You can take a motorbike tour of Northern Ireland and see the famous sightseeing points - and you will have a great tour.
But if you're as "hooked" on the Game of Thrones series as I am, then perhaps you'd prefer a motorbike tour of the Game of Thrones film locations?
The series was filmed to a large extent in Northern Ireland. In addition to the film studios near Belfast, there are numerous filming locations in Northern Ireland that you can visit on a motorbike tour.
1) Tollymore Forest Park
2) Inch Abbey
3) Castle Ward / Winterfell
4) Audley`s Castle
5) Belfast Titanic Studios
6) Sallagh Braes
7) Cushendun Caves
8) Fair Head
9) Larrybane Quarry
10) Ballintoy Harbour
11) The Dark Hedges
12) Downhill Beach / Mussenden Temple
14) Game of Thrones Studio Tour in Banbridge (not a filming location, but the official studio tour)
Our tour begins in the forest, specifically the woods of Winterfell, where Jon Snow and the Stark family found their orphaned direwolves and took them in. The park is open to walkers and also served as a filming location for other forest scenes in GOT.
Inch Abbey is, of course, actually in the Riverlands. It is where Rob Stark's army has gathered to cross the River Trident. The river is actually called Quoile River, but that doesn't matter to a true GOT fan.
The often pictured Castle Ward is not the filming location. There is another small old castle on the ground. It is a good 10-minute walk away. It is picturesquely situated on the shore of Strangford Lough and is well worth a visit. Most of the exterior scenes of Winterfell were filmed here, especially scenes in the courtyard.
We are now in the Westlands. This is where the Battle of Oxford took place, in which Robb Stark`s army inflicted a crushing defeat on the Lannister army.
Numerous interior scenes were filmed at the Belfast Titanic Studios. The studios in Belfast Harbour cannot be visited, but the Titanic Museum immediately adjacent can. A licensed GOT Studio Tour has been set up at the old Banbridge studios instead, see Station 14).
6) Sallagh Braes
Sallagh Braes is part of the Glens of Antrim and is a scenically beautiful area. After Sandor Clegane "The Hound" was wounded by Arya Stark, he was taken in by a farming family and stayed there for some time - the scenes were filmed in this landscape.
By the way, in the nearby Ballygally Castle Hotel you can admire one of ten Game of Thrones wooden doors. These were made from the wood of trees from the Dark Hedges (see Station 11). Each door features ornate carvings of Game of Thrones motifs. The entrance door to the Ballygally Hotel Restaurant shows motifs from the Battle of the Bastards and a direwolf.
The Cushendun Caves are an attraction on the beautiful North Antrim Coast. It was in these Stormlands caves that Melisandre gave birth to her shadow child.
Fair Head was a filming location for Daenerys and Jon Snow on the cliffs of Dragonstone. Jon made closer acquaintance with the dragons there, who accepted (and did not eat) him, to Daenerys' amazement
Larrybane Quarry near Ballintoy, is an old quarry in a picturesque location right on the coast. Its rocks served as a backdrop for Renly Barratheon's camp in the Stormlands, where Brienne of Tarth first met Renly and Magaery Tyrell.
Ballintoy Harbour is the setting of the harbours of Peik in the Iron Islands, from which Theon Greyjoy came. The Greyjoys' castle stands here and Peik is also the capital of the Iron Islands.
This is one of Northern Ireland's most important landmarks, not just since GOT. The hedges are not actually hedges, but an avenue of beautiful old trees along the Bregagh Road near Gracehill Golf Course. The beeches were planted in the 18th century and look truly mystical, with their twisted branches. You used to be able to drive through it on a motorbike, but it is now closed to traffic but open to pedestrians.
The cliffs above the beautiful beach served as a backdrop for Dragonstone. The small Mussenden Temple on the edge of the cliffs dates from the 18th century and is part of the Downhill Demesne estate. The beach, the estate and the temple can be visited. In front of the estate is the Lion Gate which marks the entrance.
Binevenagh, near Londonderry, lies on the edge of the Antrim Plateau. From the top there are wide views to the north-west and west over the surrounding countryside and coasts. The slopes are very steep and impressive cliffs. When Daenerys was rescued from Mereen by her dragon Drogon, he brought her to safety up here on the plateau.
South of Belfast lies Banbridge. In the old studios there, the licensed GOT Studio tour has been set up and will open its doors to visitors from February 2022. From script to screen, the stages of the making of Game of Thrones series are shown here: sketches and scripts, green screens and effects, makeup and make-up, sets, backdrops and props, weapons and costumes. This is not an original filming location, but a visit to the GOT Studio Tour is sure to be the crowning glory of your motorbike tour of Game of Thrones filming locations in Northern Ireland.
Motorbike for your Northern Ireland Tour
If you want to go on a motorbike tour through Northern Ireland or Ireland, we can help you with a rental motorbike from our easycruiser.tours motorbike rental. From Dublin, or from easycruiser.tours, you can be in Northern Ireland in a few hours. Have a look at our rental page, we are looking forward to your visit.
Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg, January 2022. Photo credits: The sources of the photos are listed as captions. The maps are from Google Maps 2022.
Sources and photo credits:
1) GOT Studio Tour: www.gameofthronestudiotour.com
2) Good blog article: www.visitbelfast.com/article/game-of-thrones-filming-locations-belfast-northern-ireland
4) Another blog article: www.discovernorthernireland.com/blog/read/2020/06/visit-game-of-thrones-filming-locations
5) Here comes another really outstanding blog by Andrea David, who also points out GOT locations in Malta and Iceland, as well as Morocco, Spain and Croatia. Her site www.filmtourismus.de is a gem for film fans: https://www.filmtourismus.de/game-of-thrones/#Anker_Nordirland