There are lots of things to do in Belfast and Northern Ireland but one of the most popular reasons to visit Northern Ireland is to experience the Game of Thrones tour locations across the country. Northern Ireland’s mystical and beautiful nature served as a backdrop for the popular series, and many fans love to visit these spots to take their turn at having the real Game of Thrones experience.
Due to Northern Ireland’s compact size, it is very feasible to do the Game of Thrones tour as a day trip from Belfast. You can either go with a registered tour provider or do your own DIY self-drive tour by hiring a car or using your own if you brought one over.
Here is a self-drive route to see all the Game of Thrones sights in Northern Ireland or a taster of what you can expect if you go on a Game of Thrones tour:
Our Game of Thrones Tour
Tollymore Forest Park
Enjoying a claim to fame as the first state forest park in Northern Ireland, Tollymore Forest covers an area of 1600 acres. It appeared in the first season of Game of Thrones as the lands by Winterfell and we suggest it as the first stop in our Game of Thrones tour.
It is possible to take part in a Tollymore Forest Trek, which is 2 miles (3.2 km) long. It is a guided walk that takes place at 10 am and 3 pm daily and describes some of the best parts of the forest and how they relate to Game of Thrones.
Castle Ward can be either part of a self-drive Game of Thrones tour or a day trip in its own right. Many people stop just to have a quick look at the set, but others like to explore the castle properly and learn about its history, as well as take part in some of the activities on offer there.
Walking around the castle, it is easy to remember different scenes from the series such as Bran’s fall from the castle or King Robert Baratheon’s arrival at Winterfell. Castle Ward was also used as Tywin Lannister’s Camp and Baelor’s Battlefield.
As well as the exterior of the castle, guests to Castle Ward can canoe with Jaime and Brienne, see the Hanging Tree and the towers on either side of the harbor.
Glens of Antrim/ Cushendun Caves
Located in the village of Cushendun, the beautiful caves are a great spot on your self drive Game of Thrones tour, and are accessible by footpath from the village. There’s some great photo opportunities, with the beautiful caves and sea to enjoy. The area was where Melisandre birthed the shadow creature, and the Glens of Antrim is where Ned Stark beheaded a deserter of the Night’s Watch.
This beautiful area of the country has views stretching over to the nearby Scottish Isles. It is home to rolling green hills, used as the destination for riding scenes throughout the series.
This small fishing harbour is close to Larryane and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. It is used as a filming location when Theon Greyjoy comes home to Lordsport Harbour in series two of the show. There is a sign at the harbour demonstrating the scene.
This is the one you’ve all been waiting for, isn’t it? The Dark Hedges is one of Northern Ireland’s most photographed sites. The beech tree avenue was planted by the Stuart family in the 18th century to impress visitors. Nearly 300 years later, they’re still leaving an impact on hundreds of tourists every day!
They feature in the series when Stark escapes from King’s Landing disguised as a boy with Yoren, Gendry and Hot Pie – who were about to join the Night’s Watch.
Located in Londonderry, Portstweart Strand is managed by the National Trust and is one of the best beaches in the country. One of the highlights is Mussenden Temple, which is the area where Dragonstone Castle in Game of Thrones stands. Dragonstone Castle is completely built in post-production, but it’s on this spot that it is constructed.
The beach is where Red Priestess burns wooden statues to gather support for King Stannis Baratheon and the strand was the coast of Dorne in season five, where Jaime Lannister was asked to bring his niece Myrcella to King’s Landing.
Located at the peninsula of Magilligan, Binvenagh’s steep cliffs and plateau stand over Bellarena, Downhill, Castlerock and Benone beach. It was used in season five of Game of Thrones, when Daenerys Targaryen was rescued by her dragon while being persecuted by the Sons of the Harpy.
The interior scenes of Game of Thrones were filmed back in Belfast, at the Titanic Film Studios. Visitors aren’t permitted to enter, but it’s possible to feel the glitz and glamour from outside! If you want to learn more about filming Game of Thrones, walking or Segway tours are available in the city.
Once you’re done, you’ll be hungry! Check out our recommendations for the best restaurants in Belfast!