Northern Ireland isn’t just the base for the Stark family however, in fact many of the locations used throughout Westeros can be found here on this mystic green isle. Of course, not all scenes are filmed on location, as with any big budget production many of them are filmed in a studio, producers opted to use Titanic Studio’s in Belfast. Naturally then it should come as no surprise that they would use much of the country’s naturally characteristic landscapes to create their world. Though Winterfell is likely the most prominent setting amongst these there are plenty that are still so memorable. Take for example the Iron Islands, home to the cold-hearted Greyjoy’s, they may spend much of their time on the high seas with their impressive fleet of ships however this is the land they call home, that hardened them into the heartless seamen they all become. Somehow this all seems strange when you visit Ballintoy Harbour where these scenes were filmed, situated between the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and Larrybane. The harbour is quiet, rocky and picturesque, far more peaceful than you’d possibly imagine, though not at all disappointing.
It isn’t just castles, fields and harbours that are used to film here though, Northern Ireland offers so much more and what would Westeros be without its enchanted forests? You may remember the stunning scenery used for the King’s Road, a road that stretches from King’s Landing, through Winterfell and all the way to The Wall. For these scenes we see the astounding archway of twisting and intertwining trees of Dark Hedges Road. Unsurprisingly this is one of the most photographed locations in the country, its trees wreak of a fantasy adventure, its also worth noting that it sees its fair share of tourists because of this so if you’re looking for quiet try heading out earlier, around the morning. There are plenty of tours available that will take you to all of these great locations in a day and you’ll certainly want to spend the entire day taking in these magical places.
For our final stop we’re leaving the cooler climates of Northern Ireland behind and heading to sunny shores of Spain as we venture to the South of Westeros, to Dorne, home of House Martell. I can imagine that choosing locations in Spain was a fairly easy decision to make, considering that much of Dorne in the books was based on its medieval history. Arguably the most notable location here is the setting for the Martell seat of power named The Water Gardens and Sunspear. This is a beautiful palace surrounded by ornate, mesmerising gardens. For this they used the Alcázar of Seville, it’s a royal palace that was originally built for King Peter of Castile over the previous site of an Abbadid Muslim fortress located in Seville. Today the site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the oldest palace still in use anywhere in Europe. The gardens here are truly a site to behold, filled with fruit trees, exotic, fragrant flowers, and stunning water features. If this is the only place you visit on the list, you won’t be disappointed.