Game of Thrones Tour, Northern Ireland.
Last Saturday we had a great day on the Game of Thrones Tour from Belfast!
Our day began at 9 am when we were picked up beside the Grand Opera House in Belfast on Glengall Street. The bus was a luxury bus with leather seats and plenty of leg room, so we were off to a good start! We received a warm welcome from our bus driver Derek, who gave us an informative and witty commentary throughout the tour. Our day was made more interesting as on board our bus was a French film crew, recording ‘Things to do in Northern Ireland’ for TV Channel M6 (Look out for us!).
On our way to our first stop, a photo stop outside Carrickfergus Castle, Derek give us a brief history of Northern Ireland and the sites that we were going to see. After our photo stop Derek explained where several film locations of the series was and which ones we would be seeing. The first scene we were taken to was the Cushendun Caves, which fans of the show will know this is where Melisandre gives birth to the shadow baby! Our next stop was Ballintoy Harbour, where Theon Greyjoy arrives in series 2 to find his estranged family. There is a plaque erected of this scene at the harbour, which is a great photo opportunity! We were given time here to explore the harbour and there were some lovely hills to climb which provides a wonderful view of the harbour. During our free time Derek gave us a menu for the Fullerton Arms pub and restaurant. The menu consisted of 10 or more dishes to choose from which we pre ordered so when we arrived our meals were waiting for us. I chose the fish of the day, chips, peas and salad. Lunch is not included in the price of the tour and it costs around £8. If you’re not happy to pay for lunch you can always bring a packed lunch with you. When we arrived we decided to indulge in some local bottled beers to accompany our lunch as the pub offered an extensive selection of beers and ciders. There was a replica of the Iron Throne which we could not resist taking photos of ourselves in various ‘kingly’ poses. After our hearty lunch we took the scenic drive around the Causeway Coastal Route – voted top 5 road trips in the world. We travelled along a large portion of the Causeway Coastal Route to the small fishing village of Ballycastle – Game of Thrones fans will know this is the native home of Lady Catelyn Stark and Varys. We then arrived at The UNESCO World Heritage Site the Giant’s Causeway. The Giant’s Causeway is not featured in the series, however, you cannot visit the North Antrim coast and Northern Ireland without seeing this world famous site. We were given one hour to explore the causeway and thankfully the sun was shining for us! Of course, if you would like to visit the Giant’s Causeway on its own you can book our day trip to the Giant’s Causeway from Belfast or the Giant’s Causeway Tour from Dublin.
From the Giant’s Causeway we had a quick photo stop at Dunluce Castle, which is used in the series to represent the House of Greyjoy, ruler of the Iron Islands.
Our final stop was the Dark Hedges, or ‘The Kings Road.’ Fans of Game of Thrones will recognise this is where Ayra Stark escaped from Kings Landing dressed as a boy.
After a jam packed day exploring the Antrim coast and the scenes of Game of Thrones Derek drove us back to Belfast. He stopped at any hotels that people were staying at for their convenience and we arrived back in Glengall Street around 7 pm.
For those Game of Thrones fans this is an excellent way of seeing your favourite TV series come to life, however, if you have not seen the show it is just as enjoyable, as Derek kept everyone engaged with tales of Northern Ireland’s past, mythology and he kept us laughing with his ‘bad jokes!’