10 Places To Explore #Doorofthrones In Northern Ireland

Game of Thrones® Season 6 has ended and fans everywhere have all been gripped by HBO’s fantasy TV show. You don’t have to travel far to see why HBO chose Northern Ireland as the perfect place to film Game of Thrones®. From authentic medieval buildings to beautiful landscapes and far-reaching views, Northern Ireland is an ideal filming location.

Episode 4-Blakes of the Hollow Over the last ten weeks, Tourism NI and Tourism Ireland unveiled a series of ten intricately carved doors, depicting moments inspired by the current season and referencing key scenes and events from the latest episode in a campaign known as #DoorOfThrones.

The doors have been carved from trees blown down in Storm Gertrude earlier in the year at the Dark Hedges in Co Antrim which serves as the backdrop for the Kingsroad, perhaps the most iconic Game of Thrones® location in Northern Ireland.

The wood from the fallen trees has been salvaged and was carved into legacy pieces marking each episode, demonstrating the connection between the show and Northern Ireland. The impressive pieces of art are hanging in pubs and other venues in Northern Ireland near filming locations where iconic scenes took place, giving visitors a brand new Game of Thrones® Territory experience to follow.

1: The Cuan, Strangford, Co. Down
Nearby Filming Location: Castle Ward and Audley’s Castle Locations

Castle Ward, which overlooks the beautiful Strangford Lough, may be more familiar as Winterfell and was used for pivotal scenes in Season 1. Inside this beautiful 820 acre walled demesne you will find the spectacular house, an exotic sunken garden and a haunting woodland. Audley’s Field within this demesne was used in Season 2: Episode 4.

2: Fiddler’s Green, Portaferry, Co. Down
Nearby Filming Location: Quintin Bay

Quintin Bay is about 2 miles east of the small town of Portaferry on the Ards Peninsula and home to Quintin Castle, one of the few occupied Anglo-Norman castles in Ireland built in 1184. It served as the location for Stokeworth in Season 5: Episode 2.

Episode 5-Frank Owens Bar, Limavady3: Percy French, Newcastle, Co. Down
Nearby Filming Location: Tollymore Forest

Tollymore Forest Park, which was featured in the first episode of Season 1, covers an area almost 630 hectares at the foot of the beautiful Mourne Mountains. This romantic forest is home to trees, woodlands, streams, grottos and caves – and offers panoramic views of the sea at nearby Newcastle.

4: Blakes of the Hollow, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh
Nearby Filming Location: Pollnagollum Caves

Pollnagollum Cave in Belmore Forest is part of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark in County Fermanagh. The cave is fed by a waterfall and swells to a torrent during harsh weather. If you fancy catching a glimpse, you can follow the Belmore Forest walk which leads to a viewing point for the cave. The cave was used in Season 3: Episode 4 as Hollow Hill in the Riverlands.

5: Frank Owens Bar, Limavady, Co. Derry
Nearby Filming Location: Downhill Beach & Binevenagh

One of the most iconic locations, Downhill Beach is an 11km stretch of sand and surf located on the Causeway Coast and used in Season 2: Episode 1 as Dragonstone. This magnificent location is home to Mussenden – a tiny temple perched dramatically on a 120ft cliff top, high above the Atlantic Ocean. Binevenagh marks the western extent of the Antrim Plateau and was the shooting location for the Dothraki Grasslands in Season 5: Episode 10.

6: Fullerton Arms, Ballintoy, Co. Antrim
Nearby Location: Ballintoy Harbour and Larrybane

Ballintoy Harbour is situated in one of the most picturesque parts of the North Antrim Coast between the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. This stunning location has become synonymous with Pyke and the Iron Islands in Season 2 and was also represented as Dragonstone in Season 4: Episode 2. Larrybane bay is one of the most sheltered and scenic locations along the Causeway Coast.

Episode 1-The Cuan7: Gracehill House, Stranocum, Co. Antrim
Nearby Filming Location: The Dark Hedges

The Dark Hedges is a beautiful avenue of beech trees, planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century. Two hundred years later, the Dark Hedges remain a magnificent sight and have become one of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland after being shown in Season 2: Episode 1 as the Kingsroad.

8: Mary McBrides, Cushendun, Co. Antrim
Nearby Filming Location: Cushendun Caves

The caves at Cushendun were formed over a period of 400 million of years and are a product of extreme weather conditions. They can be found just beyond this beautiful coastal village next to the Cave House and used in Season 2: Episode 4 as a cove in the Stormlands.

9: Ballygally Castle, Ballygally, Co. Antrim
Nearby Filming Location: Cairncastle and the Glens of Antrim

The serene countryside of Cairncastle in Larne, County Antrim, has played host to some of the most memorable scenes in Game of Thrones® history such as in Season 1: Episode 1 and also The Neck on the road to Moat Cailin in Season 5: Episode 3. A location near Glenariff in the Glens of Antrim is used for Runestone in Season 5: Episode 1

10: The Dark Horse, Belfast, Co. Antrim

The last door is a tribute to all the work and filming that has taken place in Belfast. Many of the dedicated Game of Thrones® tours depart from the city and cover the various filming locations throughout Northern Ireland.

There are now 22 Game of Thrones® filming locations in Northern Ireland that are accessible to everyone and visitors can choose from a range of guided location tours or immerse themselves in Game of Thrones® themed adventures such as archery, cycle tours or banquets.

To view the ten videos of #DoorOfThrones, click here.

For further information on the Games of Thrones® filming locations download the free filming locations app for Apple https://goo.gl/YVWLel and Android https://goo.gl/O6pDpD and visit www.discovernorthernireland.com/gameofthrones.

About the Author

Abby Williams
Belfast based author/writer specialising in entertainment, mental health and human interest.