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12 Best Belfast Locations to See on Game of Thrones Tour

Are you a fan of the hit HBO series, Game of Thrones?

Then you’re definitely going to love Belfast!

Many of the show’s most famous scenes were shot on location in Belfast and the surrounding areas of Northern Ireland.

Keep reading to discover the 12 best Belfast locations to see on Game of Thrones tour.

1. Inch Abbey

The first stop on your Game of Thrones tour of Belfast is none other than Inch Abbey.

Inch Abbey is a ruined monastic site that sits on the banks of the River Quoile.

Although little remains today, the site was originally built in Gothic architectural style in the year 1180.

When it comes to Game of Thrones, Inch Abbey was the filming location for Robb Stark’s camp in the first season.

Elder Stark was declared King of the North after the Battle of Whispering Wood at this very location. 

  • Address: Inch Abbey Road, Downpatrick, County Down, BT30 9AX

2. Dunluce Castle

Even if you’re not a Game of Thrones fan, Dunluce Castle is definitely worth the trek.

Located in County Antrim on the North Antrim coast, Dunluce is one of the most breathtaking castles in Ireland.

The castle is surrounded by 100 foot cliffs and dates back to the 14th century.

Today, what’s left of the castle is open to the public for tours. 

Game of Thrones followers will be excited to learn that Dunluce Castle doubled as Pyke Castle, House of Greyjoy.

It is also said to be what inspired C.S. Lewis’s Cair Paravel in The Chronicles of Narnia.

  • Address: 87 Dunluce Road, Bushmills, County Antrim, BT57 8UY
  • Opening Hours: Daily 9:30am to 4pm

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3. Carnlough Harbour

After checking out Dunluce Castle, continue venturing into County Antrim and you will come to Carnlough Harbour.

This picturesque harbour has risen to prominence thanks to Game of Thrones.

The habour is located on Carnlough Bay and is at the heart of Carnlough Village.

Small fishing boats reside here and historically, the harbour was developed for the region’s booming limestone trade.

Game of Thrones lovers may recognize Carnlough Harbour as part of the Free City of Braavos Canal.

More specifically, the stone staircase leading down to the water was what Arya Stark crawled up after she was stabbed by the Waif in season 6.

  • Address: Harbour Road, Causeway Coastal Route, Carnlough, County Antrim, BT44 0EU

4. Caves of Cushendun

The next stop on your unofficial Game of Thrones tour?

The Caves of Cushendun.

Cushendun can be found on the mouth of the River Dun and has long been considered a safe harbour for those travelling between Ireland and Scotland.

This small town has seen a major surge in tourism as a result of Game of Thrones.

The show used the area’s 400 million year old Caves of Cushendun to film the scene when Davos and Melisandre landed ashore in the second season.

Further, the caves were used as the filming location for the birth of the shadow baby.

  • Address: Cushendun, County Antrim, BT44 0PH

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5. Ballintoy Harbour

Ballintoy Harbour is a must-see for all nature lovers, as well as Game of Thrones fanatics.

This picturesque coastal region of Northern Ireland offers incredible scenery, as well as plenty of walking trails.

Ballintoy Harbour currently serves as a working harbour for local fisherman, but a word of warning, it is known for having some of the most dangerous swells and currents in the country.

In terms of its Game of Thrones appeal, this site was featured numerous times in the scenes that took place in the Iron Islands.

For example, the scenes of Theon’s return and when he first met his sister Yara were filmed here. 

  • Address: Harbour Rd, Ballintoy, BT54 6NA, Northern Ireland

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6. The Dark Hedges

Drive just 50 miles north of Belfast and you’ll have reached the otherworldly natural site known as the Dark Hedges.

As soon as you arrive here, you will see why it was used as a Game of Thrones filming location.

Eerie and majestic at the same time, the Dark Hedges are a forest of beech trees that were planted back in the 18th century.

This site appeared in season 2 of Game of Thrones when Arya Stark escaped King’s Landing and was dressed as a boy.

Tip: It is best to visit the Dark Hedges in the morning before they get more crowded.

  • Address: Bregagh Road, Stranocum, Ballymoney, County Antrim, BT53 8PX

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7. Tollymore Forest

If you have a car, a visit to Tollymore Forest is a must.

This magical forest was the first state forest park in Northern Ireland, established in 1955.

It is located near the town of Newcastle and will make you feel like you’re in a fairytale.

Thus, it’s no surprise that Game of Thrones chose Tollymore Forest as one of their filming locations.

The park was used as the setting for the Haunted Forest where the three Night’s Watchmen find a White Walker.

It was also used as the backdrop for when Theon Greyjoy tries to escape from Ramsay Snow.

  • Address: Bryansford Road, Tollymore Park, Newcastle, Co Down, BT33 0PR
  • Opening Hours: Daily 10am until sunset

8. Castle Ward

History and TV lovers unite!

Castle Ward is a historical landmark located in the town of Strangford, Northern Ireland.

The castle is an 18th century National Trust property that sits on Strangford Loch.

Although it might not look like it at first glance, Castle Ward was used as Winterfell’s Courtyard in Game of Thrones.

It was featured many times in the first season, including the scene when King Robert Baratheon arrived at Winterfell and was met by Stark in the pilot.

It was also where Brann, Jon, and Robb can be seen practicing their archery skills in season 1.

  • Address: Strangford, Downpatrick, County Down, BT30 7BA
  • Opening Hours: Daily 10am to 4pm

9. Downhill Beach

Head to the beach in Ireland to see yet another one of the nation’s stunning Game of Thrones locales.

This time, you’ll be driving to County Londonderry where you’ll find Downhill Beach.

Downhill Beach served as the location for Dragonstone, which fans know as the site where the seven gods of Westeros were sacrificed by Melisandre. 

The beach, its dramatic cliffs, and the iconic Mussenden Temple were all featured heavily in this scene.

After you’ve finished touring the site, enjoy all that the beach has to offer, which includes 11 kilometres of sand, as well as surfing and swimming.

  • Address: Cloonavon 66 Portstewart Road, Coleraine, County Londonderry, BT52 1EY

10. Carrickfergus Castle

As you continue on your Game of Thrones tour, be sure to stop at Carrickfergus Castle.

Carrickfergus Castle is one of the best preserved medieval castles in Northern Ireland.

It is over 800 years old and is located less than 10 miles north of Belfast.

The castle was previously used as a military fortress against attacks from the French, Scottish, and English, as well as the two world wars.

However, in 1928 ownership of the castle was passed from the army to the government.

The castle itself was not used as a filming location in Game of Thrones, but the town and the nearby Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge (more on that below) was.

  • Address: Marine Highway, Carrickfergus, County Antrim, BT38 7BG
  • Opening Hours: Daily 9am to 4:30pm

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11. Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge

If you’re after a little adventure while on your Game of Thrones tour, then definitely stop at the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge.

This bridge is considered one of the world’s scariest, mainly because it is 100 feet in the air and has only one handrail and large gaps between the slats.

The bridge itself was not featured in Game of Thrones, but adjacent to the bridge is the Larrybane Quarry.

Larrybane Quarry is where King Renley set up camp in the Stormlands in the second season of the show.

This site is also where Brienne of Tarth was first introduced to fans.

  • Address: 119a Whitepark Road, Ballintoy, County Antrim, BT54 6LS
  • Opening Hours: Daily 9:30am to 3:30pm

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12. Giant’s Causeway

The final stop on your Game of Thrones tour?

None other than the Giant’s Causeway!

We definitely saved the best for last because this natural site in Northern Ireland is nothing short of stunning.

The Giant’s Causeway is a cluster of over 40,000 basalt columns that naturally rose out of the sea on the Antrim coast.

It has been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is an extremely popular tourist attraction in Northern Ireland.

Although the Giant’s Causeway was not used as a filming location in Game of Thrones, it is very close to some of the others on this list, which makes it a must-see on any tour of the region.

  • Address: 44 Causeway Road, Bushmills, County Antrim, BT57 8SU

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Best Game of Thrones Tours

If you don’t feel like renting a car while in Belfast, than why not sign up for a day trip!

There are multiple Game of Thrones tours that will take you to all the sites mentioned above without any of the hassle.

1. Giant’s Causeway Day Trip

  • Stops: Giant’s Causeway, Antrim Coast Road, Antrim Coast Road, Bushmills Distillery, Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge, Dunluce Castle
  • Departure Point:
    1: McCombs Coach Travel & Tours, 22-32 Donegall Rd, Belfast BT12 5JN, UK
    2: 15 Glengall St, Belfast BT12 5AB, UK
  • Departure Time: 9:10am
  • Duration: 10 hours

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2. Game of Thrones and Giant’s Causeway Full-Day Tour

  • Stops: Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge, Caves of Cushendun, The Dark Hedges, Carnlough Harbour, Ballintoy Harbour
  • Departure Point:
    1: McCombs Coach Travel & Tours, 22-32 Donegall Rd, Belfast BT12 5JN, UK
    2: 15 Glengall St, Belfast BT12 5AB, UK
  • Departure Time: 8:30am
  • Duration: 10 hours

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3. Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge Day Trip

  • Stops: The Dark Hedges, Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge
  • Departure Point: 31-35 Chichester St, Belfast BT1 4LD, UK
  • Departure Time: 9:30am
  • Duration: 9 hours

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4. Giant’s Causeway, Norman Castles, and Game of Thrones Film Locations

  • Stops: Giant’s Causeway, Carrickfergus Castle, Bushmills Distillery, Dunluce Castle, Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge, The Dark Hedges
  • Departure Point: Traveler pickup is offered
  • Departure Time: 8am
  • Duration: 8 to 9 hours

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5. Game of Thrones Locations Tour including Westeros

  • Stops: Visit Belfast, Carrickfergus Castle, Carnlough Harbour, Caves of Cushendun, Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge, Giant’s Causeway, Ballintoy Harbour, Ballycastle Harbour, The Dark Hedges, Dunluce Castle
  • Departure Point: Stones & Thrones Tours Offical tour Game of Thrones, Departure Point, 9 Donegall Square N, Belfast BT1 5GJ, UK
  • Departure Time: 9am
  • Duration: 9 hours

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If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, then you’ll be in good hands in Belfast!

From Dunluce Castle to Downhill Beach, there are so many sites to explore that will allow you to live out your Game of Thrones fantasies.  

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Emily is a freelance writer from Canada and it was during her time studying History that she became interested in travel. Countries I've visited include the United States, Mexico, the Cayman Islands, New Zealand, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.