the most beautiful. Located in County Down, Northern Ireland, you can find Castle Ward on the Strangford Lough shoreline. You can visit the castle and enter for a small charge, and live out your own GOT fantasies.
Location: Strangford, Downpatrick
5. Downhill Beach and Mussenden Temple
Downhill Beach was transformed into Dragonstone for the popular TV show that the world loves so much.
In season two, Episode 7, there is a scene where Lady Melisandre burns the statues of the Seven Gods of Westeros. This scene was filmed on Downhill Beach in County Londonderry, and the beach is surrounded by green cliffs on one side and the Causeway Coast ocean on the other.
Overlooking the beach is the Mussenden Temple, which was also used in the TV show as part of the Dragonstone exterior. This spot wasn’t seen in the films, but the crew did use the magnificent views as it presented the ideal angle for filming.
A visit here offers the chance to enjoy this Blue Flag Beach, stroll down this gorgeous coastline, and even partake in a few watersports if you’re feeling adventurous.
Location: Sea Coast Rd, Coleraine
6. Tollymore Forest Park
Tollymore Forest Park was an obvious choice for Game of Thrones filming in Ireland with an entry right out of a medieval fairytale and long trails through a thick forest. There are ancient-looking bridges, rivers and creeks, and plenty of natural beauty throughout the park.
The show used the park for a number of sets in season one. Fans will definitely recognize parts as Wolfswood outside Winterfell, but this location was also used as the haunted forest (you may also love reading about all the haunted places in Ireland).
The park is extensive, and there are kids’ playgrounds and fantastic picnic spots too. It’s a great place to bring the family and spend the day exploring things to do in Ireland with kids. But it’s also one of the best Game of Thrones Ireland locations to take a guided tour where you can dress up as if you’re in the show and experience all of the filming spots.
Location: Bryansford Rd, Newcastle
7. Shane’s Castle
Game of Thrones Ireland castle locations are perhaps the most impressive, but sadly, many castles aren’t open to the public. This includes Shane’s Castle since this is actually a working farm owned and run by the O’Neill family.
However, the castle estate does open to the public several times a year, for special festivals and events. The actual castle burned down in a fire in 1816, but the ruins still remain on the grounds, along with the railway and Camellia House.
The castle has a large network of underground tunnels, which proved incredibly useful as one of the many Game of Thrones shooting locations in Ireland. The grounds are also where the jousting tournament was filmed.
8. Ballintoy Harbour
In Game of Thrones, the Iron Islands seems quite harsh and unforgiving. However, the home of the Greyjoys is actually the Ballintoy Harbour in Northern Ireland. While it may look just as dramatic as the islands, the destination is much cheerier, especially when the sun is out.
Ballintoy Harbor was used for multiple scenes in Game of Thrones, including Theon Greyjoy’s baptism and his first meeting with his sister Yara. It’s also the place where Euron drowns and is rebirthed. Mostly, it was used as Pyke’s exterior and main port, Lordsport.
The small fishing harbor is found in the charming village of Ballintoy and is often admired by visitors for its picturesque scenes and quaint village surroundings. This harbor provides access to mesmerizing beach walks.
Another nearby attraction is the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, which should be visited at least once while in Ireland.
Location: Ballintoy Village
9. Cushendun Caves
In season two, Cushendun Caves was seen as a location where Lady Melisandre gave birth to a shadowy creature. This was a powerful scene and an important part of the story. So of course, it needed to be filmed in an equally powerful location.
These caves are 400 million years old, and they are a stunning part of the Northern Irish coastline. The scenes here are dramatic, and walking through the caves is an experience you won’t soon forget.
Even if you’re traveling with a group of friends who have never seen an episode of Game of Thrones, a visit to these Game of Thrones filming locations in Ireland is sure to be a hit.
Note – These caves are next to a hotel, so the parking right next to the caves is reserved for those guests. You’ll need to park a few minutes away and walk here.
Location: Cushendun, County Antrim
10. Murlough Bay
This hidden gem of a bay is another location where Game of Thrones filmed parts of the Iron Islands — specifically, Slaver’s Bay. Scenes shot here were ones of Theon meeting up with Yara on horseback as he headed home to Pyke.
Viewers also got a glimpse of Murlough Bay in season two, episode 9, while Davos Seaworth was being shipwrecked following the Battle of the Blackwater. And then again in season five, episode 6, when slavers capture Jorah Mormont and Tyrion Lannister.
The bay is in a quiet and undisturbed cove, and it’s a lovely place to enjoy views over Rathlin Island and the Scottish Islands, go swimming or windsurfing, or simply admire the surrounding mountains and cliffs.
Location: County Antrim
11. Fair Head
Northern Ireland Game of Thrones locations provide some of the most dramatic scenery in the show — producers really did know what they were doing when they chose them. Fair Head is known to be Northern Ireland’s tallest cliff face, so it makes sense that the scenes here would be exquisite.
This cliff face enjoyed its TV debut in season seven, episode 3. The iconic scene was Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen (with her dragon) finally meeting for the first time, and the spot seemed to be a perfect choice.
This filming brought the cliffs much more attention and tourism, which is good because the views and mythology here are enough to warrant a visit from locals and tourists alike.
Location: County Antrim
12. Larrybane Quarry
A few of the Game of Thrones Northern Ireland locations don’t actually look anything like they do in the show. Special effects and editing mean that anything can be changed, and a lot of that has been done with scenes shot at Larrybane Quarry.
So you may not see the exact GOT scenery that other locations offer, but Larrybane did serve as quite an important film set for the show. This was where producers set up the fictional Renly Baratheon’s Camp and plenty of fans visit for this reason alone.
The quarry offers its own attractions outside of the show’s significance, though. There is a tremendous atmosphere here, with breathtaking views as well. Plus, it’s an overspill car park for the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and incredibly close to Giant’s Causeway. So it’s easy to plan a Northern Ireland road trip and add this stop to your itinerary.
13. Portstewart Strand
This is well-known as one of the best beaches in Northern Ireland, and it proved to be a striking location for Game of Thrones filming.
The beach was used as the Dornish coast in season five. Those tuned in would have seen Jamie Lannister and Ser Bronn come ashore here just before they came across an attack by Dornish soldiers. It’s also where we see Ellaria and the Sand Snakes secretly plotting their war against the Lannisters.
The beach is famous, not just for its link to the show but also for the stunning sand dunes and beautiful shoreline. It can get busy, so if you’re visiting, try and plan it early, or you may have to park away from the beach and enjoy a bit of a walk.
Location: Portstewart, County Londonderry
Which Game of Thrones filming locations in Ireland are you most excited to visit?