Since 2016, one of our best Iron Islands coach tour guides has been Richard Hodgen, a wildling extra on several seasons of the show! In June 2023, Richard became our in-house private car tour guide. On a private car tour with Richard as your guide, you can customise your itinerary so you can see and do exactly what you want to see and do.
North of Belfast, travel up the epic Glens of Antrim visiting locations along the way, up to the north coast to Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, the Giant’s Causeway, the location of the Iron Islands and the Dark Hedges.
South of Belfast are the locations of House Stark including Winterfell castle and courtyard from season 1, the ruined 12th century abbey where Robb Stark became King in the North and the forest where the Starks found the direwolf pups.
Richard will bring metal swords, hand-painted banners and beautifully made Stark wool cloaks or Iron Islands leather costumes for photo ops on location. This private tour really is a once in a lifetime experience for Game of Thrones® fans!
We did the Iron Islands private tour with Richard. From the moment the tour started to the very end it was an amazing and enjoyable experience. We got to see so many of the filming locations and the Giant Causeway…
Choice of two different tours
SAMPLE ITINERARY NORTH OF BELFAST
07:45 Meet Richard at your hotel
Your guide Richard Hodgen will pick you up at your hotel, guesthouse or AirBnb, wherever you chose as the pickup point.
Depart Belfast taking the Causeway Coastal Route, passing Carrickfergus Castle and Magheramorne Quarry, location of Castle Black and the Wall.
Comfort stop at Carnlough
Morning comfort stop for coffee and restrooms.
Photo stop at Cushendun Caves
Photo stop in the caves where Melisandre gave birth to a dark spirit.
Cross Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Cross the rope bridge, but don’t look down, it’s 30m (98 ft) to the rocks below!
Visit Renly’s Camp and Iron Islands Kingsmoot
Larrybane Chalk Quarry, where Brienne bested Ser Loras Tyrell and Catelyn brought news of Robb’s rebellion to Renly and his army. Also the location of the Iron Islands Kingsmoot in season 6.
Lunch in the Fullerton Arms
A charming guesthouse, restaurant and pub in Ballintoy on the north coast, see fullerton-arms.com.
Visit the Iron Islands
Visit to Ballintoy Harbour, location where Theon came ashore on Pyke Island, where Theon later rededicated his faith to the ‘Drowned God’, where Ser Davos seeks the help of Salladhor Saan for the Battle of Blackwater Bay, and where Gendry escapes Dragonstone in a rowing boat.
Visit the Giant’s Causeway
Visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site, the geological marvel of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, formed in the Paleogene Period, 50-60 million years ago.
Photo stop at the Dark Hedges
Photo stop at the haunting avenue of beech trees, through which Arya and Gendry escaped King’s Landing.
17:30 Drop-off at your chosen destination
Arrival back in Belfast and drop-off.
SAMPLE ITINERARY SOUTH OF BELFAST
08:15 Meet Richard at your chosen pickup point
Your guide Richard will pick you up at your hotel, guesthouse or AirBnb, wherever you chose as the pickup point.
Depart from Belfast past Scrabo Tower and down the Ards peninsula to Portaferry.
Ferry across ‘the Narrows’
Ferry ride from Portaferry to Strangford, across the mouth of Strangford Lough. The name Strangford is derived from Old Norse Strangr-fjǫrðr, meaning ‘strong fjord’, describing the fast-flowing narrows at its mouth. If the ferry is cancelled due to bad weather, Adrian will take a different route to Winterfell.
Morning trek at Winterfell (3km)
Visit to Castle Ward Estate. There are nine Game of Thrones® film locations on site, all close together. A 16th century castle and stableyard is the film location of Winterfell. Nearby, on the wooded shores of Strangford Lough, a 15th century Tower House (small castle) served as one of Walder Frey’s Twins and as the location of Robb’s Camp in the Riverlands. Other classic scenes filmed nearby include the spot where Brienne of Tarth dispatched three Stark bannermen and where Tyrion and Bronn were ambushed by the Stone Crows of the Vale.
Lunch in the port of Strangford.
There are a few great lunch venues in the village of Strangford. We recommend The Cuan, a pub on the village square in the port of Strangford.
Inch Abbey: King in the North
Photo stop at the ruins of a 12th century Cistercian Abbey where Catelyn and Robb hear terrible news from King’s Landing, and Robb’s bannermen pledge fealty to him as the ‘King in the North’. For those who want to get fully immersed in the mood of the North, in the trunk of the coach there are plenty of Northern cloaks and Stark shields, helms and swords.
Afternoon Trek in Tollymore Forest (3km)
This forest park, covering 630 hectares (1,600 acres) was used as the backlot for many key scenes, including where Wills finds the dismembered bodies in the snow, Tyrion and Jon’s campfire on their journey north to the wall, and the bridge where the Starks discover a dead direwolf and her pups.
18:00 Drop-off at your hotel
Arrival back in Belfast. Richard will drop you off at any place of your choosing.
Map of the route
- Please wear outdoor footwear and dress appropriately for the Northern Irish weather.
- Although this is a luxury car tour, please note the north tour may include modestly long walks, one in the morning at Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge (2kms), the other in the afternoon at the Giant’s Causeway (2kms). There is a shuttle bus to and from the Giant’s Causeway stones costing £1 each way. Please be advised that in high winds, the rope bridge closes but the spectacular cliff walk to and from the rope bridge remains open to the public.
- South of Belfast, similarly this private car tour may include long walks, one in the morning at Castle Ward Estate (2kms), the other in the afternoon at the Tollymore Forest Park (2kms). The walks are necessary to get to the most spectacular locations.
- Lunch is not included in the ticket price.
- Richard’s private car tour is a transport service. Entrance fees to certain locations are not included.
- Photo opportunities with wool cloaks and metal swords (House Stark or Iron Islands) are included at no extra cost.
We will fully refund your payment card if you cancel up to 24 hours before your departure time. We will charge a cancellation fee of 100% if you cancel your booking within 24 hours of the departure time. Otherwise we offer a full refund for all cancellations.