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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 10 February, 2024
Expert travel writer: Nicola Brady

It’s hard to turn a corner in Northern Ireland without stumbling upon a location from the insanely popular TV series Game of Thrones.

From the mythical woodlands that doubled up as the Haunted Forest, to the wave-battered Cushendun Caves (where Melisandre birthed a shadow demon), numerous locations across the country served as the ancient-feeling backdrop to the series.

While some can get crammed with fans (it’s best to visit the Dark Hedges first thing to avoid the crowds), you’ll likely have most of them all to yourself.

Recommendations

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Dark Hedges

Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)

A road in the countryside with people walking in the daytime

One of the most photographed spots in the country, these tangled beech trees formed Game of Thrones’s Kingsroad.

Best for ages 18+

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Downhill Strand

Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)

Beach with rocks covered in moss and a building above a tunnel in the daytime

Overlooked by the atmospheric Mussenden Temple, this marks the spot where Game of Thrones’ Melisandre burned the Seven Gods of Westeros.

Best for ages 18+

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Inch Abbey

Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)

An Abbey window ruin of tumbled stone walls

These monastic ruins showed up on screen as Robb Stark’s camp at Riverrun.

Best for ages 18+

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Ballintoy Harbour

Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)

A harbour rich with vegetation and people enjoying the sun

This beautiful little inlet on Northern Ireland’s north coast starred as the Iron Islands in the TV show Game of Thrones. 

Best for ages 18+

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Castle Ward

Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)

A small stone castle tower with a red door

An 18th-century manor house, now under the care of the National Trust. The grounds were the setting for Game of Thrones’ Winterfell (ancestral home of the Starks) and you can now tour the sets, including Robb Stark’s Camp.

Best for ages 18+

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Tollymore Forest 

Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)

Forest with a lake covering with a bridge in the background

Doubling up as the Haunted Forest in season one of Game of Thrones, this is where we first saw the direwolves.

Best for ages 18+

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Cushendun Caves

Ballymena, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)

A trail leading to a cave nearby the sea

The spot where Melisandre birthed a shadow demon in Game of Thrones, this cave is at the end of a picturesque coastal walk.

Best for ages 18+

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Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Who to go with: organised tours

5

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Game of Thrones and Giant's Causeway Full-Day Tour from Belfast

Belfast

Game of Thrones and Giant's Causeway Full-Day Tour from Belfast
Combine ‘Game of Thrones’ gossip with a visit to the UNESCO-listed Giant’s Causeway on a full-day tour from Belfast! With a friendly local guide, visit key Northern Irish filming locations that were used in the award-winning HBO fantasy drama while learning about popular characters like Daenerys Targaryen. After seeing sites like the Dark Hedges road, enjoy free time to explore the unique rock formations at the Giant’s Causeway.

Price: £35

Min age: 2

Rating 4.78 / 5 [1967 ratings]

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Game of Thrones - Iron Islands & Giant's Causeway from Belfast

Belfast

Game of Thrones - Iron Islands & Giant's Causeway from Belfast
The Iron Islands & Giant's Causeway tour from Belfast is a fully immersive and inclusive experience. All our guides have worked as extras on Game of Thrones® seasons 1 - 8. We visit Ballintoy Harbour aka the Iron Islands, Ballintoy beach aka Dragonstone beach, a cave in the Stormlands and the Dark Hedges, aka the Kingsroad. We show you VFX breakdowns on tablets, to see how each scene was brought to life. We have Iron Born costumes, metal swords and Greyjoy banners for everybody as part of the tour at no extra cost. Our tours are the real Thrones experience! All entrance fees and other extras are included in your ticket price. The only extra expense is your pub lunch. Lunch will be in the Fullerton Arms pub. It has one of the six world-famous Game of Thrones® Doors. The doors were fashioned from fallen 200 year old beech trees from the Dark Hedges. 

Price: £49

Min age: 16

Rating 4.96 / 5 [882 ratings]

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Game of Thrones - Winterfell Trek from Belfast

Belfast

Game of Thrones - Winterfell Trek from Belfast
We are the largest Game of Thrones Tour company in Northern Ireland, bringing people to all the most important outdoor film locations from seasons 1-8. This is our Winterfell Trek from Belfast, visiting lots of mostly season 1 and 2 filming locations south of Belfast. On this tour you will visit Old Castle Ward, aka Winterfell castle and courtyard in season 1. You'll visit the 12th century ruins of Inch Abbey where Robb Stark became King in the North. We show you VFX breakdowns on tablets to reveal how each scene was brought to life. We have Stark cloaks, swords and banners for everybody as part of the tour at no extra cost. Join our guides, who worked as extras on Game of Thrones® seasons 1-8, for a totally authentic experience. All entrance fees, costumes and swords are included in your ticket price. Between 12:00-13:00 we visit the Barn pub, Saul, Downpatrick. You can bring a packed lunch, or you can pre-order a hot lunch in the pub. Lunch is not included in your ticket price.

Price: £49

Min age: 16

Rating 4.95 / 5 [473 ratings]

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Giant's Causeway Tour including Game of Thrones Sites from Belfast

Belfast

Giant's Causeway Tour including Game of Thrones Sites from Belfast
Spend a memorable day visiting what is undoubtedly Northern Ireland's most infamous attraction. Travel by coach on a journey you will remember for a lifetime, taking in the spectacular natural beauty that is the Antrim Coastal Road, Carrickfergus Castle, Portaneevy Viewing Point to see the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge (Due to National Trust Staffing Issues they will not accept coaches or group bookings but we are supporting our local community), the Giant's Causeway, and the Game of Thrones locations, including the Dark Hedges plus much much more. This tour travels the entire coast road from Belfast which is a must-see area of outstanding natural beauty. Not all tours to the Causeway include this but is widely known to be best route to the causeway. To leave this out of your tour would be a big loss!!

Price: £24

Min age: 0

Rating 4.21 / 5 [312 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Game of Thrones Locations Tour including Westeros & Giant's Causeway

Belfast

Game of Thrones Locations Tour including Westeros & Giant's Causeway
See the magical locations where the hit fantasy drama ‘Game of Thrones’ is filmed and visit more filming locations than any other tour. Discover the UNESCO-listed Giant’s Causeway as a bonus and get free access to the famous stones included in your price. Relax and listen to your knowledgeable guide, visit key filming locations and get the inside scoop about popular characters. Ride through the atmospheric, tree-shrouded Dark Hedges Road and marvel at the mystifying rock formations of the Giant’s Causeway.

Price: £25

Min age: 0

Rating 4.41 / 5 [205 ratings]

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Destination guides

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Belfast

Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)

Exterior view of the local parliament during the daytime

Northern Ireland’s capital makes for a surprisingly arty city break, with convivial and cosy pubs, elegant architecture and cutting-edge cuisine.