I wrote a story this week for Thrive Wire on how the Northern Ireland tourism board is trying to attract travelers by offering Game of Thrones filming location tours.
While I was writing the story, the funniest thing happened–the tourism board totally sold me and I started searching for flights. I am a fan of the hit HBO show, but these photos are what drew me in.
It’s easy to see why the show’s location scouts chose Northern Ireland with its rolling green hills, craggy coastline and plethora of medieval castles. It’s the area’s volatile history that has kept tourists away in decades past, but those days appear to be fading. Even Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Northern Ireland last year after a 50-year hiatus.
With the show’s fifth season premiering on April 12, the tourism board has provided free maps and routes of the show’s filming locations—including a three-day itinerary for the ultimate Game of Thrones road trip. You can download them all here.
Interested in a guided tour?
The Game of Thrones Tours company picks up fans from either Dublin or Belfast and takes them trekking through the show’s locations for nearly twelve hours, including a stop at one of the local pubs. Costumes and swords are available on request. Meanwhile the Game of Thrones Bicycle Tour provides cyclists with a “Stark Sack” including a tour map on a scroll, cloak and sword.
Me, I’ll probably just stick to the regular hiking trails–using the city of Belfast as home base. This recent New York Times article details how to best spend 36 hours in the city.
Like strolling through its Cathedral Quarter…
As far as packing, I’m thinking of light layers that can work on the trail or at the pub, such as:
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and go dté tú slán (safe journeys)!