The famous Dark Hedges in County Antrim in Northern Ireland which came to worldwide prominence thanks to the epic Game of Thrones global TV sensation has been voted one of the world’s most beautiful places. The celebrated Architectural Digest, a US magazine has put the Dark Hedges at number seven in its top 10 of the most beautiful streets in the world. In fact, the magazine rated the Dark Hedges ahead of the Paris street, the Champs-Elysees. Top of the Architectural Digest list was the Caminito in Buenos Aires followed by Lombard Street in San Francisco and the streets of Chefchaouen in Morocco.
If you’ve ever seen the Dark Hedges and we at Travelodge Ireland Hotels are big fans of that visitor attraction, you’ll understand exactly why they’ve got this tremendous but well-deserved honour. This tunnel of beech trees, near Ballymoney in County Antrim and not far from Belfast city, dates back to the 18th century and from its first appearance as the King’s Road in the first episode of the second season of the hugely successful TV series Game of Thrones the Dark Hedges has been a fan favourite.
Dark Hedges – Game of Thrones Fan Favourite
It’s such a fan favourite that it’s become a major tourist attraction in its own right but that fame has brought some problems. Transport Northern Ireland revealed in 2016 that the trees at Dark Hedges were at risk of falling down, such was the hugely increased flow of visitors and cars. The transport authorities have had to implement a new system of traffic management to cope with the influx of Game of Thrones fans.
In addition, a few of the iconic Dark Hedges trees were blown down in severe storms. Thankfully all the wood from the trees didn’t go up in flames with some of it being used for 10 specially designed doors each telling the story of an individual episode in season six of Game of Thrones. The doors were then placed in ten pubs and restaurants that are close to filming locations from the series.
Making your base at our Travelodge Belfast Central Hotel when you’re visiting the Dark Hedges is a smart move but what other Game of Thrones attractions can you visit when you stay with Travelodge Ireland?
Visit the Most Popular Game of Thrones locations
Start with Ballintoy in County Antrim which stands in for the Iron Islands or Cairncastle where Ned Stark executed a deserter from the Wall in the very first series.
A popular location in the Game of Thrones tours is Cushendun Caves where in the show the red sorceress Melisandre gives birth to a magic ‘shadow baby’ while Tollymore Forest Park in County Down is where the White Walkers were first seen. Tollymore is also where the direwolves of the Starks were discovered.
The iconic Mussenden Temple near Derry city is the location for Dragonstone in the series while the beautiful Shillanavogy Valley in County Antrim is the location chosen for the Dothraki grasslands while Binevenagh Mountain near Derry, was the chosen location for the Dothraki Sea where Daenerys was captured at the end of Series 5.
That’s only a tithe of the huge number of locations that you can visit on Game of Thrones tours in Northern Ireland, we haven’t even mentioned Castle Ward which was the TV version of Winterfell!
Budget Belfast Hotels for your Game of Thrones Visit
Wherever part of the Game of Thrones universe you’re coming from on your visit to Belfast, you’re always near our 3-star accommodation in the city. The Travelodge Belfast Central Hotel is slap bang in the centre of things, a short walk from City Hall and the perfect base to explore the delights of the city as well as a great starting point for Game of Thrones tours. It’s not the only game in town, however, check out our Travelodge Hotels Ireland Belfast Top 10 Attractions page for other great visitor attractions like Titanic Belfast and the SSE Arena to see why Belfast is such a great place to visit.
Derry Budget Hotels and Game of Thrones
When Winter is Coming, you need shelter. Not far from Game of Thrones locations like Mussenden Temple, our budget Derry hotel is right in the heart of the famous walled city, providing the ideal location to hide away from any lurking White Walkers. A room in our Travelodge Derry hotel provides incredible value for money with a large bed, spacious en-suite bathroom as well as a flat screen TV and fast, free and unlimited Wi-Fi. For the best 3 star accommodation in Derry book online with Travelodge Ireland Hotels to get the guaranteed best prices.