Like most people, I’ve been going through some serious Game of Thrones withdrawal. What should I do to get my fix — rewatch every season? Already have. Create an Instagram fan page? Done. I realized the only way I was gonna make it through the long night was if I went straight to the source: Northern Ireland.
The first tour covered the Winterfell location, which is the site of the Old Ward Castle, filmed in Downpatrick. Additional Northern scenic shots of Robb’s camp and neighboring towers are filmed nearby at Audley’s Castle and the town of Strangford Lough. The site where Ned Stark finds the dire wolf pups, as well as the very first White Walker sighting by the Night’s Watch, both originating from the first episode of Season 1, were all filmed in Tollymore Forest Park.
The second tour left from Belfast and traveled to the Northernmost point of Ireland, Ballintoy Harbour near The Giant’s Causeway, so North we could look across the ocean and see Scotland! We visited Glencloy, the brick stairs location in the port used for Braavos where Arya got stabbed by the Waif. From there, we went North to Cushenden Caves where Melisandre infamously gave birth to the smoke baby while Davos watched in horror. The coolest location is without a doubt Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge which inspired the scene where Euron Greyjoy threw his brother off to his watery death. Ballintoy is used for both Renly’s camp and the neighboring harbor and beaches for the Iron Islands AND originally Dragonstone before they found a new location in Spain for Daenerys in Season 7.
Needless to say, from Dublin to Belfast to the very tip of Ireland, I covered as much ground as humanly possible in a few days. I wasn’t leaving without making the most out of this trip so my friend and I coughed up the extra cash to stay at the same hotel the cast is known to stay while filming. Our first night at the hotel bar, and I’m not lying, who walks in but Kit Harington — Jon f*ckin’ Snow!
Check out the filming locations I visited, along with the respective scenes that correlate to the show. If you still want more, follow me on Instagram @the.north.remembers
This was without a doubt the most unique vacation I’ve been on in a long time.
Each full day tour is only 50 pounds, which is crazy for such an in-depth experience. Added bonus: all the tour guides are extras in the show, and yes, they WILL show you behind the scenes pictures!
H/T: The official Game of Thrones touring company.