As many of the IrelandWays.com team are super fans of Game of Thrones we are excited to share some of the dramatic Irish landscapes chosen as backdrops for the popular series. Haunting castles, deserted beaches and rugged coastlines provide the perfect locations for filming some of the most memorable scenes.
If you are not familiar with the hit HBO series you may have been living under a rock or perhaps you are just about to dive into the first series. Personally, I was a latecomer but I am catching up with the episodes quickly.
The Causeway Coast Way takes walkers along a variety of rural roads and forest trails, always following the coastline as closely as possible. Some areas of interest that you will be passing are Kinbane Castle, built in 1547. This two-storey castle was the site of many sieges and battles through the 18th century. Here you will find familiar scenes of the Stormlands featured in Season 2 of Game of Thrones. The world-famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge spans a 30-metre deep and 20-metre wide chasm and was originally erected by salmon fishermen. The island has been used for salmon fishing for more than 350 years.
From the beautiful Glenarriff forest park and Ballycastle forest you will make your way to the small fishing village of Ballintoy. This section of our walk on the Causeway Coast Way takes you the heart of Ballintoy Harbour, one of the many set locations chosen by the crew at Game of Thrones. This dramatic coastal location has been used as the Iron Islands and Pyke shots in the series. In addition to these attractions along the walking route there are plenty of other opportunities to follow in the footsteps of Robb Stark, Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister. Take a stroll under the dark hedges in Co.Antrim or through the trees in the haunted forest in Co.Down. Pay a visit to Audley’s Castle, the set of Robb’s Camp in season 2 and many other familiar settings from the series.
While you are in the area visit the famous basalt columns at the Giants Causeway. Local legend would argue that it is was constructed by a giant from Ireland Fionn MacCool, when he was challenged to a fight by the Scottish giant Benandonner. Fionn accepted the challenge and built the causeway across the North Channel so that the two giants could meet. In one version of the story, Fionn defeats Benandonner and in another, Fionn hides from his foe is much bigger than he is. Fionn’s wife, Oonagh, disguises Fionn as a baby and tucks him in a cradle. When Benandonner sees the size of the ‘baby’, he thinks that his father, Fionn, must be a giant among giants. He flees back to Scotland, destroying the causeway behind him so that Fionn could not follow.
It is easy to see why the mystical tales, medieval ruins and vast green fields of Northern Ireland inspire producers and directors from around the world. act as sets for staging some of the epic battle grounds in the Game of Thrones. On the Causeway Coast Way you will stumble upon St Gobban’s church, the smallest church in Ireland, the ruins of Dunseverick Castle and around Benbane Head to the world famous Giants Causeway. The striking columns jutting out into the ocean as a result of an ancient volcanic eruption is breathtaking from every angle.
To book your next walking or cycling tour on the Causeway Coast Way please contact one of our travel specialists.