Fairhead on the Causeway Coast became the latest Northern Ireland filming location for Game of Thrones.
HBO filmed parts of Season 7 at Fairhead, forming the backdrop for much of Episode 3, “The Queen’s Justice”, which saw Jon Snow finally meet Daenerys and her dragons at Dragonstone, and reunite with Tyrion Lannister.
You too can enjoy the stunning cliffs of Fairhead by joining one of the many walking routes around what is believed to be the biggest expanse of climbable rock in Britain or Ireland.
Walking the route
A series of new walking routes are part of the visitor experience at Fairhead, where hardy walkers can enjoy breathtakingly beautiful views from the top to Ballycastle, Murlough Bay, Rathlin Island and the Scottish isles.
The challenging route – which requires good walking boots, a map and caution near the cliff edge (particularly in bad weather) – gives walkers a sense of how fire, ice and volcanic activity shaped the unique formation of the headland some 60 million years ago.
Walkers have a number of route choices, with loops from 1.5 to 3.4 miles. Whichever walk you choose to do, take time to read the hidden interpretation information at some of the waymarkers pointing out important sites of historic and geological interest along the way.
There are early housing settlement villages, known as clachans, to be discovered. The area was once an important industrial site for coal mining and the kelp industry.
And just like Westeros, it’s steeped in mystic mythology. Legend has it the Children of Lir were put under an evil spell, transforming them into swans to spend 900 years in exile from humanity in the Sea of Moyle. You might say they got off easy compared to some of the Stark children…
Wild goats roam the rocks beneath the clifftops, as you wind along the rugged coastline. After a gradual climb, views of Ballycastle and Rathlin island will open up, offering an almost bird’s eye view of the lighthouses and rocky shores. The Hebridean islands of Islay, Jura and the Mull of Kintyre on the Scottish mainland echo of the ancient kingdoms of Dal Riata (Dalriada) and the Rithe Innse Gall (The Lords of the Isles).
These Gaelic kings controlled this sea kingdom for hundreds of years, later becoming Lords of the North Coast and Glens of Antrim. Their dynasty was known as The Mac Donnell Clan but unlike Jon Snow they never tried to claim the title of “King in the North”.
It's a stunning part of the world and worth checking out.
To navigate your way around the accessible filming locations from the show, download the Game of Thrones® Filming Locations Northern Ireland app, available for Apple and Android at DiscoverNorthernIreland.com/GameofThrones. Here you can also view Game of Thrones experiences around Northern Ireland and the Fairhead walking routes, opened by Heart of the Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme.