Top Game of Thrones® filming locations in Northern Ireland and how to find them

by Rachel Ricks
Friday 23 February 2018

Not far from Belfast and you’re out on the Causeway Coastal Route – a spectacular road that laps around the rocky coast, with waves crashing and distant views of Scotland. It’s no wonder many scenes for Game of Thrones® were filmed in Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK...

Map of Game of Thrones® locations on the Causeway Coast

You can explore the key locations on the route, either independently by car using the Game of Thrones® Filming Locations Northern Ireland app, or like we did with a tour guide such as Flip at the fantastic Giant Tours Ireland. You will also come across the Doors of Thrones, carved out of fallen trees from the Kingsroad (Dark Hedges in real life). Let's go!

In Game of Thrones®: A cove in the Stormlands

Game of Thrones - Cushendun Caves, Northern Ireland, A Cove in the Stormlands
copyright Northern Ireland Tourist Board

About the scene: Season 2 Episode 4 Garden of Bones
After Stannis Baratheon fails to get Renly to accept him as the true King, he orders Davos Seaworth to smuggle Melisandre ashore to a cove situated below Renly’s camp. There, Davos watches in horror as the red priestess gives birth to the shadow creature which ultimately kills Renly.

In real life: Cushendun Caves

Mary McBrides Pub, Cushendun, Northern Ireland
copyright Northern Ireland Tourist Board

Cushendun is a lovely spot on the spectacular Causeway Coastal Route in Northern Ireland. Centuries before the village was built, Cushendun was a safe landing place and harbour for the frequent travellers between Ireland and Scotland. The caves, formed over 400 million years ago, are easily accessible by foot along the coast from the village. Stop off for a drink or lunch in cosy Mary McBrides pub, where the entry to the lavatories is Door of Thrones 8, so be sure to get a stamp in your 'Journey of Doors Passport'!

In Game of Thrones®: The Stormlands and Nagga's Hill, Old Wyk

Game of Thrones film scene location, Northern Ireland
Using the Game of Thrones® Filming Locations Northern Ireland app on location. Photo credit: VisitBritain

About the scene: Season 2 Episode 3 What Is Dead May Never Die
Renly Baratheon and his Queen, Margaery Tyrell watch a tourney where her brother Ser Loras Tyrell is bested by an unknown knight. Revealed as Brienne of Tarth, who has joined the forces of King Renly in the War of the Five Kings, she is granted her wish to be named to Renly’s Kingsguard. Later, Lady Catelyn Stark arrives in the camp to negotiate an alliance between Renly and her son, Robb Stark, the King of the North.

About the scene: Season 6 Episode 5 The Door
Larrybane was also used as the location for the Kingsmoot on the Iron Islands, where Yara Greyjoy and her uncle Euron Greyjoy make their cases for the Salt Throne.

In real life: Larrybane

Larrybane on the Causeway Coastal Route is a scenic location sheltered by cliffs. Get a spectacular view of this coastline including Sheep Island, which also served as the dramatic backdrop for the Vanity Fair Game of Thrones® cast photoshoot, and visit the nearby Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge that you can cross – if you dare!

Stop for lunch

Ursa Minor Bakehouse in Ballycastle is an independently run cafe-bakery with delicious vegetarian meals and homebaked treats.

In Game of Thrones®: Lordsport Harbour and Pyke

Ballintoy Harbour where Game of Thrones scenes were filmed
The Game of Thrones® filming location intepretation board at Ballintoy Harbour. Photo credit: VisitBritain

About the scene: Season 2 Episode 2 The Night Lands
Ballintoy Harbour serves as Pyke and the Iron Islands and it's in this episode we first see it.

About the scene: Season 4 Episode 2 The Lion and the Rose
The beach nearby to Ballintoy Harbour was used for the filming location in the Iron Islands where Theon reaffirms his loyalty to his family by being baptised into the religion of the Drowned God.

Part of Ballintoy beach was also used for Dragonstone including the scene in this episode when Melisandre presides over the burning of several of Stannis’s bannermen who have refused to cease their open worship of The Seven.

In real life: Ballintoy

Ballintoy is a village with a small fishing harbour located at the end of a steep and winding narrow road, which passes by the entrance to Larrybane and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Ballintoy beach is located beside the harbour and you can reach it via the road leading down to the harbour on the right-hand side.

In Game of Thrones®: Slavers Bay and Renly's Camp

Murlough Bay, Game of Thrones filming location in Northern Ireland
copyright Northern Ireland Tourist Board

About the scene: Season 5 Episode 6 Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken
Tyrion Lannister and Ser Jorah Mormont have been attacked by Stonemen on the Old Valyrian Canal, have lost their boat and made it ashore to continue their journey on foot. It is here they are captured by slavers and taken by the leader to the fighting pits in Meereen.

About the scene: Season 2 Episode 4 Garden of Bones
It was here that brothers Stannis and Renly met to debate each of their claims to the throne, with deadly consequences...

In real life: Murlough Bay

A hidden gem off the main Causeway Coastal Route, accessible by car and then by foot, you cross a cattle grid and go down a steep winding path to the coastal path and beach. Here you get amazing views of Rathlin Island, as well as the Mull of Kintyre and the Scottish Islands which lie across the North Channel sea.

In Game of Thrones®: The Kingsroad

About the scene: Season 2 Episode 1 The North Remembers
Following the death of her father, Ned Stark, Arya escapes King’s Landing disguised as a boy. Travelling on the Kingsroad in the back of a cart along with Yoren, Gendry and Hot Pie – all new recruits for the Night’s Watch – Arya starts her long and arduous journey north.

In real life: The Dark Hedges

One of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland, this beautiful avenue of beech trees was planted by the Stuart family in the 18th century and intended to impress visitors as they approached the entrance to Gracehill House. Centuries later the trees remain a magnificent sight and have become known as the Dark Hedges. Pop into Gracehill House bar and restaurant to see Door of Thrones 7.

 

With many thanks to Discover Northern Ireland and Flip at Giant Tours Ireland.

Author

Rachel Ricks

Rachel is Britain's biggest fan so she couldn't possibly choose her favourite place to visit in the country! From hiking in the wild and windswept Highlands of Scotland, to moseying around the shops in Brighton's Lanes, Rachel has done it and written about it.

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