Westeros is waiting.
This 314km route through Northern Ireland brings you to more Game of Thrones® filming locations than anywhere else in the world.
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Escape White Walkers in the Haunted Forest, become a part of the Stark clan at Winterfell and stride down the Kingsroad itself. Wherever you look, adventure awaits – see the ancient ruins, immaculate beaches and breathtaking landscapes that provide the backdrop to this global television phenomenon.
Please Note: T his is a sample itinerary to offer suggestions and ideas for planning trips, you can contact your local Tourism Ireland representative for further information. Any mention of specific product on this site is meant to be used only as an example and does not represent an endorsement of that product by Tourism Ireland.
Nearest airports: Belfast International Airport, City of Derry Airport, George Best Belfast City Airport, Dublin Airport
Days: 3 (tour can be customised to 2 days, as required)
Total distance: 314km
Distance: Approximately 56km
Start at the Tollymore Forest Park, otherwise known as the Haunted Forest. Once you enter through the gothic-style gates, ramble around these wild woods and along the Shimna River, seeking out ancient redwoods and crumbling ruins, and avoiding the eerie blue eyes of the White Walkers that may watch you from the shadows...
As you make your way forward, stop off at Inch Abbey, the remains of a Cistercian abbey that form the backdrop for Robb Stark’s camp as he is crowned “King in the North”.
Stop over at The Cuan guesthouse for a filling lunch. Here, you’ll find one of the Doors of Thrones, carved from one of the centuries-old old beech trees that were felled in a storm at the Dark Hedges. Each door is inspired by a different episode of the sixth season of the series.
Make sure to book ahead if you plan to visit Castle Ward. A tour of the filming location for Winterfell, just 40 minutes from Belfast and 2 hours from Dublin, this treat includes archery lessons, cycle tours and a meeting with direwolves! Odin and Thor are two Northern Inuit dogs who starred in the series as the beloved pets of the Stark children and Jon Snow. For groups, medieval banquets inspired by King Robert’s welcome feast are offered, alongside team-building activities where you can reenact scenes from the show.
As you venture north, you’ll find yourself brushing the immaculate beaches of Quintin Bay. This stunning stretch of sand, overlooked by the privately owned Quintin Castle, provides the backdrop for Castle Stokeworth, the new home of Bronn of the Blackwater, whom Jaime enlists to retrieve Princess Myrcella from Dorne.
Stop off for the night at Denvir’s in Downpatrick for a touch of old-world charm in this historic coaching inn.
Tollymore Forest, Co. Down
Inch Abbey, Downpatrick, Co Down
Distance: Approximately 98km
It’s all about stunning landscapes this morning. The Antrim Plateau, with its Bronze Age fort at Knockdhu and ridge of black basalt rising against the sky, provides a haunting background to Sansa learning she is to be wed to Ramsay Bolton. Travel downwards into the Dothraki Sea towards Vaes Dothrak, otherwise known as the Shillanavogy Valley, where Khal Drogo brings his new bride Daenerys. This huge expanse of gently waving grass is far more peaceful when it’s not being bombarded by a horde of thundering Dothraki horsemen.
Not far away, Slemish Mountain is where St Patrick once served as a shepherd in real-life County Antrim. Finally, descend towards the nine valleys of the Glens of Antrim, each with its own unique attractions. But it’s Glenariff Forest Park, full of sparkling waterfalls and tranquil rivers, that is the goal. This place is known as Runestone in Westeros, where Lord Yohn Royce hides Robin Arryn, Lord of the Eyrie, to raise him as his ward.
Stop off for lunch at Laragh Lodge, an 1890s Victorian tea house designed to act as a waypoint for visitors taking to the walks and waterfalls of this beautiful glen.
Delve in to the 400-million-year-old caves at Cushendun – this is where Melisandre enacts her black magic in order to murder Renly Baratheon! Explore the caves in depth, go rock pooling or just sit and look out over the sea. Along Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route, Murlough Bay is where Tyrion and Jorah Mormont are accosted by slavers on their way to Meereen and nearby, Ballintoy Harbour is a picturesque port that is known as Pyke in the Seven Kingdoms – the home of the Greyjoys and the Ironborn! Be sure to stride out over the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge while you’re here – if you’re brave enough! – and explore Carrick Island. Finally, take a walk down the real Kingsroad through the Dark Hedges: an avenue of 200-year old beech trees, twisting and curling in to the sky. This is where Arya takes flight away from the Lannisters, under the safety of the Night’s Watch.
Stay at The Bushmills Inn, a boutique hotel that’s perfect for exploring other iconic Northern Ireland locations like the Old Bushmills Distillery and the Giant’s Causeway.
Dark Hedges, Co. Antrim
Ballintoy Harbour, Co. Antrim
Distance: Approximately 160km
Keep it local in the morning, and explore the area around Portstewart Strand for a wealth of amazing Game of Thrones® locations. The strand itself is a beautiful expanse of golden sand, where surfers gather to take to the waves. However, this is also where Jaime and Bronn are captured on the coast of Sunspear. Not far away, Downhill Beach is overlooked by Mussenden Temple, a beautiful structure atop the cliffs that’s perfect to explore on foot, hiking up the hillside for breathtaking views of the surrounding area. A stroll along the beach comes with its own slice of Westeros history – Stannis Baratheon is proclaimed as Azor Ahai by Melisandre here, after he burns effigies of the seven old gods and enters Dragonstone into the war.
For lunch, book in to the ever-popular Harry’s Shack for a range of fresh seafood delights.
Between County Armagh and County Londonderry, Binevenagh is where dragons come to fly. This mountain is where Daenerys and Drogon flee to after they escape Meereen. Take the 5km Binevenagh trail to the summit, and hope for a clear day for panoramic views as far as Inishowen and Scotland.
When you descend, make your way south and head towards the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark – this expanse of beautiful woodland and subterranean adventures in County Fermanagh lies at the foot of the Cuilcagh Mountains. Take the Belmore Forest trail, a 7km long walk, and amongst the caves in the park you’ll find Pollnagollum Cave. This serves as the hideout for the Brotherhood Without Banners and the lightning lord, Beric Dondarrion so get on your boots and explore this underground wonderland...
Experience gastronomic bliss and stay at MacNean House, the residence of legendary Irish chef Neven Maguire, or make your way back to the airport to round out your trip to the Seven Kingdoms.
Murlough Bay, Co. Antrim
Portstewart Strand, Co. Londonderry
This is a sample itinerary to offer suggestions and ideas for planning trips. You can contact your local Tourism Ireland representative here for further information. Please note, any mention of specific product on this itinerary is meant to be used only as an example and does not represent an endorsement of that product by Tourism Ireland.