Take a short drive north of Belfast and you’ll find yourself on the Causeway Coastal Route – a spectacular road that laps around Northern Ireland's rocky coast, with waves crashing and distant views of Scotland; it’s no wonder HBO chose several locations along this stunning route as filming locations for hit TV show Game of Thrones.
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 on a guided tour from the fantastic Flip of Giant Tours Ireland. With a couple of detours, you will also come across the Doors of Thrones; these intricately carved doors feature iconic moments and scenes from Game of Thrones, and were created out of fallen trees from the Kingsroad (aka the Dark Hedges).
In Game of Thrones: A cove in the Stormlands
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
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 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 the cosy Mary McBrides pub, where the entry to the lavatories is Door of Thrones 8; be sure to get a stamp in your 'Journey of Doors Passport'!
In Game of Thrones: The Stormlands and Nagga's Hill, Old Wyk
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 a 2014 Vanity Fair Game of Thrones cast photoshoot. Be sure to visit the nearby Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and bravely cross the gap - 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
About the scene: Season 2 Episode 2 The Night Lands
Ballintoy Harbour first appears in this episode as Pyke and the Iron Islands.
About the scene: Season 4 Episode 2 The Lion and the Rose
The beach next to Ballintoy Harbour was also used as a filming location for the scene in the Iron Islands where Theon reaffirms his loyalty to his family by being baptised into the religion of the Drowned God.
Another part of Ballintoy beach was used to recreate the castle of 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
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
This location can also be seen earlier in the series when brothers Stannis and Renly meet 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, 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.