Ireland According to Game of Thrones

What game? Thrones? Game of….what?

Yeah. I didn’t know of Game of Thrones when we landed in the land of Game of Thrones, Northern Ireland and to be more exact, Country Antrim, last October.

The fact that this was the setting for the extremely popular HBO series would’ve continued to escape me if we hadn’t walked in to Ballintoy, a small fishing harbour close to the Knocksaughey Hill, and in the very end of a steep, narrow road, where the film crew was getting the set ready for later on in the day.

My husband was of the opinion that everyone knows Game of Thrones and consequently it should be no biggie to come across film crews there, on the edge of the Atlantic kind of nowhere.

Naturally I quite didn’t agree, but now a few months later, slightly more educated on the subject I decided to look Game of Thrones up and I’m impressed by their choice of filming locations from Morocco to Croatia, Malta, Iceland and of course Ireland. Even if you are not into Game of Thrones (just as I visited Hobbiton although I’m not a hardcore fan – seems to be a recurring theme here), this whole region is filled with stunning places to visit. Here are some of my favourites – not all of them featured in this series, but it would be shame to miss them if you are exploring the region.

Carrick-a-Reed Bridge in Northern Ireland I @SatuVW I Destination Unknown
Carrick-a-Reed Bridge in Northern Ireland I @SatuVW I Destination Unknown
1. Carrick-a-Rede

Rope bridge suspended in the height of thirty meters, swaying gently in the wind while the waves crash violently into the rocks beneath. Not my kind of place and I was only planning to get a shot, but an innocent “I could take a picture of you” from a stranger got me tiptoeing over the bridge while absolutely not looking down. All the respect to the fishermen who for over 350 years have strung the rope bridge annually to allow them access to the best spots to catch migrating salmon.

More information: National Trust

Dunluce Castle in Northern Ireland I SatuVW I Destination Unknown
2. Dunluce Castle

Scottish McDonnell clan were the last to reside in this castle built up high on the cliffs, but after some of the castle was destroyed, read – fell into the sea on a stormy weather in 1639, the castle was soon after abandoned.

More information: Discover Northern Ireland

Downhill Demesne I SatuVW I Destination Unknown
3. Downhill Demesne

Mansion built in the 18th century by eccentric Earl Bishop, which was then badly ruined in an fire in 1851, and rebuilt in the 1870s until the 2nd World War took care of it… Now it is kind of  an eery place, especially if there is only you and few sheep visiting it.

More information: National Trust

Musseden Temple I SatuVW I Destination Unknown
4. Mussenden Temple

This is part of Downhill Demesne, and built originally as a library, with quite the view! On a very windy day, me and my daughter opted for admiring it from a distance. There was no need to get blown into the sea on this trip.

Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland I @SatuVW I Destination Unknown
5. Dark Hedges

Tiny bit of magical road in the middle of nowhere. I loved it and you can read all about it in my earlier post here.

Portrush Beach by SatuVW I Destination Unknown
6. Portrush beach

Not the busiest place in October, quite tranquil, actually, until these horses galloped right past me. We didn’t go for a swim, but a stroll on a beach is standard holiday stuff and should be done, no matter what the season.

Northern Ireland by SatuVW I Destination Unknown
7. Causeway Coastal Route

Prepare yourself for a slow drive as the road is full of these kind of scenic stops, as the picture above demonstrates. Historical castles, steep cliffs, amazing scenery. You can find all of the above except Dark Hedges on this route, actually.

More information: Discover Northern Ireland

Have a look at also my earlier post on Chasing the Giants – another spot not to miss while in this area. And if you are really in to the Games, the Game of Thrones exhibition recently opened in Stockholm, Sweden and for those looking for themed adventures in Ireland, Causeway Coast and Glens has crafted some cool Game of Thrones itineraries.

Me, I still haven’t watched my first episode of the Games. About the time, I think…

On a different note, a HUGE thank you to all of you who participated in the PIECE OF giveaway! You can find out who the lucky winners are from here.

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  1. The Causeway Coastal Route looks stunning! I’d love to visit Ireland. I’ve been to Scotland and fell in love with how green and gorgeous it was and I’m sure Ireland would be no exception. I’ve never seen Game of Thrones, but it’s on our to-watch list. Might have to make it a priority, if only for the beautiful filming locations.
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  2. Such beautiful pictures – love them. NI is on our list of places to go – there seems to be so much to see and do and it’s also extremely near (and I haven’t been for about 20 years!)

    • I’m SO sorry I didn’t reply to your comment earlier, for some reason I didn’t get a notification of it!

      This area is gorgeous, I’d definitely recommend a trip. None of these places are very far from Belfast, only about an hour’s drive or little more. And Hobbiton… I’d so love to go back!
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