Follow the Three-Eyed Raven through Northern Ireland, where crumbling castles and ancient landscapes become key Seven Kingdoms filming locations in Game of Thrones
The forests, mountains and moorlands around Northern Ireland transformed into the scenic backdrops for Game of Thrones most memorable moments. It was here that Sansa and Littlefinger journeyed to the Eyrie, Jorah and Tyrion set sail on the Summer Sea together, and Jaime and Bronn came ashore on Dorne.
Tollymore Forest Park
Tollymore Forest Park, County Down, made its mark as the Haunted Forest, where the White Walkers began their march into the realm of men. These 600 hectares hold ancient redwoods as well as Gothic stone arches – the remnants of an 18th century estate. Ramsay, the ‘bastard of Bolton’, hunted Theon here, and it’s where the Starks discover the direwolves. Listen carefully, you might still hear their howls.
Nature was definitely smiling on HBO’s location scouts when they found the Dark Hedges, a haunting avenue of serpentine beech trees near Armoy, County Antrim.
It became the Kingsroad, where Arya disguised herself as a boy to avoid capture.
Marble Arch Caves
But captured she was, and dragged to the Brotherhood without Banners’ hideout, otherwise known to us as Pollnagollum Cave in County Fermanagh. Part of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, it’s an extensive maze of underground passages that attracts explorers from distant lands.
Slemish Mountain & Glenariff
The gorgeous Shillanavogy Valley, beneath Slemish Mountain in County Antrim, recreated the Dothraki grasslands, when the Khalasar departs Pentos and rides to Vaes Dothrak. Another Antrim stunner is Glenariff. Known as ‘Queen of the Glens’, it’s considered the most beautiful of the nine Glens of Antrim: a plunging valley surrounded by stunning waterfalls and walking trails. It served as the practice ground at Runestone in the Vale of Arryn, where Littlefinger and Sansa Stark watched Robin Arryn’s attempt at duelling.
Another prime filming location can be found in the Mourne Mountains in County Down. These dramatic slopes were the entrance to Vaes Dothrak and are no stranger to fantasy novels – they inspired author CS Lewis to create Narnia. Leitrim Lodge at the foothills of the Mournes became the lands north of Winterfell where Bran first meets Jojen and Meera in the woods.
In County Londonderry you’ll find Binevenagh Mountain, marking the edge of the Antrim plateau and boasting panoramic views from the summit that stretch for miles. No wonder this is the location chosen for the Dothraki Sea far above the city of Meereen. It’s where Daenerys is rescued by her dragon Drogon and brought to his lair…