When it comes to stunning locations, few TV shows can match the incredible world of Game of Thrones. Filmed all over Europe and beyond, the show takes in some of the most breathtaking scenery and natural landscapes the world has to offer in order to create the fictional land of Westeros and the Seven Kingdoms.
Fans of the show have made it something of a pilgrimage to visit these real-world locations, a practice affectionately referred to as ‘set jetting’. One country that often gets overlooked in these trips however is Northern Ireland, which offers some incredibly beautiful locations that will be familiar to fans of the iconic HBO series.
Tollymore Forest Park in County Down should be the first location on any GoT fans list, which appeared in the show as the Haunted Forest, where the White Walkers were seen marching towards the kingdom of men. The ‘Bastard of Bolton’ also hunted Theon in these woods, and it’s also where the direwolves were first discovered by the Starks.
Next up is Dark Hedges – a beautiful avenue of beech trees near Armoy in County Antrim. Game of Thrones fans will recognize this area as the Kingsroad, where Arya attempted to evade capture by disguising herself as a boy.
Once you’ve visited the Dark Hedges, take a trip to the stunning Shillanavogy Valley in County Antrim, which became the Dothraki grasslands. The grasslands sit beneath the gorgeous Slemish Mountain, and if mountains are your thing, then you should also visit the Mourne Mountains in County Down. These dramatic peaks were the inspiration for C.S. Lewis’s Narnia from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, and also served as the entrance to Vaes Dothrak in Game of Thrones.
One other mountain worth a visit is the Binevenagh Mountain, where the panoramic views were chosen for the Dothraki Sea. It’s the location where Daenerys is rescued by Drogon, the biggest of her dragons, and no doubt the hardest to feed.
If castle’s are more your thing, then head to Shane’s Castle in County Antrim, which was the backdrop to the jousting tournament where Gregor Clegane infamously beheaded a horse. You might also want to take a trip to Castle Ward in County Down, which became home to House Stark before the Bolton’s siege.
So next time you’re heading off on a Game of Thrones inspired holiday, why not consider Northern Ireland, home of many of the series most iconic places.