After a long wait for fans of the hit TV show, Game of Thrones is now back on our TVs, and with it comes countless twists and an array of amazing scenery to enjoy. While several countries are used in the filming of Game of Thrones, some of the most popular locations are based in Northern Ireland, including the location for the first-ever scene on the show. So, to get your Game of Thrones juices flowing, here are some of the most popular Game of Thrones locations to consider for your ultimate Northern Ireland tour.
7 Great Northern Ireland Game of Thrones Locations to Visit
1 Tollymore Forest Park
The location of the very first scene of Game of Thrones in which the Night’s Watch find dismembered bodies in the snow, Tollymore Forest Park is a stunning park nestled in the heart of the Mourne Mountains in County Down. With great views of the Mournes and several picturesque walks and cycle trails to enjoy, you’ll have plenty to keep you occupied when visiting Tollymore. The park was also the location at which the Starks found the direwolf pups at Altavaddy Bridge, which is a short walk from the iconic Stepping Stones that take you across the Shimna River.
2 Castle Ward
The home of Winterfell, Castle Ward is located in the picturesque Strangford Lough and is one of the best-known Game of Thrones locations in Northern Ireland. You can enjoy the ultimate Game of Thrones experience by visiting Castle Ward and trying your hand at archery as you dress up as a character from the show and do your very best Jon Snow impression. The area is perfect for a scenic walk, while you can also enjoy a leisurely cycle of the grounds of the 16th-Century Castle Ward.
3 Ballintoy Harbour
Ballintoy Harbour is one of several Northern Ireland locations used for the Iron Islands, appearing in season two as Lordsport Harbour where Theon Greyjoy sails into. This was also the spot where Theon first meets his sister. The picturesque harbour is a must-see when visiting Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast, with Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and the iconic Giant’s Causeway both a short distance away.
4 Downhill Beach
A location that seems to have a growing significance in the show, Downhill Beach is the location of Dragonstone, a land that belonged to Stannis Baratheon. It was here where Melisandre burned the effigies of the Seven Gods, while most recently Daenerys Targaryen landed with her army to plan her approach to Kings Landing. This picturesque beach is part of a seven-mile stretch of coastline, with the spectacular Mussenden Temple atop the cliff.
5 The Dark Hedges
One of the most iconic Northern Irish Game of Thrones locations, the Dark Hedges is the location for Kingsroad and perhaps best known for Arya’s escape from King’s Landing. The trees hit the headlines last year when a storm destroyed some of them, but this resulted in the wood being used to create a series of doors that now form one of Ireland’s ultimate pub crawls, the Doors of Thrones.
6 Shane’s Castle
The 14th-Century Shane’s Castle is the location for the dungeons at Kings Landing. The picturesque castle is located on the shores of Lough Neagh, while Lough Neagh itself was also used as a location for a Summer Sea where Jorah steals a boat in season six and takes Tyrion captive to find Daenerys.
7 Audley’s Castle
Another popular castle, Audley’s Castle and surrounding fields on the banks of Strangford Lough is the location of Rob Stark’s camp. Audley’s Field was also the location where Jamie Lannister was both captured and released. The area was also used as a location for the movie Dracula Untold, so a visit to Audley’s Castle is a must for TV and movie buffs.
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Images via Tourism Ireland