Have you ever wondered where Game of Thrones was filmed? As a massive Game of Thrones fan, mesmerized by the gorgeous scenery, I made a point of spending a few days in Belfast after a fun 2 Days In Dublin, Ireland. I knew that there was a lot of Game of Thrones Northern Ireland locations to discover. The show has become a cultural phenomenon, and its popularity continues to grow. In fact, it has even inspired a new generation of fans who want to visit the same places where their favourite characters live.
For those who don’t know, Game of Thrones is a fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. It premiered on HBO in 2011 and ran until 2017. The story follows several families across the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos.
Filming of seasons one to eight took place in around 25 locations around Northern Ireland including Titanic Studios in Belfast. However, filming took place in three continents and ten different countries with the main filming locations, aside from Northern Ireland include: Iceland, Croatia, Spain and Malta.
In fact, visit our Ultimate Game Of Thrones Malta Locations!
Game Of Thrones Northern Ireland Tour With Irish Tour Tickets
We purchased the Game of Thrones filming locations tour, which included a one-day unlimited hop-off/hop-on bus tour of Belfast city for £45.
On this tour, we were travelling with the same travel agency that transported the cast and crew of the Game of Thrones to the various filming locations around Northern Ireland. As a result, the tour delivers a ton of insider knowledge, offers lots of photos ops with costumes & props on location for those die-hard fans.
We’ve included a full list of the places we visited during our trip with a “🚍 . We’ve also included some additional filming locations that aren’t on the tour but are nearby. In addition, we’ve popular spots like Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge and the Giant’s Causeway which are on the tour but weren’t used as filming locations.
Cue Game of Thrones theme music…
1. Magheramorne Quarry | Castle Black, The Wall 🚍
The Magheramorne Quarry in County Antrim is the place where the entrance to Castle Black is filmed. The entrance is genuine but the huge ice wall that was behind it was created by computer graphics so it may not look familiar at first. Although we did not stop the tour guide talked about it as we drove by.
2. Shillanavogy Valley | The Dothraki Sea
35 minutes north of Belfast is Shillanavogy, aka the Dothraki Sea – the grassy area in Essos which the Dothraki call home. It is, however, a little bit of a detour from the coastal road and although with the Slemish Mountain as a backdrop, it is quite beautiful – it isn’t a key filming location.
3. Sallagh Braes | The Riverlands
Known as one of the first regions in Ireland to be inhabited by humans. Sallagh Braes basalt cliffs are part of the glens of Antrim, 100 metres high, 2 kilometres long and offer incredible scenic views. Views of green rolling hills, the cliffs, the valley below and the Irish Sea in the distance – mostly likely the first thoughts that come to mind when you think of Ireland/Northern Ireland.
You’ll recognize the landscape from Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 7: The Broken Man where Arya left Sandor Clegane (The Hound) to die after he fought with Brienne of Tarth.
4. Carnlough Harbour | Braavos Harbour 🚍
Carnlough is a quaint little coastal village and definitely worth a day trip in its own right. Carnlough Stone Harbour is famous for being the location for the fictional city of Braavos. In Season 6 Episode 7: Arya drags herself out of Braavos Harbour after being stabbed in the gut by the Waif. She then goes on to learn how to become a faceless assassin.
Come to think of it adding Faceless Assassin to your resume would sound cool. Not saying you should add it but it might be a good conversation starter 🤣
5. Cushendun Caves | The Shadow Baby 🚍
When it comes to Game of Thrones North Ireland locations, locations were used for multiple scenes. This cave was used twice. Once during that freaky scene when Lady Melisandre gives birth to the dark shadow who fades into the darkness the reappears to kill Renly Baratheon in Season 2. The second was that infamous battle between Jaime Lannister and Euron Greyjoy in Season 8.
The caves were formed over millions of years when water seeped through limestone rock. Game of Thrones filming locations aside, they’re a popular tourist attraction because of the stunning natural beauty of the area.
6. Murlough Bay | Slavers Bay
Murlough Bay is one of the largest bays on the west coast of the island. This is where Davos Seaworth was shipwrecked and rescued after the Battle at Blackwater. It is also where Yara Greyjoy rode on horseback with her brother Theon Greyjoy. Finally, it was where Tyrion and Ser Jorah are captured by slavers.
7. Fair Head | Dragonstone
Fair Head cliffs run along the coast from Murlough Bay where they reach heights of 600 feet. These cliffs were used to depict Dragonstone and the backdrop for that classic scene where Jon Snow meets Daenerys Targaryen and one of her dragons Drogon.
The town of Ballycastle comes from the Irish Baile Chasalaig meaning ‘town of the castle’ is nearby with lots of great pubs and restaurants for a quick stop.
8. The Dark Hedges | Kings Road 🚍
The Dark Hedges has always been one of the top must-visit sites when visiting Northern Ireland. It is a narrow road where the beech trees on either side of the street meet in the middle creating an illusion of a spooky tunnel.
The hedges appear during seasons 1 and 2 as Kings Road. The road that leads Ned Stark to his death and where his daughter Arya Stark escaped the Lannisters. They appear relatively unchanged without many digital enhancements making them one the most recognizable filming locations.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge 🚍
It’s not a Game of Thrones shooting location, but it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in Northern Ireland. Carrick-a Rede, from the Scottish language Gaelic ‘Carrick-a-Rade’, meaning “the rock in the road”, is an obstacle for the migrating fish as they search for the river where they were born.
Atlantic salmon has been caught at Carrick-a-Rede and Larrybane since the early 17th century. It wasn’t until 1755 that the world’s first rope bridge was built to connect the mainland to Carrick-a-rede Island.
If you’re scared of heights crossing this bridge might make you feel uneasy. But if you decide you press on be sure to hold on to your phone and camera tight, if it falls in the drink it’ll be gone forever. You should also note that it can get really crowded here but if you come on the bus tour, you won’t have to wait for long.
9. Larrybane Quarry 🚍
Larrybane Quarry was once used to supply stone for buildings in Belfast. Today, Larrybane Quarry is home to many species of wildlife including red squirrels, badgers, otters, bats, and birds.
However, you may remember this Game of Thrones location being used to introduce Brienne of Tarth in Season 2 when she fought Ser Loras Tyrell in a tournament in front of King Renly and his wife queen, Margarey Tyrell.
10. Ballintoy Harbour
Just a short distance away from the Giant’s Causeway at the northernmost point of the Antrim coast and glens is the quaint Ballintoy harbour. Ballintoy Harbour is the Game of Thrones filming location for Lord’sport, the main port city of Pyke and one of the Iron Islands. Pyke as you know was the home of Theon and Yara Greyjoy.
Giant’s Causeway 🚍
Although not used in Game of Thrones, the Giant’s Causeway is still one of the most famous attractions in Northern Ireland.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site consists of over 3,000 hexagonal basalt columns formed over thousands of years by volcanic eruptions. The basalt columns were later eroded by wind and water, leaving behind these unique formations.
The Giant’s Causeway is a must-see attraction in Northern Ireland and I have to admit, it’s so unique that very easy to spend several hours here.
10. Dunlance Castle | Castle of Pyke 🚍
Dunluce Castle is yet another popular attraction along the stunning Causeway Coast. Rising dramatically from the sea, with its ruins you can see centuries of history; conquering and reclaiming taking place before your eyes. Rumour has it that it is haunted by banshees, which in Ireland is not a good thing. We talked about that during our bus ride to Cliffs of Moher.
Richard Óg Burke, 2nd Earl of Tyrone, built the first castle in Dunluce, in the 13th century. The earliest features of the castle are two large drum towers, which were built here by the MacQuillans after they acquired the castle in the early 1500s, and are relics of their stronghold.
The Castle has become an important tourist attraction not only because of its stunning views but also because it was used in Game of Thrones as the Seat of House Greyjoy, the great castle of Pyke.
11. Binevenagh (Mountain) | Meereen
On the edge of Antrim’s plateau, Binevenaght boasts panoramic views reaching for miles. The location was chosen as the Dothraki Sea, above the city of Meereen, where Daenerys was rescued by her dragon Drogon.
12. Downhill Strand & Mussenden Temple
The beautiful 11 km-long stretch of sand happens to be great for swimming. Downhill Strand, was the shooting location for Dragonstone in Season 2, where the seven gods of Westeros were sacrificed by Lady Melisandre.
Dragonstone was the ancestral home of House Targaryen and was the current stronghold of the Starish Baratheons. The scenic beach is surrounded by the elegant 18th-century ruins of Mussenden Temple.
Other Game Of Thrones Locations In Northern Ireland
If you’re up for a road trip, jump in the car and take yourself on a self-guided tour through some of the most popular Game Of Thrones locations in Northern Ireland’s Southern region.
13. Castle Ward | Winterfell Castle
Castle Ward is the most famous filming location in Northern Ireland because this is where the castle scenes for Winterfell in Game of Thrones were filmed. In real life, this medieval fortress was built during the 13th century and in addition to Got, it’s been featured in movies, TV shows, and books since its inception.
14. Inch Abbey | The Riverlands
This medieval building was used for Robb Stark’s Camp in the Riverlands in Game of Thrones.
The abbey was founded in 1180 by John de Courcy, sitting on an island accessed by a causeway, sitting bThe abbey was established in 1180 by John De Courcy, sitting on a small island accessible by a causeway, between the River Quoille and an extensive marshland. The magnificent Down Cathedral in Downpatrick, the burial site of Saint Patrick can be seen in the distance, can be seen.
15. Quoilee River Area – Near the Inch Abbey is the beautiful Quoilee River area, where the Tully family lived. It was also the filming location for the funeral of Hoster Tully.
16. Tollymore Forest Park | North Of Winterfell
Located in the foothills of Ireland’s Mourne Mountains, Tullymore Forest is home to a variety of both local and exotic plants, including California giant redwoods. It’s worth noting that some of the oak logs used for the interiors were actually used for the Titanic.
However, fans of Game of Thrones will recognize the woods as “North of Winterfell” where Nightwalkers were seen and where Direwolf pups were discovered.
Game of Thrones Doors Driving Tour
During Storm Gertrude in 2016, high winds knocked over and damaged the over 400-year-old trees at the Dark Hedges (the filming location used for the King’s Road) This driving tour takes you all around Northern Ireland to find and discover the 10 doors.
The 10 wooden doors which were crafted by Tourism Northern Ireland commemorate Game of Thrones, by telling the story of the most exciting moments of episodes in Season 6.
Here’s where you can find all the doors:
The Cuan | Door 1
Door 1 is at The Cuan in Strangford, County Down.
The picture shows the opening title sequence and the map of Westeros.
Fiddler’s Green | Door 2
Door 2 is in the Fiddler’s Green at Portaferry, County Down.
It shows the rising tensions between the Houses of Bolton, House Greyjoy, and the Iron Islands.
Percy French Inn | Door 3
Door 3 can be found in Percy French Inn, in the town of Newcastle, County Down
It includes a ship’s departure from the Iron Island and a lone dire wolf above Winterfell.
Blakes of the Hollow | Door 4
Door 4 is in Blakes of the Hollow in Enniskillen.
The door reveals House Targaryen’s return to power with their dragons.
Owens’ Bar | Door 5
Door 5 is in Owens Bar in Limavady
The door shows the Night King surrounded by White Walkers. Foreshadowing the coming battle between the living and the dead.
Fullerton Arms | Door 6
Door 6 is in Fullerton Arms in Ballintoy, County Antrim
This door features the fierce dragon Drogon with the Dothraki stallion, symbolizing the Dothraki alliance with Queen Daenerys Targaryen.
Dark Hedges Estate | Door 7
Door 7 the Dark Hedges Estate in Stranocum, Ballymoney, County Antrim
This door has The Three-Eyed Raven because it reminds of events of the past that will affect the present.
Mary McBride’s | Door 8
Door 8 is in Mary McBride’s in Cushendun, County Antrim
This door tells the tale of Arya Stark’s adventures in the city of Braavaos and features the Faceless Man coin and her trusty sword Needle.
Ballygally Castle | Door 9
Door 9 is at Ballygally Castle, County Antrim
This door contains symbols from House Stark and House Bolton.
The Dark Horse | door 10
Door 10 is Belfast at The Dark Horse
The door shows how everything ends up at the end of Season 6, with the Lannister Lion ruling over the Great Sept Of Baelor.
Final Thoughts of Game of Thrones Northern Ireland
In conclusion, Game of Thrones is a fantastic show. It’s full of action, drama, intrigue, and romance – well sex, not so much romance. Anyways, it also features some amazing locations which truly show how beautiful this world really is!
We recommend watching it if you haven’t already seen it. And if you have, then we hope our list has inspired you to visit these places in real life!