Out & About
Game of Thrones
You don’t have to travel far to see why HBO chose Northern Ireland as the perfect place to film Game of Thrones®. Rated one of the Top Five Road Trips worldwide, the Causeway Coastal Route takes in a number of Game of Thrones® filming locations as it weaves through the Nine Glens of Antrim – including the pretty villages of Glenarm, Cushendun and Ballintoy.
1. Glenarm - The Steensons Jewellery Workshop
Handcrafted jewellery at its very best, Steensons Économusée was intrusted by HBO to create much of the iconic jewellery used in Game of Thrones, including Joffrey’s Crown. Stay at Water’s Edge B+B and receive a 10% discount of your purchases when you visit the workshop only a short walk from here.
2. Cairncastle - North of Winterfell
10 minutes in the car from Water’s Edge
Above the village of Cairncastle, on the Antrim Hills Way and close to Sallagh Brae, is where Ned Stark beheaded the Night’s Watch deserter in Season 1 Episode 1. This is a fantastic place to walk atop the Antrim Plateau and gaze down onto the coast below. If you fancy a good walk, we are happy to drop you off at the spot where the scenes where shot and you can walk back over Sallagh Brae and downhill to Glenarm.
3. Door of Thrones - Door 9 - Ballygally Castle Hotel
10 minutes in the car from Water’s Edge and a great stop for a Game of Thrones themed afternoon Tea
A short drive along the coast towards Belfast will take you to Ballygally Castle, home to door 9 from the Doors of Thrones
When some of the trees along Northern Ireland’s famous Dark Hedges (better known to Game of Thrones® fans as the ‘Kingsroad’) blew over in Storm Gertrude, the felled wood was carved into a set of 10 intricate doors, hung across a variety of locations in Northern Ireland, each telling the story of a Season 6 episode.
Door 9 depicts the famous battle between House Stark and House Bolton in the penultimate episode of Season 6. Carved on this beautiful door, you will see the crests of House Bolton and House Stark, Ramsey Bolton’s hungry dogs and Winterfell Castle.
4. Shillanavogy Valley - Dothraki Sea, East of Pentos
Near Slemish, 20 minutes in the car from Water’s Edge
Shillanavoghy Valley lies under the gaze of Slemish Mountain, the legendary first known Irish home of Saint Patrick. Fans will of course recognise the valley as the Dothraki Grasslands where Daenerys Targaryen rides towards Pentos in Season 1 Episode 2.
Located in County Antrim, Slemish rises about 1500 feet (437 metres) above the surrounding plain, and is the remains of the central core of an extinct volcano. This is where St Patrick tended to his sheep whilst enslaved and is a place of pilgrimage. A short climb (walking shoes recommended) takes you to the summit with magnificent 360 vistas across Northern Ireland and beyond – certainly worth the effort.
5. Carnlough Harbour - Ayra Stark takes to the freezing waters in Series 6
5 minutes in the car from Water’s Edge
Carnlough is a pretty coastal village with small harbour that was closed for a day as GOT film crew made ready for a days shooting. Poor Maisie Williams had to take a dip (on more than one occasion) into the icy waters of the harbour – and then run to the nearby Londonderry Arms Hotel for a hot shower!
We recommend the Londonderry Arms Hotel for an evening meal so you can take in dinner and visit the harbour!
6. Cushendun Caves - A Cove in the Stormlands and GOT Door 8
25 minutes in the car north on the coast road heading to Torr Head – a must travel route towards Ballycastle with great views to Scotland.
Made famous by Game of Thrones® in Season 2 Episode 4 – the caves were formed over a period of 400 million years, and recognisable to fans as the Shadow creature’s birth site. This designated conservation area is where you’ll find the beloved sculpture of ‘Johann’ the goat – a famous Cushendun resident.
Door 8 is located in Mary Mc Brides pub – upstairs is a fantastic restaurant specialising in fish – we happily recommend an evening meal here.
7. Murlough Bay - Renly's Camp, The Stormlands and Slavers' Bay, Essos
40 minutes from Water’s Edge along the Causeway Coastal Route
Murlough Bay, or Slavers’ Bay as it will be known to fans, is located in North East County Antrim. It is here that Tyrion and Jorah come ashore and are accosted by slavers in Season 5 Episode 6. Fans will also recognise this location as Renly’s camp in Season 2 Episode 4.
The bay is best known for its outstanding beauty and far-reaching views across the sea to Rathlin Island and the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland
8. Larrybane - The Stormlands & Nagga' Hill, Old Wyk, The Iron Islands
North of Ballycastle on route to the Giants Causeway, about 50 minutes form Water’s Edge
Larrybane Bay is the dramatic spot chosen for Renly Baratheon’s camp in the Stormlands, and where Brienne of Tarth was named to Renly’s Kingsguard in Season 2 Episode 3.
The headland, sheltered by Sheep Island and a shallow reef, leads down to Northern Ireland’s famous and exhilarating rope bridge challenge, the Carrick-a-Rede Bridge.
This 4* attraction is suspended 100ft above sea level and the 30-metre deep and 20-metre wide chasm is traversed by a rope bridge that was traditionally erected by Salmon fishermen.
Cross the bridge to the tiny Carrick-a-Rede island (a Site of Special Scientific Interest) and enjoy a truly cliff-top experience.
9. Ballintoy Harbour - Lordsport Harbour, Pyke, The Iron Islands
50 minutes on one of the world’s best road journeys from Water’s Edge
Just a short distance away is Ballintoy Harbour – better known to fans of Game of Thrones® as Lordsport Harbour, Pyke and the Iron Islands where Theon is baptised into the religion of the drowned God, thus reaffirming his loyalty to his family in Season 2 Episode 2.
Ballintoy Harbour was also used as a filming location in Season 4 Episode 2 when Melisandre presides over the burning of the Bannermen, and is referred to locally as the ‘raised beach’.
The harbour, and the nearby village of Ballintoy, are a picture-perfect stop-off point along the Causeway Coastal Route, and home to another Doors of Thrones which can be found at the Fullerton Arms.
10. The Dark Hedges - The Kingsroad, North of King's Landing
About 45 minutes from Water’s Edge
Travelling inland again and close to the village of Armoy, visitors will be amazed by one of the most iconic Game of Thrones® filming locations, The Dark Hedges.
This beautiful tree-lined avenue and famous Northern Ireland landmark, was planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century, and was used as a filming location for the Kingsroad in Season 2 Episode 1, when Arya Stark, dressed as a boy, escaped King’s Landing in the back of a cart.
Nearby at Gracehill House, you will find another famous door carved from the storm-felled trees. Built around 1775, James Stuart named the house after his wife, Grace Lynd, and the archway of intertwining beech trees was once part of the estate.
11. The Giant's Causeway
Not to be missed on any trip to Northern Ireland is the geological wonder which gave the Causeway Coastal Route its name.
The Giant’s Causeway sits at the centre of an Area of Outstanding Beauty and is Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Start your visit at the state-of-the-art Visitor Centre then stroll down to the intriguing polygonal stones to search out distinctive formations such as the Camel, Wishing Chair, Granny and Organ.