fbpx Game of Thrones® Itinerary | Shaped by Sea and Stone

Game of Thrones® Itinerary

Embark on the Kings’ Road

The makers of HBO’s Game of Thrones® wanted to find an ancient landscape new to the rest of the world. Dramatic cliffs that give way to beautiful valleys. Medieval castles towering over picturesque stone harbours. A surprising countryside that provided a natural setting for savage battles and magical happenings. Mid & East Antrim is just such a place.

It helped that this part of the world still bears the mark of centuries of conflict. Warring clans and invading powers have contested this coast, just as Stark and Lannister vie for the Iron Throne. Legends, folklore and myths still live in the local imagination and have a power every bit as haunting as those of Westeros.

Journey through the authentic world of the Seven Kingdoms, visiting locations from key Game of Thrones® scenes. Absorb the wild beauty of a stunning landscape. Enjoy banquets and boat trips, see exquisite jewellery, and touch a door carved from the trees of the Kings Road. Forge your own medieval knife and follow in the footsteps of the Dothraki hordes. Fantasy has never seemed so real!

Highlights

  • Hike to the windswept escarpments of Cairncastle, where Ned Stark beheaded a Night's Watch deserter, and the Dothraki horde once rode.
     
  • Step into the workshop that creates iconic Game of Thrones® jewellery.
     
  • Craft your own daggers, bows and arrows at a traditional blacksmith's forge.

Travel Time

If you were to visit all the stops on this itinerary, you’d be driving for a total of:

2 hours

Cairncastle

Allow 3 hours

Set out from Carrickfergus along the Antrim Coast Road (A2), twenty miles to the village of Ballygally. The slopes above the town are an area known as Cairncastle. This is a seminal location for any dedicated Thronie because it takes us back to the very beginning. It was here, in the very first episode, that Ned Stark beheaded a deserter from the Night’s Watch.

That was just the first of many scenes filmed here. Tyrion’s capture at the hands of Catelyn Stark. Bran’s small group crossing the hills on the way to the Wall. A Dothraki horde saving Daenerys from the wilderness after she had escaped Mereen on Drogon’s back.

Cairncastle | Shaped by Sea and Stone

Ballygally Castle

Allow 2 hours

Ballygally Castle is home to the ninth Game of Thrones® door, wrought from the beech trees that stood at the iconic Dark Hedges.

It’s also home to a delicious Game of Thrones®-themed afternoon tea.

Dothraki trifle with mini dragon’s egg, John Snow cakes, and Baratheon bread, are among the many tasty temptations.

Book a special Game of Thrones® tour of local filming locations, starting and ending at Ballygally Castle.

Ballygally Castle | Shaped by Sea and Stone
This is a seminal location for any dedicated Thronie because it takes us back to the very beginning. It was here, in the very first episode, that Ned Stark beheaded a deserter from the Night’s Watch.

Steensons

Allow 1 hour

The colourful houses of Glenarm are just seven miles from Ballygally. Local jewellers, Steensons were responsible for creating many of the props that appear in Game of Thrones®, including Joffrey’s famous crown.

Their Economusée workshop is a fascinating place to explore. You can go behind the scenes and see the craftspeople at work, using traditional methods to create exquisite jewellery.

Why not pick up your own piece of Game of Thrones® memorabilia such as a Stark, Lannister, or Targaryen pendant?

Steensons | Shaped by Sea and Stone

Carnlough Harbour

Allow 1 hour

A short drive away is the quaint village of Carnlough and its Victorian harbour.

Local fisherman, Davy Smyth’s boat tours leave from the stone steps that Arya Stark ascended in season six, after being stabbed by the Waif in Braavos.

Visit the Londonderry Arms to sample some Irish whiskey and see the chair that Maisie Williams used between shoots – find the message she wrote on the back!

 

Carnlough Harbour | Shaped by Sea and Stone

Shillanavogy Valley

Allow 1 hour

Drive inland from Carnlough, on the road to Broughshane, and you’ll pass through the Shillanavogy Valley beneath the slopes of Slemish Mountain.

These fields provided the backdrop for Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo’s wedding, and the Dothraki’s hordes subsequent journey to Vaes Dothrak, way back in season one. It’s a beautiful place in its own right – dry stone walled fields and copses of trees laid out over rolling hills.

If you’re here in spring you’ll see carpets of wildflowers verging the hedgerows.

Shillanavogy Valley | Shaped by Sea and Stone

Hot Milk Forge

Allow 1 hour

Not far from Slemish Mountain is Eamonn Higgin’s Hot Milk Forge, where you can learn to craft your very own medieval knife.

His Bow Crafty courses will show you how to make a long bow, straight from the battlefields of Westeros.

All the processes here are authentic, traditional craftsmanship. You’ll be welding with fire, not electricity, and heating the iron over a bellows-fed forge. Why not book a weekend workshop?

Hot Milk Forge | Shaped by Sea and Stone
Editorials
Editorials

The Hot Milk Forge

The Hot Milk Forge

Eamonn Higgins is reviving the ancient craft of blacksmithing amidst the unspoilt beauty of Glenravel. Join him to take up your own anvil, forge and hammer to craft traditional blades or a longbow straight out of Game of Thrones.

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Forging Game of Thrones
The Hot Milk Forge | Shaped by Sea and Stone

Carnlough Bay Boat Tours

Carnlough Bay Boat Tours

Meet Davy Smyth, a third generation fisherman in the quaint village of Carnlough, nestled between the rolling hills of the Glens of Antrim and the sea.

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Boat Tours
Carnlough Bay Boat Tours | Shaped by Sea and Stone

Steensons

Steensons

Steensons in Glenarm are makers of exquisite jewellery. You can browse their range of hand-crafted jewellery in their showroom, or enter their studio and watch their artists at work.

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Arts & Crafts
The Steensons | Shaped by Sea and Stone

Glenarm Castle

Glenarm Castle

Medieval conflicts of the Glens and Causeway Coast, giving way to an 18th-century elegance that transformed this achingly beautiful site into one of the treasures of Northern Ireland.

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Castles
Glenarm Castle | Shaped by Sea and Stone

Don’t just stay. Experience

Don’t just stay. Experience

Lighthouse keepers’ houses, 19th-century follies and haunted hotels. It’s only natural that this unique part of the world has some unique places to stay.

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Quirky Lodgings
Don’t just stay. Experience | Shaped by Sea and Stone

Bushcraft at Carnfunnock Country Park

Bushcraft at Carnfunnock Country Park

Go back to basics of Paul Moore to learn bushcraft and wilderness living skills to match each season and embrace your inner Bear Grylls.

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Nature and Gardens
Bushcraft at Carnfunnock Country Park | Shaped by Sea and Stone
Itineraries

Other Itinerary's

Make the most of your stay in Mid & East Antrim by selecting from one of our itineraries. Each one caters to a different interest, a different mood, and ensures you experience the very best in the region.

Coast Itinerary

The Causeway Coastal Route that twists and turns along the ancient County Antrim coastline is quite simply a journey unlike any other.

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Coast Itinerary | Shaped by Sea and Stone
Coast

Heritage Itinerary

This land has a story to tell - A historic tale passed down through generations, through artefacts and ruins, through folklore and ancient writings, where etchings of the past reveal a deeper understanding.

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Heritage Itinerary | Shaped by Sea and Stone
Heritage

Hospitality Itinerary

Let’s explore the culinary landscape of Mid and East Antrim and follow the trail of one of Ireland’s Top Ten Foodie Destinations of 2018.

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Hospitality Itinerary | Shaped by Sea and Stone
Hospitality

Wellbeing Itinerary

From atop Slemish Mountain, the vast sky stretches away into the far distance - Patchwork fields, divided by dry stone walls, and the grasslands of the Shillanavogy Valley are burnished gold by the sun.

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Wellbeing Itinerary | Shaped by Sea and Stone
Wellbeing

Towns & Villages Itinerary

To truly appreciate the splendour of Mid & East Antrim, you must walk its towns and villages - These are places that have grown up from the rolling valleys of the Glens, nourished by the ebb and flow of the sea. 

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Towns & Villages Itinerary | Shaped by Sea and Stone
Town & Villages

48-Hour Itinerary

The idyllic area of Mid & East Antrim was not built in a day, over thousands of years, the land started to take shape - with the collision of the rough Irish Sea on the soft grassy verges and the power of mother nature, the land started to flourish.

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48-Hour Itinerary | Shaped by Sea and Stone
48 Hours