The power struggles and intriguing plots of the show keep audiences fascinated over multiple seasons. But the popularity of Game of Thrones is also boosted in no small part by the scenic backdrops, sending devoted fans on trips around the world to experience the eerie, majestic surroundings depicted in the show.
The rugged, romantic beauty of the UK landscape is a perfect match for the show’s mood, so it’s little wonder that many of the scenes are captured here. Even if you’re not a Game of Thrones fans, these places should be on your travel wish list purely for their breathtaking sights. Grab your passport and find them before winter arrives!
The Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland (King’s Road)
One of Northern Ireland’s most picturesque lanes has always meant to amaze, originally planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century to impress guests coming up to their mansion. The tunnel of handsomely twined beech trees is depicted as the King’s Road and fans will remember the eerie, atmospheric avenue where Arya Stark escapes in a caravan disguised as a boy.
Tollymore Forest Park, Northern Ireland (The Haunted Forest)
The picturesque Tollymore Forest Park stands in for the Haunted Forest in the show and is a setting for many tense scenes, like when the Night’s Watch men encounter a White Walker, Theon Greyjoy escaping the pursuit of Ramsay Snow, among others. But outside of the GOT universe, the first state forest park is a favorite spot for outdoor activities when it’s bathed in sunlight.
Cushendun Caves, Northern Ireland (The Stormlands)
It’s hard to forget a Game of Thrones scene as dramatic as the priestess Melisandre giving birth to a shadow creature inside a cave. Equally unforgettable is the setting, caves of Cushendun, located in a small fishing village in County Antrim. Tucked under cliffs and set by the lapping waves, the caves are indeed a sight to behold.
Castle Ward, Northern Ireland (Winterfell)
The historic farmyard of Castle Ward is featured in season one and two as the home of the House Stark, Winterfell. With its blend of Gothic and classical architectural style and its sunken garden, all surrounded by the idyllic hillside, it’ll make you feel like you’re part of the show—literally. Castle Ward offers Game of Thrones tours where you’ll be able to put on character costumes and try your hand on archery sessions.
Mussenden Temple and Downhill Strand, Northern Ireland (Dragonstone)
From its perch on top of the cliff, gazing along the coast of Downhill Strand, Mussenden Temple gives off a solemn vibe. The round temple was designed to be a library and is the spot where Melisandre sacrificed the seven gods at night and Stannis Baratheon drawing a flaming sword from the flames.
Ballintoy Harbour, Northern Ireland (Lordsport)
Not far from the iconic attraction Giant’s Causeway is Ballintoy, a quaint fishing village. If you take to the end of the village road leading to the sea, you’ll find a little harbour featured on the show as Lordsport in the Kingdom of Pyke. Ballintoy Harbour is instantly recognizable as the location where Theon Greyjoy docks back in the Iron Islands and first meets his sister Yara.
Doune Castle, Scotland (Winterfell)
You’ll recognize this medieval castle in central Scotland as Winterfell in the pilot episode. But Doune Castle had several other moments in the spotlight as well, appearing on Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and more recently, on the TV adaptation of Outlander.
Dunluce Castle, Northern Ireland
House Greyjoy’s castle at Pyke is filmed at Dunluce Castle by the Antrim coast. While it’s received digital alteration to look like the towering castle on screen, the now-ruined medieval castle on the cliff still commands awe and attention.
Larrybane, Northern Ireland (The Stormlands)
Remember the striking white cliffs behind King Renly and Queen Margaery as they watch the tournament? They’re part of Larrybane, a former quarry a stone’s throw away from Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.