Northern Ireland: Game of ThronesOn Tour with McComb's
McComb's have a classic Game of Thrones tour which covers many of the location highlights. Their tours are 5 star rated from Tourism Northern Ireland and their coaches are the same as those used by cast and crew in the HBO series.
Main stops include:
- Cushendun Cave - where Melisandre gave birth to the shadow assassin
- Carnlough - AKA Braavosi Canal. Here Ayra falls into the water during combat
- Ballintoy Harbour - otherwise known as Pyke Harbour
- Giant’s Causeway – (not GoT related, but as McComb's argue you can’t come this far without visiting this UNESCO World Heritage Site!)
- Carrick-a-Rede Ropebridge
- Larrybane - where Renly swears to Lady Stark that he will avenge Ned's death, but meets his end at the hands of the shadow assassin
- The Dark Hedges – where Arya Stark makes her escape down The Kings Road
Make sure you're wearing sensible footwear and dress for the season: it's Northern Ireland after all!
Caroline McComb, Director of McComb's Coach Travel has some great insights into the show and the fantastic locations you can visit on a tour.
Do you have any anecdotes about transporting the cast and crew of GoT that you could share?
The time that stands out to us most would be when they were filming for the first time at Ballintoy Harbour (Pyke). There was a really bad storm, and all of the costumes, props, a marquee and a lot of the set were blown off the land and straight into the Atlantic Ocean! We had to shuttle the cast and crew from the Harbour up the windy road to the local pub to take shelter, and when finished, the driver walked in to find some of the cast in full costume, playing pool and drinking pints!
Who are your customers? How do they react to seeing a location first hand?
Some locations generate a more animated reaction than others, and The Dark Hedges is one of the most beautiful and the more recognizable location from the series. It naturally gets an amazing reaction from all customers. Ballintoy Harbour is also exactly how it looks on screen, and that makes it an amazing location to visit on the tour.
What is your favourite GoT location on the McComb’s tour?
My favorite location is the Caves at Cushendun. We were lucky enough to have Carice Van Houten's (who plays Melissandre) Mother on the tour with us a few years ago, and it was really special to bring here there. As a filming location it is stunning, and in normal life it is beautiful, but that connection with her makes it my favorite!
Which are your favourite scenes, actors and characters from GoT?
My favorite character in Game of Thrones is Olenna Tyrell. Her whole persona and attitude is so clever. I also love Maisie Willams as an actor, and seeing the transformation in her as she has grown up on and off screen has been really special. I’m probably going with the masses with my favorite scene, but it has to be the Red Wedding. Michelle Fairley is amazing in this, and for the first time in any TV show or film, I really felt her pain. This has to be followed closely by the Battle of the Bastards. I’ve never hated a character in a TV show before – and then I saw Ramsey Bolton! I was so pleased when he finally got what he deserved, especially since it came from Sansa!
Do you have any additional tips for travelling in Northern Ireland?
Best pub: Sweet Afton – it’s a stones throw from the Europa Hotel, and has such a fantastic mix of old and new Belfast rolled into one. The cocktails are amazing too!
Most underrated attraction: City Hall. Not many people know you can actually take a tour of the City Hall in Belfast, and so many historical events have taken place there so it’s a must see.
Best activity: Crossing Carrick-a-Rede Rope bridge. It’s breath-taking, exhilarating, satisfying, and after you cross you feel such a mix of achievement and relief that it’s over!
You can book McComb's Game of Thrones tour using this link.
On Tour with McComb's
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