This weekend Ireland decided to put its best foot forward and we were lucky enough to experience the glorious sunshine on our Game of Thrones Location Tour. We embraced every moment we could in the sun and were even sporting t-shirts for the majority of the day. T-shirts in March is such a rarity in Ireland that that alone would have made for an awesome day. Mix that with cloaks, weapons and some dire wolves and you have a day fit for kings and queens.
We started in sunny Dublin quite early on Saturday morning and embarked on our voyage to the first location. A much needed coffee stop was first on the list and then we were kept entertained the whole way up to our first stop by interesting DVDs, a quiz, and our guide Eric. Eric actually stars in Game of Thrones as a background actor so it was great to hear some insights from his perspective. When we landed at our first stop, Tollywood forest, we were all mesmerised from the get go. It is a beautiful location and with the weather being as good as it was, we were more than happy to start on our trek through the trees. We were all given cloaks and once we had taken enough selfies, we headed on our merry way. We saw several filming locations within the forest and ambled through the trees with the sun on our backs. There were people out walking and enjoying the sunshine and we even ran into a group of horses. Both horses and humans thought a group of 20 people in cloaks looked a bit bizarre!
After Tollywood we had another short journey to our next stop. Again, we had Game of Throne’s DVDs to entertain us along with the rolling Mourne Mountains that we were rushing past. The next stop was a very popular one. We landed in the small seaside town of Strangford. The town itself was beautiful, but it was what was within the village that really got people excited. Two of the stars of the show were there to greet us, the dire wolves Thor and Odin. Seeing fabulous wolf life dogs are one thing, but when their owners are quite kind on the eye too, the majority of the females on the trip were left swooning!! After lots of adoration (over the dogs and the owners), we headed into The Cuan restaurant for our lunch. It was top notch grub and we all left with full bellies as well as being in awe- The Cuan is where the actors actually stayed during filming in the nearby locations.
We hopped back on our bus and headed to the next location. Castle Warden Estate had quite a few locations but the most well-known were Audley’s tower (or Walder Frey’s Twins for those of you who may be fans). We walked the short way up to the tower where we saw lots more locations and got a bit more background into what the actors were like to work with. Our trek continued with chats and laughter and everyone continuously questioning how we were in Northern Ireland in t-shirts!
When we got back to base we saw the courtyard that was used when King Robert first visited Winterfell and then we headed on to our last stop. Inch Abbey is a beautiful old ruin and here our Queen of the North, Erin Scanlan, was crowned. Erin had won the quiz on the way up and so was given Ned Stark’s Ice sword and was crowned queen. We all bowed down and made use of the golden photo op. A brilliant day was had by all, and the trip was definitely worth the traveling. Check out our Facebook page to see all the pictures from the trip.