Get lost in the World of Westeros and its stunning Northern Irish scenery.
Do you have 4,201 minutes to spare while travel restrictions are still in place? You’re not alone. If you’re longing to explore rural landscapes and craving wild adventures, then there is no better time to restart the final series of Game of Thrones and relive the rugged landscapes that you can visit in reality when the world is up-and-running once again.
Just as Winterfell plays home to House Stark, Northern Ireland plays home to Winterfell — as well as 49 other memorable locations where some of the series’ most pivotal moments took place. In celebration of its one-year anniversary on April 14, we’ve put together five bucket-list locations in Northern Ireland for Game of Thrones fanatics and those who seek new adventures for their future travel lists.
Winterfell at Castle Ward in Couunty Down
The legendary home of the mighty Starks, Castle Ward in Down exudes a sense of the pride of the North, as much of the surrounding scenery is seen over a number of episodes – including when Arya hones her archery skills, and when Catelyn Stark oversees the ‘going ons’ of her family.
Those who visit Castle Ward can take a Winterfell Tour; you’ll find a replica archery range in the courtyard, situated in the very same spot that the filming took place. Want to get into character? You can dress up and step straight onto the movie set.
The Haunted Forest at Tollymore Forest Park, Down
The first sighting of the terrifying White Walkers was shot at Tollymore Forest Park in Down, which is commonly known as the Haunted Forest.
A walk along the Shimna river in County Down’s Tollymore Forest Park is marked by rocky pathways, bridges, grottos and caves; you can get lost in nature while discovering the tall giant redwoods and Monterery pine trees.
Dothraki Grasslands in Binevenagh, Derry
The Binevenvagh Mountain, formed over 60 million years ago from molten lava, offers picturesque views that stretch across expanses of plains, creating the perfect horizon across which the ‘Mother of Dragons’ rode her ferocious Drogon.
A trip to this County Down viewing spot involves a short walk along a forest road and through a forest with a steep section leading to the summit of Binevenagh. You’ll be rewarded with panoramic views over Lough Foyle, the Roe Valley, Inishowen and out to the west coast of Scotland. For those who love the outdoors, there are more adventurous routes available.
Coast of Sunspear at Portstewart Strand
Aside from being one of the top destinations to visit in Northern Ireland, the pristine beach that is Portstewart Strand – stretching along the coast for two miles – happens to be the pivotal location where the Sandsnake sisters conspired against the Lannisters.
This area of natural beauty draws a crowd. The beach attracts a range of visitors wishing to partake in activities such as, surfing, swimming, horse riding and scenic walks with excellent views of the North Coast.
Stormlands, The Dark Hedges and the Iron Islands in Antrim
The iconic Ballygally Castle in Antrim serves as the world of Westoros, including The Dark Hedges that fringe the famous Kingsroad itself, which has been used as passage for many a Stark in the series.
Perched on the tip of the famous Causeway Coastal Route, Ballygally Castle is a stunning 17th Century landmark which overlooks the golden sands of Ballygally Bay and boasts uninterrupted views across the Irish Sea. In addition to a Game of Thrones Tour, there are a number of nearby activities, including the stunning Causeway Coastal Route, the Bushmills Distillery and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.
There’s no denying the natural and endlessly beautiful Northern Ireland landscapes that feature throughout the eight seasons of Game of Thrones. If these Northern Irish adventures have ignited your curiosity, why not go a step further and explore 17 incredible landscape photographs from around Ireland?
Keep that wanderlust alive with more travel tips and inspiration from World Traveller Middle East. For the latest health updates regarding coronavirus, ensure that the information you are consuming is from an official source.