Game of Thrones

Must-visit filming locations near Slieve Donard

Northern Ireland has become a must-visit destination for many Game of Thrones (GOT) fans. With spectacular scenery, it is easy to see why location scouts chose Northern Ireland. With rugged coastlines, green fields, caves, mountains, forests and cliffs, it is easy to transport yourself into Martin's world—that dark, depressing and dangerous place where the only certainty is that you win or die.

While there are Game of Thrones locations all over Europe, there is an incredible concentration in Northern Ireland. Here are a few of the can’t-miss filming locations near Slieve Donard.

Game of Thrones Door

The Percy French Restaurant on the magnificent Slieve Donard grounds is the proud home of one of ten Game of Thrones Doors, “Door of Thrones No 3.”

Following the fall of several trees from the iconic Dark Hedges during Storm Gertrude at the start of 2016, Tourism Ireland salvaged the wood from two magnificent Beech trees and transformed them into ten ornately carved wooden doors depicting moments inspired by this show. The doors were unveiled each week as season six unfolded—referencing key scenes and events from the latest episode and incorporating some of the iconic symbols of the show. These ‘Doors of Thrones’ hang in pubs, restaurants and other venues across Northern Ireland near filming locations.

The intricately carved “Door of Thrones 3” depicts the demise of Rickon Stark’s Direwolf, Shaggydog, the three-eyed raven and the rise of House Greyjoy’s family crest—the Kracken.

Location: on Property at Slieve Donard


Tollymore Forest

Tollymore Forest was the first state forest park in Northern Ireland. The forest appeared in the first season of Game of Thrones as the lands around Winterfell when Ned Stark comes across the orphaned direwolves—the symbol of House Stark—and finds there are as many pups as there are Stark children.

Tollymore Forest Park is open to the public seven days a week. Visitors can enjoy several scenic walks throughout the country park. With car parking and camping on-site, it is an excellent base for exploring Tollymore and the Mourne Mountains. 

Location: 5-minute drive from Slieve Donard


Inch Abbey

Set beside the River Quoile, with distant views towards the Cathedral town of Downpatrick, sits the remains of a Cistercian Abbey—Inch Abbey—which was founded in 1180 by John de Courcy. This site was used as Robb Stark's Camp, Riverrun in season one of Game of Thrones.

Location: 30-minute drive from Slieve Donard


Castle Ward

Overlooking Strangford Lough, Castle Ward has been home to the Ward family since the 16th century. The 18th-century mansion house rests on a rolling hillside overlooking the Lough and is surrounded by a beautiful 820-acre walled demesne with gardens and woodland. Open year-round to the public, Castle Ward has car parking on-site, and guests can enjoy several stunning walks to explore the beautiful estate. The site appeared in Game of Thrones season one as the iconic Winterfell—home of the House Stark.

Location: 35-minute drive from Slieve Donard


Audley’s Field & Castle

Five minutes from Castle Ward is Audley’s Castle, a battlement named after the Norman family who arrived in Northern Ireland around 1210. And it’s by this battlement that Robb Stark stashed his army while they prepared to face the Lannisters. Just beside the castle is Audley’s Field, where the aftermath of the battle of Oxcross was filmed (the one where Robb meets future wife Talisa—a meeting that ultimately leads to the infamous Red Wedding).

Location: 40-minute drive from Slieve Donard


Marble Arch Caves - Co. Fermanagh

Part of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark in Co. Fermanagh is Pollnagollum Cave, featured in season three of Game of Thrones as Beric Dondarrion's hideout in The Riverlands. This amazing cave is fed by a waterfall and is viewed by following the Belmore Forest walk, which leads to a viewing point for the cave. 

Location: 2 hours 20-minute drive from Slieve Donard