Jon snow. Danerys Targaryen. Sansa stark. Samwell Tarley. Jamie Lannister. The Hound.Drogo. Theon Greyjoy. Sansa Stark. Tyrion Lannister .The list goes on..for now at least. Game of Thrones has become a household name since its airing 7 years ago, and even if you aren't a die hard fan you know people who are obsessed. On my recent trip to Belfast (find it here) I got the chance to seriously nerd out with some Game of Thrones filming locations and a wicked tour that was more than I could have hoped for.
Thanks to Viator I was able to get the best game of thrones experience while in Belfast & so much more. So here are the highlights from the Game of Thrones tour (if you want to take the same tour I did, click here for the details!)
The one where Arya gets stabbed
Aka the town of Glencoy (Gleann Claidheamh in Irish) , or more specifically, the small marina there. I know I was breathless when in Season 6 Episode 7 Arya Stark gets stabbed (a couple pf times I might add) by the Waif. This scene was filmed at this location in Glencoy, and the infamous steps she climbs out of (because she’s a badass like that) are just as they are in the scene in real life. The town itself is quite scenic, and also home to a very lucky (albeit dead) pigeon who even in death holds the key to the town. Paddy was awarded the animal equivalent to the Victoria Cross for his bravery in the war. Just al little bit of extra info for ya there.
The one where a demon assassin is born
Cushenden Caves; over 400 million years old & where some pretty shady shit happened no thanks to Melissandre birthing some sort of shadow baby who would go on to kill Renly Baratheon in Season 5. The caves themselves without the help of HBO leave a little to be desired. I mean it’s really all about the lighting and the music they use to make the location suit the scene. Still a tad eerie being in the middle of a cave aka The Stormlands where some crazy shit happened.
The one where Theon Greyjoy is from
This location is used as a few different places, but most notable would be The Iron Islands & Pyke. More well known as the place where Theon & Yarra first meet again after he returns..and some questionable incest happens. Either way, this place is so pretty! The boats, the coast in the distance and the gorgeous white washed houses on the way down to the beach make it seem almost Grecian. This location is also used as Dragonstone in earlier seasons.
The one with all the trees
The Dark Hedges, are probably one of the more highly sought after of the shows filming locations because of the eery & beech trees that line the road here. This location is known as The King’s Road and where Arya can be seen after escaping King’s Landing as a boy. While this location is beautiful, keep in mind there are very few occasions you’ll have it without any other people, cars or buses obstructing your view. The tour I was on had the drive park the bus way at the end so we could get some photos with less people/cars in the way though!
The one with the Wall
If you watch Game of Thrones & don’t know what The Wall is then you’re dead to me. A bit dramatic I know but really, the show surrounds a lot of its interactions on this place & the Knights Watch. That being said, this is the only location you’re taken to where you can’t’ actually leave the bus. The driver does a slow roll past but HBO keeps it as a live set even when the seasons are aired/filming stops in other locations. To be fair, thanks to the magic of CGI you really aren't missing anything by not being able to get out. It’s just a quarry with a a fairly large wall that’s been painted white & everything else you see every Sunday night is done in post production.
*no photos because I couldn't get anything with the 15 ft fence in the way..but this is how you should imagine it anyways, not how I saw it*
There are more filming locations in Belfast than just the ones above, but if you haven't got a car/don't drive (fun fact about me) then this tour will give you the highlights as well as stopping at both The Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge & The Giants Causeway, all for £35 (+ £6 for the rope bridge which you pay on arrival for). On top of that you get these insanely knowledgable guides, in my case-Charlene, a sarcastic, vibrant& hilarious guide for my day. She shared so much info about GOT that I had no idea about, plus some funny stories about the cast and her interactions with them(she'd been an extra in 6 of the seasons of the show).
*All smiles in The Iron Islands*
So whether you're a fan, a new recruit to the series or are just looking for your best value for money on a guided tour for your trip to Belfast, this is one definitely not to be missed! Your eyes will thank me later. Currently making plans to get my Game of Thrones on in other countries so if you’ve been to any other locations around Europe I’d love to hear from you about what you saw & how you got there!
(This is not a sponsored post or ad. I paid for this tour myself and am sharing it with you because of how rad it was)