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Game of Thrones Territory

Journey into the heart of Winterfell, Dragonstone, Vaes Dothrak... and Northern Ireland

The Children

We’ve reached the end of Game of Thrones for another season, and it was a cracker. Swords, crossbows, magic, daggers and dragons all contributed to the brutal finale. Jon Snow meets a King, Khaleesi makes a tough decision about her children and the bells toll in King's Landing. But saying goodbye to Westeros doesn’t mean saying goodbye to Northern Ireland…

You’re never far from a scene-stealing Game of Thrones location here. But we know these places better by their local names…

Like the Dothraki grasslands of the Shillanavogy Valley in Country Antrim, the King's Road that leads past the Dark Hedges and on to Armoy, or the fabled Iron Islands' harbour at Ballintoy.

There’s been more of the series shot in Northern Ireland than anywhere else in the world. So go forth – it’s time to explore Game of Thrones territory.

Welcome to the Seven Kingdoms

Westeros Territory

This is Northern Ireland, where the Seven Kingdoms come alive and the landscapes are straight out of a fantasy.

Time to start your own Westeros journey.

You’ve witnessed the bloody battles, the devastating shipwrecks, the dramatic births and betrothals… this is where it all goes down.

In Antrim, it's a dark descent into the 400 million-year-old Cushendun caves, where sorceress Melisandre gave birth to a shadow baby. At Londonderry’s Mussendun Temple, the 120ft-high cliffs plummet to Downhill Beach, otherwise known as Dragonstone, and where Stannis Baratheon watched as the Seven Idols of Westeros burned.

The brooding 18th-century Castle Ward in County Down may be familiar to you as Winterfell. Overlooking Strangford Lough, this is the house of Stark where Ned greeted King Robert on his arrival.

You've found Westeros – this time you can get to it for real.

Northern Ireland in ruins

Crumbling ruins and ancient stonework tell the story of the Seven Kingdoms… and Northern Ireland. Around the timeworn ruins of Inch Abbey, County Down, you’ll stumble upon the Riverlands area and its grim landmark, The Twins. And neighbouring demesne Castle Ward was home to House Stark. Game of Thrones breathes new life into these ancient monuments, many of which had remained untouched for centuries… even by dragons.

Fantasy and fact

Sometimes fact can be stranger than fantasy. Take the Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim, where 40,000 hexagonal basalt rock columns dominate the seascape. It’s said giants had a hand in their creation. Admire medieval Dunluce Castle, perched precariously on its clifftop. In 1534, a mysterious woman in white was seen gazing at the sunset, before disappearing over the cliff’s edge. Years later, locals used to see her walking the shore below. Fact or fantasy? In Northern Ireland, they merge into one.

Westerosi at home

The Seven Kingdoms are home to more ethnicities and accents than you could swing a mace at. One thing the Westerosi have in common? The island of Ireland is where many of them grew up. Take the Spider and Hodor, who were both born in Northern Ireland, while Ser Davos and Lord Baelish are Dublin-men. And that’s just for starters. Good accents, lads…

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition (11 - 15 June) returns to Belfast Waterfront in Northern Ireland this year. Free of charge, the 2014 exhibition includes weapons, intricate costumes and iconic artefacts from the HBO series. See the coveted Iron Throne or pose beneath your favourite House banners… if you’re a self-respecting Game of Thrones fan, you won’t want to miss this. #GOTExhibit

Good To Know

  • Fancy a guided tour? McComb's qualified guides run tours on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, leaving Belfast at 9am, and returning at 6pm.
  • Are you a bowman or woman? Winterfell, otherwise known as Castle Ward, offers Game of Thrones archery lessons if you fancy testing your skills!
  • Steenson's Économusée: Glenarm, County Antrim, artisan workshop has crafted a number of pieces for HBO’s Game of Thrones (including Joffrey Baratheon’s crown). You can visit the family-run Steenson's goldsmiths and take a tour of the workshop.
  • Check out our great deals to get you over to Northern Ireland and to the locations that make up Game of Thrones territory.
  • Following our three-day Game of Thrones itinerary? HBO Game of Thrones signage is being placed at key locations from the show and remember, in Northern Ireland, speed limits are listed as miles per hour.
On location: season one

Season one gave us treacherous dealings, shadowy alliances and a heap of beheadings. And on our three-day Game of Thrones itinerary, you can see just where the Night’s Watch deserter was decapitated near Cairncastle, County Antrim; where vicious Gregor Clegane chopped off his stallion’s head during the Hand’s Tourney in nearby Shane’s Castle, and even where the dreaded White Walkers left a trail of heads behind in Tollymore Forest Park, County Down.

On location: season two

Season two and one thing was certain: no one was safe. Winterfell (Castle Ward in County Down), was torn asunder as Catelyn travelled to Storm’s End, otherwise known as Larrybane in north County Antrim, and witnessed the collapse of House Baratheon. We also saw Lady Melisandre give birth to the shadow creature at Cushendun Caves on the County Antrim coast… and we all know how that turned out.

On location: season three

Season three and the lands remained locked in bloody civil war. Ballintoy Harbor, County Antrim, morphed into the Iron Islands and it was here that Theon made his devastating decision. The White Walkers were on the move, too, leaving the lands between Winterfell and the Wall, aka Tollymore Forest Park, far behind them. Want to follow their route?

Planning and booking

If you’re thinking about exploring Northern Ireland’s Game of Thrones Territory, we have a three-day itinerary covering these fantastical places. Your real-life Game of Thrones adventure starts here...

Itinerary

Discover great places to stay around the Game of Thrones locations, plus the exciting things you can do and see in Northern Ireland.

Getting around

There are many ways of getting from a to b in Ireland, and we’ve got all the information you need.