From Game of Thrones to The Quiet Man, Ireland has long served as the scenic backdrop to movies and TV shows. How many did you know were filmed in Ireland?
1. Game of Thrones (2011 – )
The HBO adaptation of George RR Martin’s books depicts a medieval fantasy world. Many scenes in Game of Thrones were shot in Northern Ireland. Look out for Theon Greyjoy in tiny Ballintoy harbour. You’ll recognise Castle Ward near Downpatrick too; it was the Winterfell. See a full list of film locations in Northern Ireland
2. Braveheart (1995)
The major battle scenes in this story about Scottish hero William Wallace were shot on the Curragh plain in Ireland. Mel Gibson enlisted the help of 1,600 extras from the Irish Army Reserve to make up his armies of medieval Scots and British. Other key locations included Trim Castle in Meath, which was transformed for the scene at the English town of York.
3. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
The famous opening scene of Saving Private Ryan, set in France on D Day, was filmed in Wexford, southeastern Ireland. The 20 minute sequence took two months to film. Once again,s the Irish Army Reserve stepped in and supplied the 2,500 men needed as extras.
4. Vikings (2013 – )
Did you know – the production of Vikings is based entirely in Wicklow – only a matter of miles from Vagabond’s headquarters! Many Wicklow locations have played host to scenes from the History Channel show. They include the dramatic Luggala, part of the Guinness Estate. The surrounding Wicklow mountains and dark waters of Lough Tay provide ideal scenery for scenes of roving Viking longships.
5. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009)
The sixth movie of the Harry Potter series features a section filmed in Kerry and Clare. In the scene, Dumbledore and Harry stand on an isolated rock (Lemon Rock in Kerry). The camera then swoops out over some cliffs (Cliffs of Moher).
6. The Tudors (2007 – 2010)
Even though it is set in England, this TV drama about the early years of King Henry VIII’s reign was shot entirely in Ireland. Locations included: Ardmore Studies in Wicklow, Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin, Drimnagh Castle, Swords Castle & Powerscourt Estate, Wicklow.
7. The Princess Bride (1987)
Another strike for the Cliffs of Moher! This fantasy fairy tale features a key scene where the hero and villains race across the ‘Cliffs of Insanity’ (in reality, the jaw-dropping Cliffs of Moher).
8. Ryan’s Daughter (1970)
A romantic drama set in 1916. It tells the tale of a married Irish woman who has an affair with a British soldier. The movie was shot mainly on the Dingle peninsula in Kerry, with a famous scene occurring on the beach between Slea Head and Dunmore Head.
9. The Quiet Man (1952)
Starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, this movie was shot mostly in the tiny village of Cong. A picturesque village in Connemara between Lough Mask and Lough Corrib, Cong was electrified specifically for the movie shoot.