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 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 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 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 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!