6 stunning Game of Thrones locations

I am going to begin with a disclaimer; I am obsessed with Game of Thrones. I was introduced to the television series before season 3 started and that was the beginning of a slippery slope into a Thrones obsession.

I have watched each episode multiple times and I read the books word by word. I haven’t (yet) sent George R. R. Martin any threatening emails or tweets to tell him to get a move on.

game of thones locations dark hedges

As Northern Ireland is breathtakingly beautiful with rugged coastlines and miles of untouched land, it is not surprising that HBO made the decision to use little Northern Ireland as their main base for what is now the most popular television show in the world.

Shane’s Castle

game of thones locations shanes castle

Built in 1345 along the shores of Lough Neagh, this castle would not be out of place on the show. The first time the area featured in the series was for the tourney for the Hand at the time (Ned Stark), but is best known for being where the Winterfell crypts and other ‘dungeon’ scenes are filmed.

game of thones locations shanes castle

game of thones locations shanes castle

When  I visited, there were many ‘NO ENTRY’ signs and of course, I ignored them. It was a wonderful decision; I walked straight onto a set that was obviously left there for the next season’s shoot. Sadly, the door that wasn’t a dummy was nailed shut, so I guess I will have to watch the show to see what is behind them.

game of thones locations shanes castle

game of thones locations shanes castle

game of thones locations shanes castle

game of thrones locations shanes castle

Image: HBO/Screencapped.net

Find it: Randalstown Road, Antrim, Co Antrim, BT41 4NE

Moneyglass Castle

game of thones locations moneyglass castle

Moneyglass has been home to many scenes throughout the seasons. It was even used as some of the outdoor scenes around the infamous Red Wedding. It is best known as Winterfell and if the reports are correct, it was heavily used in season six.

Unfortunately, this location isn’t easily accessible. There is a locked gate and claims of CCTV (I didn’t see any cameras), but as the estate is beside a working farm, I didn’t fancy being the crazy fan that annoys local residents.

So, I parked up on the side of the road and tried my best to get a shot.

game of thrones locations moneyglass castle

Image: HBO/Screencapped.net

Find it: Moneyglass Estate,  Roguery Road, Toomebridge, Co. Antrim

The Dark Hedges

game of thones locations dark hedges

These now infamous trees were planted in the 18 century but did not receive attention until they appeared on the first episode of season two.

The Dark Hedges (apologies for visiting in daylight when it was rather bright) feature as part of the Kingsroad Arya Stark travels along as she leaves King’s Landing after her Father’s murder.

game of thones locations dark hedges

Lazy people…

This area gets busy, especially in the summer but I visited at a relatively quiet time. A word of advice: don’t be that person who walks/parks in the hedges when a crazy, obsessed Thrones fan is trying to get their perfect picture.

game of thrones locations dark hedges

Image: HBO/Screencapped.net

Find it: Close to GracehillHouse, Bregagh Road, Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, BT53 8TP

Ballintoy Harbour

game of thones locations ballintoy harbour

This beautiful harbour area is now home to the capital of the Iron Islands, Pyke. The harbour itself does not have easy access; it is down a steep hill that twists.

This does not stop people coming to visit the iconic location. After visiting many times over the years, the harbour area truly has come to life. I even spotted some people dressed up for their Game of Thrones bus tour.

game of thones locations ballintoy harbour

I almost thought I was on set

game of thones locations ballintoy harbour

For those feeling more adventurous, Ballintoy is the beginning of a stunning 12-mile coastal walk (including UNESCO site, the Giant’s Causeway) that ends along the railway tracks in Bushmills.

game of thrones locations ballintoy harbour

Image: HBO/Screencapped.net

Find it: Harbour Rd, Ballintoy, Co. Antrim, BT54 6NA

Larrybane Quarry

game of thones locations larrybane quarry

This old chalk quarry is now the overflow car park for National Trust owned Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge.

The scene it was primarily used in was also the introduction of Brienne of Tarth in season two; she fought (and beat) Loras Tyrell in front of King Renly.

game of thones locations larrybane quarry

Chances are the car park will be quiet and you will be able to get many photographs of where Renly’s camp was situated.

game of thrones locations larrybane quarry

Image: HBO/Screencapped.net

Find it: Follow brown signs for Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge. Ballycastle, Moyle, Co. Antrim, BT54 6LS

Murlough Bay

game-of-thrones locations murlough bay

Murlough Bay is an incredible location. Mostly because the drive to the bay is ‘interesting’ (steep hills and cows/sheep blocking the road).

Murlough Bay has been used throughout the series and it is best known for where Theon and his sister Yara are on horseback together. The bay is also where Davos Seaworth washed up after the Battle of Blackwater.

game of thrones locations murlough bay

This location is phenomenal and that is partially because there are two cottages that are lived in at the end of the road. That would be some commute every day…

game of thrones locations murlough bay

Image: HBO/Screencapped.net

Find it: It’s signposted around Ballycastle, Co. Antrim. Postcode: BT54 6RG

I plan to keep adding to this list as I visit other locations, so keep your eyes peeled for updates.

Are you a Game of Thrones fan? Where was your favourite scene filmed?

Game of Thrones filming locations Northern Ireland



  1. 25/04/2016 / 08:40

    Good list. I didn’t recognise Shane’s Castle in the show (dur!) but you need to come down here and I’ll show you where they filmed in Tollymore. Lots of places where you see white walkers, where the Starks found the direwolf pups and random other assorted places in Winterfell/The North. There was some filming done in the Mournes too and a jaunt to Castleward wouldn’t go amiss either!
    Jools recently posted…The Best Laid PlansMy Profile

    • 25/04/2016 / 20:21

      I was talking to Laura about exactly this. You guys are joining me when I come to your neck of the woods to add to the list!

      • 25/04/2016 / 20:26

        Yeah! Game of Thrones location stalking here we come! I’m obviously gonna have to rewatch it all to remind myself where we need to go 😀
        Jools recently posted…The Best Laid PlansMy Profile

  2. James Davidson
    01/05/2016 / 09:54

    And now, as a little Sarahbird told me, you have starred in it. From viewer to one who will be viewed.
    You should open a category for your burgeoning acting experiences Sarah!

    • 08/05/2016 / 07:52

      I don’t think I could without being sued!

      • James Davidson
        13/05/2016 / 05:37

        LOL @ being sued

  3. Martin
    26/06/2017 / 18:00

    Great article, im visiting this year….Is Shane’s castle open to the public?

    • 03/08/2017 / 08:37

      Officially, no. There are events throughout the year that let you have access to the area. Worth it!

  4. James Davidson
    04/08/2017 / 08:44

    Brilliant article Sarah (how much are the tourist board paying you???)
    Must get around to reading the books – how does the TV series compare to the books? I usually find that the books are better than the film/tv series – but do admit there are exceptions. I also am talking about reading the books first, have little experience of reading the book after the cinematic experience.
    Thanks for the article!

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