Set jet to the home of the Seven Kingdoms

With filming wrapped and a new series ready to roll, the excitement over Game of Thrones is reaching fever-pitch as fans speculate on what will happen in Season 7. The HBO blockbuster will return to the screens in July and promises all-out war in The Seven Kingdoms.

As ever, Northern Ireland was the epicentre for the making of Season 7, with Belfast again morphing into Hollywood as the show’s stars returned for filming. Most ‘Thrones’ fans know that the show’s key sets, including the Iron Throne, are tucked away in the city’s Titanic Studios or housed at a separate studio outside the rustic town of Banbridge, a half-hour drive away.

For exterior shooting, a huge range of unforgettable Northern Ireland locations stand in for everything from Winterfell to The Wall in Game of Thrones. These iconic settings ooze mystery, fantasy and the medieval – and you never know when you might stumble across a direwolf.

A large slice of the ‘Home of Thrones’ can be explored in a single weekend. Guided coach and taxi tours can take you set jetting around the filming locations. Self-drive itineraries and cycle tours let you explore them at your own pace and medieval banquets can give a real taste of Westeros.

Recreate scenes at your leisure, admire the exquisite views and be sure to check out the 10 special ‘Doors of Thrones’ that hang in local pubs, restaurants and inns located near key filming sites.

These intricately carved doors are made from 200-year-old beech trees from the much-photographed Dark Hedges in County Antrim, aka the Kingsroad from Season 2. Felled during Storm Gertrude, that battered Northern Ireland in January 2016, this piece of ‘Thrones’ history was saved for fans by fashioning them into doors with elaborate engravings depicting scenes from Season 6.

Don’t forget your souvenir Journey of Doors Passport which will be stamped at each location as you go round.Create yet more Seven Kingdoms memories with a Winterfell tour at Castle Ward, a National Trust property just 30 miles from Belfast that doubled as the ancestral home of the Stark family in Season 1.

Here you can meet the actual dogs that starred as direwolves in the show, don character costumes and enjoy archery at the exact spot where Jon Snow and Robb Stark taught young Bran the art of shooting an arrow.

FAST FACTS
  • Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 220,000 people.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in ten language versions around the world, which attracted about 16.5 million visitors in 2015.

British Irish Visa Scheme

  • The British Irish Visa Scheme allows for travel to and around Ireland and the UK on a single visa. The recently launched scheme allows visitors from India to travel freely within Ireland and the United Kingdom using either an Irish or UK visa. This will mean that tourists and business visitors will be able, for the first time, to visit both Ireland and the UK, including Northern Ireland, on a single visa.