Day 2: Tuesday: Game of Thrones Tour 1
After breakfast, we’ll meet our guide in the hotel lobby at 09:00/9AM for a day filled with visits to some of the series’ most memorable film locations. After a long day of Game of Thrones immersion, we’ll get back to our hotel at approximately 19:00/7PM. We’re free this evening to enjoy dinner on our own at the hotel or at one of Belfast’s many fine restaurants and pubs.
– Our first stop is Cushendun, about an hour northwest from Belfast, where you will visit the awe-inspiring caves of the coastal town of Cushendun where Melisandre of Asshai, the red woman, gave birth to a shadow creature of Stannis Baratheon in front of the shocked Davos Seaworth, the Onion Knight.
Carnlough – Popular with Ballymena locals as the perfect place to enjoy fish and chips, the quiet harbor is now recognizable to an international audience as a set for Game of Thrones: Carnlough, AKA Braavosi Canal, where Ayra falls into the water during combat.
is our next port of call, where Theon Greyjoy comes back to Pyke Harbour. The village was used for the fictional town of Lordsport in the Isle of Pyke in the second season of HBO's Game of Thrones. The filming at the harbour took place on 18, 19 and 22 August 2011, and from 15 August there was limited public access to the zone. The local shops and fishermen, who had to berth their boats temporarily in Ballycastle, were compensated by the production. This is so recognisable there has even been a plaque erected!
– We can’t come this far without visiting this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Flanked by the wild North Atlantic Ocean and a landscape of dramatic cliffs, for centuries the Giant’s Causeway has inspired artists, stirred scientific debate and captured the imagination of all who see it.
Legend has it that the Irish giant, Finn MacCool, from the Fenian cycle of Gaelic mythology, was challenged to a fight by the Scottish giant Benandonner. Finn accepted the challenge and built the causeway across the North Chanel so that the two giants could meet.
A climb up the Shepherd’s Steps takes us to the cliff-top trail with bird’s eye views of the causeway coast. Weather permitting, we can enjoy a picnic lunch amid the spectacular basalt formations or taste the regional fare at the award-winning Visitors’ Center café (not included).
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Carrick-a-Rede is an abandoned fishing island located just a few miles from the Giant’s Causeway. We can't be so close and not fit in a visit to the Rope Bridge! Wear comfortable shoes. It’s a hike and there are a lot of uneven rock steps.
The brave at heart among us will have an opportunity to cross the 65 foot long (20 meters long) rope bridge. On a clear day, we can see all the way to Scotland!
Please note: Venture across the Rope Bridge at your own risk. We cannot be responsible for any accidents that might occur. The coastal views are breath-taking but please don’t do a Balon Greyjoy!
Larrybane - where Renly swears to Lady Stark that he will avenge Ned's death, but meets his end at the hands of the shadow assassin conjured up in those caves we visited in Cushendun.
The Dark Hedges – Possibly the most recognisable of the locations where Arya Stark makes her escape down The Kings Road. The Dark Hedges are one of the most popular attractions in Ulster. Located 50 miles northwest of Belfast, the Dark Hedges are reached off the Antrim Coastal Road.
A part of the A2 in Northern Ireland, called the Antrim Coast Road, is one of the most famous road trips in the world. A large section of the road is winding through the countryside, following the scenic coastline. Some parts are even built between large 100m high cliffs and the sea.
The Dark Hedges were planted by the Stuart family in the 18th century. These beech trees are now overgrown and intertwined, creating a tunnel along the stretch of Bregagh Road that once led to Gracehill, the Stuart family manor.
Legend has it that the Dark Hedges are haunted by a mysterious gray lady who weaves in and out of the trees at dusk. In addition to being a popular subject for artists, the trees also serve as a frequent backdrop for wedding photographs and have been use for scenes in Game of Thrones, representing the Kings Road.
No tree climbing, folks. Let’s preserve this unique spot for other visitors.