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Game of Thrones. Photo: HBO
Game of Thrones. Photo: HBO

Lifestyle

Visit the real Westeros

A road trip through Northern Ireland will allow you to experience some of the most iconic locations in the Seven Kingdoms. From Dublin, drive north – to Westeros …

After four years of gruesome beheadings, sibling incest, wildlings and dragons, Game of Thrones has overtaken The Sopranos to become the most popular show ever on HBO. But Game of Thrones is more than just gratuitous violence; it also features some of the most stunning sets and breathtaking scenery ever seen on TV – a lot of which can be found in Northern Ireland. Here are some of the highlights:

The Haunted Forest (Tollymore Forest Park)

Tollymore Forest Park. Copyright Northern Ireland Tourist Board, 2010

Who could forget the opening scene in Game of Thrones? Three brave men of the Night’s Watch ride into the snow-covered Haunted Forest only to fall foul of a ferocious White Walker. With its rich woodlands, bridges, caves and gothic gates, Tollymore Forest Park offers the perfect start to a real-world Westeros adventure.

Winterfell (Castle Ward)

Castle Ward.  Copyright Northern Ireland Tourist Board, 2010

Most of us know Castle Ward by the name of Winterfell, home of House Stark and the setting for some of the most memorable scenes ever shot in Game of Thrones. Overlooking the stunning Strangford Lough, Castle Ward and its grounds create the perfect backdrop for an afternoon of exploring.

The Iron Islands (Ballintoy Harbour)

Ballintoy Harbour.  Copyright Northern Ireland Tourist Board, 2010

The rugged north coast of Northern Ireland includes numerous several unforgettable Game of Thrones locations, including Ballintoy Harbour – the setting of Theon Greyjoy’s less-than-glorious return to the Iron Islands. On the way there, don’t miss the Dark Hedges, a beautiful avenue of beech trees that double as the King’s Road, along which Arya made her famous escape from King’s Landing disguised as a boy.

Text: Isabelle Kliger

Find places from Game Of Thrones on Northern Ireland in this interactive map

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