15 Real Game of Thrones Locations
Game Of Thrones is everyone’s favorite TV show right now. It has action, magic and almost anything you can imagine that would be in a mystical, mid-evil place like Westeros. Fans dream of a trip to Westeros, but unfortunately it’s not a real place. The closest you can get to going to Westeros is by visiting the actual locations the scenes are filmed in the T.V. series. If you want to visit all the filming locations you might want to plan ahead. This won’t be a regular weekend get away. The locations are spread out over Europe but most of them are in Northern Ireland. Here is a list of the real Game of Throne locations.
Winterfell. The Castle Ward estate in Northern Ireland, just south of Belfast, was used as Winterfell’s courtyard. The grounds were used as the campsite of the Lannister army. The best news is the estate is open to the public. The Castle Ward estate wasn’t the only castle used as Winterfell. Doune Castle in Scotland was also used as Winterfell in the very first episode of Game Of Thrones. The distinctive towers that Winterfell is recognized by were created with CGI, meaning you won’t be able to visit those anywhere in the world.
The Wall In the series the Wall is a colossal fortification which stretches for 300 miles long and is 700 feet high and is made of solid ice. It is the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms, defending the realm from the Wildlings who live beyond. In real life there is no actual wall, and most of what we see at Castle Black is created with digital effects. Sorry to upset you. The filming is around a disused quarry in Magheramorne in Northern Ireland. Even most of the snow and ice is added in post production.
Pyke And The Iron Islands. Northern Ireland’s Ballintoy Harbor is the actual location for Pyke and the Iron Islands in season two. Back when Theon was still kind of like by viewers, we saw him arriving at the harbor and getting all creepy with a girl who turned out to be his sister. Ballintoy Harbor didn’t have to go through much cosmetic preparation. The real place doesn’t look too different from what was on the television screen.
King’s Landing. Malta served as King’s Landing in season one, but from season two onward the filming location changed to Dubrovnik in Croatia. The bright orange roofs will be recognizable from some of the establishing shots we’ve seen of King’s Landing. The old streets of the city have been featured in many scenes. The walls in the city were used for the Battle of Blackwater sequence. The park Trsteno Arboretum was used for a series of scenes involving the Tyrell ladies and Sansa Stark. There is a Game Of Thrones walking tour of the city so you aren’t just walking around aimlessly.
Behind The Wall. To go behind the Wall, you’ll need to travel to Iceland. Scenes featuring the Night’s Watch and the Wildlings have been shot in locations like Vatnajökull national park, the shores of Lake Mývatn, Svínafellsjökull and the heartland of Höfðabrekkuheiði. The cave where Jon Snow and Ygritte hooked up is located in the Lake Mývatn and is called Grjótagjá. It is accessible to the public whenever filming is not taking place.
Daenerys’ Travels Daenerys has been traveling to some pretty incredible places, and to see some of them you need to go to Morocco. The city of Astapor, where she got her unsullied soldiers from is actually the coastal town of Essaouira. The Game of Thrones production crew also took advantage of Morocco’s Atlas Studios, which is the world’s largest film studio. You can take a tour of this place, which has been used on several occasions for Game Of Thrones and other films and T.V. shows.
Dragonstone One of the most iconic filming locations on the show is Downhill Beach. It is an 7 mile stretch of sand and surf located on the Causeway Coast. This magnificent location is home to Mussenden, a tiny temple perched dramatically on a 120 ft cliff high above the Atlantic Ocean. Downhill was transformed into Dragonstone in Season 2 of the show. This is the spot where the old gods burn on the beach and Melisandre chants, “For the night is dark and full of terrors.”
The Stormlands Larrybane headlane is the location chosen for Renly Barateon’s camp in Season 2. Larrybane is located along the North Coast of Ireland near Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, that stretches out towards Sheep Island. Its large caves once served as a home to boat builders and a safe haven from winter storms. This is where Catelyn Stark agrees to a treaty with Renley on behalf of her son Robb. Here is where Renly swore he will avenge Ned’s death and bring Catelyn Joffrey’s head.
Storm’s End. Located in North East County Antrim, Murlough Bay is an awe-inspiring location. Murlough is best known for its outstanding beauty, its islolation and views across the sea to Rathlin Island and the Mull of Kintyre. Murlough Bay becomes the Iron Islands in Season 3. This is the spot where Theon Greyjoy rides on the horse with his sister Yara and where Davos Seaworth is shipwrecked after the battle of Blackwater Bay.
The Stormlands, Cushendun Caves. In season 2, The Stormlands was the setting for Melisandre’s birth to the shadow baby after being brought ashore by Davos Seaworhty. More specifically The Stormlands in these scenes are the caves at Cushendun.These caves were formed over a period of 400 million of years and are a product of extreme weather conditions. They can be found just beyond this beautiful coastal village next to the Cave House.
The King’s Road, The King’s Road is a beautiful place in a dark, gothic way. The King’s Road is called The Dark Hedges in real life. It is an avenue of beech trees, plated by the Stuart family in the 18th century. 200 hundred years later, the Dark Hedges remain a magnificent sight and have become one of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland. In season 2 The Dark Hedges live up to their haunting name. The spectacular trees were visually appealing on camera as Ayra Stark made her escape from King’s Landing.
Robb Stark’s Camp. Lots of drama unfolds in Audley’s Field and Castle by Strangford Lough. This is where Robb Stark’s camp and where he first meets Talisa on the show during season 2. During Season 1 of Game of Thrones, Audley’s Field was used when King Robert Baratheon arrives at Winterfell. You can even explore Robb’s Trail on one of two Game Of Thrones self-guided cycling tours provided by Clearsky Adventure Center in the Castle Ward Estate.
The Riverlands. Located on the north bank of the Quoile River, this historic site is used as the location of the Twins in the Riverlands. The River Quoile is featured at a couple of key points in Season 1. This is where Robb’s army needs to cross the Trident, so Catelyn Stark goes to bargain with Walder Frey to seek permission. In the very next episode, it’s the place where Catelyn and Robb learn of Ned’s beheading and declare “We will kill them all.”
The Haunted Forest. Tollymore Forest Park was featured in the very first episode on Game of Thrones. It is known on the show as the Haunted Forest. It covers an area almost 630 ares at the foot of the beautiful Mourne Mountains. My hat goes off to the production crew for making this place look like an uninviting place. Outside of the show, this is a romantic forest that is home to trees, woodlands, streams, grottos, caves, and offers a panoramic views of the sea at nearby Newcastle.
Beric Dondarrion’s Hideout. Pollnagollum Cave in Belmore Forest is part of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark in County Fermnagh. Its name is Irish for “Hole of the doves.” In Game of Thrones, the exterior of this cave was filmed and was Beris Condarrion’s hideout. The cave is fed by a waterfall and swells to a torrent during harsh weather. To catch a glimpse, you can follow Belmore Forest walk which leads to a viewing point for the cave.