Game of Thrones has become a massive movement over the last eight years. Millions of fans are enthralled with the story and characters of Westeros. However, one of the most prominent features has been the jaw-droppingly gorgeous scenery.
Many of these incredible shots where filmed in the mystical wilderness and castle ruins of Northern Ireland. Over the years, the spots have become increasingly popular with fans gathering to see and experience them first hand.
If you are a Game of Thrones super fan and want to geek out on your trip through Northern Ireland, here is a list of places you need to visit.
The Dark Hedges has been a favorite spot for photographers and painters for years. However, Game of Thrones elevated its popularity and it has quickly become one of the most photographed places in Ireland. A long column of tall, crooked and twisted trees loom over the road forming a dark archway as grand as it is eerie.
These trees are used as a section of the King's Road in Season Two when Arya starts making her way north to the Wall. It has become one of the most famous photo locations for GOT fans.
After visiting Tollymore Forest, it is easy to see why it keeps cropping up throughout the different seasons of the show. The forest’s most notable appearance is from the first scenes of the pilot episode. This is the forest where Ned Stark and his children find their dire-wolf cubs.
It is also the location for many scenes in the woods surrounding Winterfell, as well as the first encounter of the white walkers. Tollymore Forest has another claim to fame besides it numerous appearances in Game of Thrones; it was also the first state forest in Northern Ireland. This vast and lush forest covers over 1,500 acres and is worth a stop even if you are not a fan of the show.
These 4 million year old caves and surrounding coastline have also been used throughout the series, especially in Season 2. Along the cliff side is the location of Renly Baratheon's Camp, where Brienne of Tarth’s character gets introduced.
The coast and the caves is also where Sir Davos and Melisandre row ashore before she gives birth to her shadow baby. Cushenden Caves and the surrounding area offers tourists a magical scenic view of the coastline of Northern Ireland which is one of the best in the world.
The view from these epic mountains stretches for miles, highlighting the famed green Irish countryside. This might be one reason why the producers of Game of Thrones picked it as a location for the show. The Binevenagh Mountains pop up at the end of Season Five. It is the place Daenerys is flown to at the end of the season after her dragon saves her from the Sons of the Harpy. This is also the area where she is picked up by the Dothraki Horde just a few minutes later. This massive plateau stretches for over six miles and offers incredible views.
This is a must visit for any GOT fan. Castle Ward, one of the most used locations in the entire series, is the stand-in for Winterfell, home of the Stark family. Winterfell is the precarious setting for many important events in the story making this one of the most iconic Game of Thrones locations in Northern Ireland.
Today at Castle Ward, visitors can dress up in Game of Thrones attire, undergo archery lessons, and participate in other various GOT themed activities.
River Quoile also shows up multiple times throughout the TV show. Most fans will recognize it as the Riverlands and Riverrun. However, it is also home to Inch Abbey which was used as the location of the infamous Red Wedding, Rob Stark’s camp, and where Rob was crowned King of the North.
This tiny fishing village and its surrounding area works overtime as the several small villages of Iron Island. It is also the location of Lordsport Harbor which is the place Theon Grayjoy returns home. Furthermore, the harbor is the location to which Theon and his sister flee after losing the bid for king to their uncle, Aeron Greyjoy.
Northern Ireland is spectacular. The amazing rolling hills, roaring rivers, steep cliffs, and rocky coast make Northern Ireland an incredible place to visit. Whether you are a Game of Thrones fan or not, you will find it mystical, magical, and unforgettable.
However, if you are a fan, you definitely should visit these famous sites. From Riverrun to Winterfell, there are plenty of places to geek out when visiting Northern Ireland.
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Stephen Schreck is a world traveler, nomad, and adventure backpacker. Knowing a life of aimlessly wandering the globe in search of adventures was the only life for him he set out to make his dream his reality. Currently he is trying to conquer his fears and tackle his bucket list. Follow Stephen's adventures at A Backpacker's Tale or on social media on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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