Tour Game of Thrones Locations

If you're planning a spring or summer break in one of our holiday cottages, what better way to spend a day than following in the footsteps of your favourite Game of Thrones character?

With series five of Game of Thrones having just started back on TV, the country is going mad for fantasy drama once more. Few fantasy TV series have ever caught on as much as this one. That's partly down to great storytelling, great acting and a very believable cast. It's also partly down to great locations.

It's that latter that we're going to explore today. Many Game of Thrones locations are spread across Europe, including Croatia, Iceland, Malta, Morocco and others. Many are also located within Northern Ireland. It's those we're most interested in today. Here are just some of the many Game of Thrones locations within our borders.

Castle Ward

Castle Ward is an 18th century stately home in Northern Ireland. It's one of the region's most visited landmarks and also the set of parts of Winterfell. The castle has a huge mansion house and 820 acres of grounds, courtyard and garden. Areas of the courtyard and interior of Castle Ward feature as Winterfell throughout the series.

Ballintoy Harbour

Ballintoy Harbour appears within the series as Pyke and the Iron Islands. The "raised beach" area is a lovely piece of coastline that looks very Mediterranean, yet is in the heart of Northern Ireland. It's no wonder it caught the location scout's eye.

The Dark Hedges

The Dark Hedges near Stanocum in County Antrim, are another one of the area's most visited landmarks. Literally thousands of people visit here each year to see the tree-lined road that is immortalised as the Kingsroad in Game of Thrones.

Binevenagh Mountain

Binevenagh Mountain in County Londonderry is the setting for a number of outdoor scenes in series five. It's an amazing part of the country that affords fantastic views over the ocean from the top. It's also hull of interest, curious geological features and no small amount of archaeological mystery.


Stangford is famous for dramatic coastline, rugged cliffs, rocks and for being a signature part of Ireland's geological heritage. It also plays Westeros in many of the series. Other scenes for Winterfell were also filmed in the area.

Tollymore Forest

Tollymore Forest in County Down appeared in the first ever episode of Game of Thrones all those years ago. Since then it has been used regularly for forest and hunting scenes for the series.

If you're staying in Northern Ireland in one of our holiday cottages, not only are these areas sets of Game of Thrones, they are also great places to visit in their own right!

Loop Head – Wild Atlantic Way

Loop Head - Wild Atlantic WayLoop Head forms part of the Loop Head Peninsula in West Clare, Ireland. It also forms an integral part of the Wild Atlantic Way. Set on the west coast of County Clare along the Atlantic Coast, Loop Head offers some amazing scenery and stunning views.

Loop Head has been described as “a gnarled finger that juts into the Atlantic Ocean pointing westward.” It’s an accurate description. Set alongside the River Shannon and jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean, this little spit of land has more coastline than anywhere else in Ireland.

Loop Head is believed to be an evolution of “Leap Head” (Ceann Léime). Legend has it that a local, Cúchulainn jumped the gap between the headland and a sea stack to escape a local witch.

Another local legend says that two young lovers, Diarmuid and Gráinne leapt the stack to escape Fionn Mac Cumhaill. That’s why the stack is now called Diarmuid and Gráinne’s Rock. Whichever, if any, legend is true, it adds a bit of colour to the region!

Loop Head is also in the middle of the Wild Atlantic Way, meaning whichever way you travel it, Loop Head will always be the halfway point of your journey.

In 2010, Loop Head was awarded the title of European Destination of Excellence in aquatic tourism. This was a big boost to the area that reflected the true value of this mile-long piece of land.

It isn’t all about the scenery though. Loop Head is also working land. There are farms with lots of cattle around that have formed part of our local way of life. You will also find lots of homesteads, our local low buildings that provide warmth and comfort after a long day working on the land or at sea.

There’s a lot to see and do at Loop Head as there is along most parts of the Wild Atlantic Way. There is walking, cycling, fishing, the West Clare Railway, bird watching and of course, walking the Wild Atlantic Way itself.

One of the highlights of the area is Loop Head Lighthouse. It’s one of many successive lighthouses that have stood guard over the Shannon Estuary since 1670. The current lighthouse was built in 1854 and still lights the night sky for miles around. Tours are also conducted during summer.

It’s difficult to sum up the Loop Head part of the Wild Atlantic Way without repeating the superlatives we use to describe many of the other locations. The sheer beauty and drama of this coastal scenery simply defies description. That’s why you need to see it for yourself.

Visit for a range of high quality accommodation spread across Ireland and along the entire Wild Atlantic Way!

Top UK attractions according to visitor reviews part 2

In the second part of our list of the top UK attractions, we continue the good work we began in part one. This list has been compiled from the top attractions according to users of Trip Advisor.

The list is designed to give you an idea of things to do and places to see while enjoying one of our many top quality holiday cottages. Located throughout the UK, our 15,000 holiday rentals offer a bit of luxury, a holiday escape or a place from which to explore.

We have already discussed The Royal Yacht Britannia, Houses of Parliament, The Bomber Command Memorial, The Tower of London and Durham Cathedral. So let’s continue our list!

1.  Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle in Berkshire is a short distance west of London and is one of the oldest working castles in the world. Home to Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family, the castle is one of the best preserved of all our historic buildings.

Much of the castle is off limits, but tours take you round as much as it’s possible to see. If you see the royal standard flying, you know the Queen is home while you’re there!

2.  Big Ben

Back to London for the next landmark in our list. Big Ben in the Elizabeth Tower in the Palace of Westminster is something every visitor to the capital should see and hear.

While you can’t do much but look at it from the outside, it forms such a part of our national identity that you simply must see if for yourself at least once.

3.  Cragside House and Gardens

Cragside House and Gardens in Morpeth, Northumberland is a National Trust site and an amazing place to visit. Originally home to Lord Armstrong, a famous landscaper and inventor, the house was the first place in the world to use hydroelectricity.

It also has some of the most beautiful grounds of anywhere in the UK. We also have lots of quality holiday cottages in Northumberland too.

4.  Liverpool Central Library

Liverpool Central Library is a surprising hit with Trip Advisor users. Ranked 9th in the top 10 list of places to see in the UK, the library is certainly impressive. Some of the rooms are curious shapes, the newly restored Picton library is amazing and the sheer number of books is simply staggering.

If you’re into history or literature, the Liverpool Central Library is definitely somewhere you need to visit.

5.  Edinburgh Castle

Last and certainly not least is Edinburgh Castle. Ranked tenth in the list, this castle overlooking the city is as impressive to look at as it is to tour round. It’s full of history, intrigue and marvellous things to see. The guided tours are well worth it if you want to get the most out of your trip.

The Royal Mile leading up to the castle is well worth a visit too!

So that’s our top ten UK attractions as voted for by Trip Advisor users. Each is fantastic in its own right and well worth a day or a few hours of your time. Let us know how you get on if you try them!