Our pick up for the Game of Thrones Tour (GOT) was at 9am at Café Nero, 2-4 Chichester Street, Belfast. We were in good hands with Hugh our guide and our super driver from Quinns Coaches (we had a 33 seater bus which was about half full). This tour is called Tour Of Thrones NI, www.tourofthronesni.com, tel 028 867 37325. All pictures please check out FB later today.
We headed along the A2 Coastal route, through Carrickfergus (Castle), Larne and drove past the first location which was the working quarry Magheramourne Quarry which was used as Castle Black. It’s closed to the public and there is a police presence.
Then we took the Torr Head Scenic route to Cushendun Caves which is where Davos arrived and the dragons were born. We did not get a chance to see the Murlough Bay (you can see the turn off to Murlough Bay and Fairhead at Hunters Bay Pub/Restaurant). We marvelled at the natural beauty of the scenery along the Antrim coast. We drove past the vanishing lake, Ballypatrick Forest, Watertop Farm before arriving at Ballycastle. Ballycastle is famous for being the birth place of Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley), also there are scenes from series 5 filmed on the beach there and there is the ferry to Rathlin Island and of course the Aul Lamas Fair in August. The views are fantastic and there are lots of good places to stay and eat and drink!!!
Driving along the Causeway Coast, which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you can see across to Rathlin Island and also to Scotland, especially on a lovely, clear day like yesterday. We then were on our way to Larrybane/Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge. It was here at Larrybane Chalk Quarry that filming took place also. From here we travelled to Ballintoy Bay, Harbour and beach and it was stunning. It was amazing to see the real McCoy and how the Computer Graphics guys at HBO have transformed it.
Feeling peckish know we headed to the Red Door Tea Room and had a superb lunch outside (with one of the Belfast Giants players and his partner), please see separate blog. Then we went to the Giants Causeway. It’s always wonderful to visit and always a great walk to the stones and back, but GOT was not filmed here!!! Again will write a separate blog on the Giants Causeway. From here we stopped for a quick photograph at Dunluce Castle ruins which was the inspiration for Pyke Castle.
Our last stop was the Dark Hedges, which is probably the most iconic scene from GOT. This is a treelined working road outside Stranocum (just outside Ballymoney). The trees are all dead. There was a tree trunk “stub” and I roughly counted about 250-300 rings so the average age of the trees would be 250-300 years old.
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The Belfasttravelman loves to travel. Be it for a nice scenic walk,to taking to the skies or by rail,sea and road.
Contact me on http://www.belfasttravelman.wordpress.com