In anticipation of the next dose of raunchy medieval fantasy, we explore the Northern Ireland setting – which doubles as Winterfell, King’s Landing and Pyke…
1. Pollnagollum Cave, Boho
In the heart of the Boho-Belmore Mountain area in Fermanagh sits the ten mile-long Pollnagollum cave, used as the outlaw hideout in series three. “I was really pleased with this location,” says Robbie Boake, location manager for the hit show. “There is a spectacular descent on stone stairs, and a waterfall into a beautiful cave.”
Find it: An hour and 45 minutes’ drive from Belfast, near Belmore Forest and Enniskillen, Fermanagh, BT74 5BN
2. Murlough Bay, between Torr Head and Fair Head
This dramatic cove in the north-eastern corner of Northern Ireland is where we see Yara and Theon Greyjoy ride from the harbour, along the beaches of Pyke, to their father’s castle. “We also did the Stannis and Renly meeting on a beautiful rocky outcrop here,” says Boake.
Find it: an hour and 40 minutes’ drive from Belfast on the causeway coastal route, Torr, Ballycastle, BT54 6RG
The historic area of Ballintoy was transformed into a medieval-style fishing port for the scene where Theon Greyjoy returns to the Iron Islands, complete with pulley systems, old fishing boats and cargo scattered around its walls.
Find it: A 15-minute drive northwest from Ballycastle, less than a mile from Ballintoy Village, Knocksoghey lane, Ballintoy, Antrim, BT54 6NR
4. Larrybane Quarry, near Carrick-a-Rede
Renly Baratheon’s camp in the second series of the show is built here. “It’s surrounded by beautiful chalky ciffs with a gorgeous view of the ocean below,” explains Boake. “There are some stunning views down onto the sea.”
Find it: A few minutes’ drive south from Ballintoy harbour on Whitepark Road, Ballintoy, Antrim, BT54 6LS
5. Cairncastle, near Larne
The Antrim Plateau makes up the fantasy land of Winterfell. A private estate in Cairncastle was used in season one for the backdrop of Stark Castle (the castle exterior was created using CGI). “There’s a public footway called Ulster Way, where people can wander around Winterfell,” says Boake.
Find it: Ulster way is a 625-mile walking route. For Game of Thrones backdrops, join the path from the car park in Cairncastle, Antrim, BT40 2RL
The Stark Castle courtyard scenes from the first series, where we see Brandon Stark practise his bow and arrow while John Snow and Robb Stark watch, take place at this 18th-century mansion. These same grounds are used when Robert Baratheon returns to Winterfell and meets Ned Stark. It’s possible to visit this mixture of Gothic and classical styles (managed by the National Trust), visit the pigs and hens at the on-site farmyard and even dress up in the provided period garb.
Find it: Seven miles north east of downpatrick, and two miles from Strangford on the A25, Down, BT30 7LS
7. Shane’s castle, Randalstown
Built in 1345, Shane’s Castle has open days where Game of Thrones fans can see where the Tourney of the Hand – the festival held at King’s Landing in honour of Ned Stark – was shot. Later in the series we see Stark chained in the castle dungeons. “The dungeons, ruins and Winterfell crypt from series one were shot here,” explains Boake.
Westeros tour from £135pp. A must-do experience for fans of fantasy series Game of Thrones, this tour of Northern Ireland’s filming locations for the fictional region of Westeros couldn’t be better. Simply select your travel dates above, pick a hotel in Northern Ireland and book your Game of Thrones tour ticket and hotel package for one handy price… Read more and book.