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Family travel: Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland

Fans of TV phenomenon Game of Thrones will find plenty of wholesome ways to keep the whole family entertained in Northern Ireland

Published 20 Aug 2018, 09:00 BST, Updated 14 Jul 2021, 17:02 BST
Archery practise
Archery practise

1. Fit for a king

A bike tour of Castle Ward is the most child-friendly way of taking it all in — the little ones can buckle up in a trailer while the grown-ups reimagine the grisly scenes in the locations where they were filmed. Afterwards, there's a chance to practise your archery skills and dress up while marching around the courtyard of Winterfell.

2. Going underground

Located on the Causeway Coast, Cushendun Caves are perfect for taking youngsters adventuring along the stony beach that leads to the dark Melisandre's Cave. Don't forget to stop off at Cushendun Village Tea Rooms for a coffee or ice cream.

3. Keep it cultured

Call in at Ulster Museum in Belfast and see the Game of Thrones tapestry. The museum is great for children, with several exploration spaces hosting exhibits to while away the hours.

4. Make a splash

Ballintoy Harbour is synonymous with Pyke and the Iron Islands from the series. Here you can relive the drowning and rebirth of Euron Greyjoy in the shallows.

5. Dog days

Meet the 'direwolves' — Summer and Greywind — at Castle Ward. These dogs were just pups in the very first episode eight years ago. It's a great opportunity for the kids to get a big hairy cuddle.

6. Feast your eyes (and bellies)

Tuck in to a lunch with a difference at The Cuan Guesthouse in Strangford. A Thrones-inspired banquet, ranging from cod cakes to honey-roasted chicken and pease pudding are on the menu, all best eaten by hand.

7. On the road

This iconic avenue of twisted beech trees is a photographers' dream — it's best to try and visit early or late in the day to avoid the crowds. Used as the location for The Kingsroad, the way is closed to traffic, meaning the kids can roam freely… and ruin your perfect shot.

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Published in the September 2018 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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