Ok, we admit it, we are totally obsessed with Game of Thrones. If you’re a regular reader of our blogs you’ll know that the IrelandWays.com team are outdoor fanatics. We spend our Sunday mornings hiking and the evening engrossed in Game of Thrones. If you want to avoid spoilers in our office you’ll need to avoid the kitchen at all costs on a Monday, but much like the characters in the show, you’re never fully safe!
The HBO series owes a lot of its success to the stunning visuals it delivers to our living rooms every week. I mean that, along with its uncompromising rollercoaster story line that makes every hour feel like 3 films rolled into one! There has been a huge amount of footage for the show shot here in Ireland. Whether you’re rooting for the Lannisters (shame on you), Daenerys or the Winterfell kids you’ll never get closer to Westeros than a trip to Ireland.
Here’s our list of famous Game of Thrones locations in Ireland, that are on or beside walking trails!
Dragonstone – Downhill Strand, Wild Atlantic Way
Downhill Strand features prominently in Season 7 of Game of Thrones as the Stormborn stronghold. This place is a stunner. Dragons not included.
Storms End – Cashendun Caves
The most famous scene shot in these caves was the birth of the Shadow baby by lady Melisandre. Beautiful by day and eery at night, you can see why this spot was chosen for such an iconic moment. Thankfully, no shadow babies have since been reported in the area.
Renly’s Camp- Larrybanne Quarry, The Causeway Coast Way
We first meet Brienne of Tarth in a swordfight set at Larrybanne Quarry. The disused quarry is now an overspill carpark for the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge pictured here. You’ll need to summon some of Brienne’s famous courage to cross it!
The Dark Hedges – The Kings Road
This tunnelled section of trees acted as the backdrop to Arya Stark’s escape from Kings Landing in Season Two. These trees have been famous since the 18th century. In real life.
Iron Islands Port – Ballintoy Harbour, The Causeway Coast Way
Poor Theon Greyjoy will always regret coming here, it wasn’t long after arriving that he was subjected to the evil brainwashing that tunred him to ‘Reek’. You are very unlikely to encounter Ramsey Bolton on a walking holiday though!
These are just some of the most accessible Game of Thrones sites along our walking trails. The unique landscape of Ireland is often used to depict fantasy lands due to its natural beauty. After filming on Skellig Michael recenty for Star Wars, director JJ Abrams said “I can’t believe they let us shoot there, it was so beautiful”. You brought Luke Skywalker JJ, that’s why!