Tourism Ireland has credited the major movies and TV series made here with a starring role in the record numbers of visitors to the island of Ireland. The new Star Wars movies and Game of Thrones have been praised among many others for driving an impressive 10.5 percent rise in the number of visitors in 2019 with strong growth from the US, German and French markets particularly noteworthy.
Ireland’s tourism marketing body has admitted that advertising campaigns based on TV and movie productions like Star Wars have provided hugely increased exposure to tourists around the world including new target markets like China and Japan. An increase in flights and new routes from Dublin, Shannon and Cork airports has also helped greatly.
We at Travelodge Ireland Hotels know only too well the screen delights that you can visit using our nationwide budget chain of hotels as a base so let’s remind you of what you can see and where.
Fight for the Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland
Both our hotels in Derry city and Belfast make excellent bases to explore the world of Game of Thrones. From Ballintoy in County Antrim (the Iron Islands) to Cairncastle where Ned Stark executed a Night’s Watch deserter to Cushendun Caves where Melisandre gave birth to a ‘shadow baby’ to Tollymore Forest Park in County Down where the ‘bastard of Bolton’ hunted his victims, there are so many important locations from the iconic TV series to visit.
Star Wars and Skellig Michael
Skellig Michael is an iconic island off the south west coast of Ireland. It might be more famous globally though for the very end of the recent reboot of Star Wars when we see Luke Skywalker for the first time. The island in the Atlantic Ocean is supposed to have an even larger role in the next movie. It’s worth visiting, of course, in its own right; an early Christian monastic settlement 600 steps up from the water’s edge and now a UNESCO World Heritage site. You can take a boat from Valentia, Portmagee or Ballinskelligs but the visitor numbers are restricted so plan ahead if you’re planning to visit Skellig Michael. Make sure too that you book our Travelodge Cork Airport Hotel as your rebel base.
Save Private Ryan on Curracloe Strand near Waterford
Travel just over an hour away from our budget Travelodge Waterford Hotel and relive D-Day. Curracloe Strand in County Wexford stood in for Omaha Beach during the filming of the Steven Spielberg war movie, Saving Private Ryan. Spielberg couldn’t get permission to film his war movie in Normandy but one of his location scouts found incredible similarities between Curracloe and Omaha beaches. Consequently, they spent two months using two thousand Irish army volunteers as extras to film one of the most amazing battle scenes ever.
Scale the Cliffs of Insanity or the Cliffs of Moher
Visit the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, an hour down the road from our two budget hotels in Limerick city and you can be part of the movie location for both The Princess Bride (The Cliffs of Insanity) and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. But not just those two films, if you’re a fan of Ryan’s Daughter and Into the West, key scenes were also filmed there.
Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin
If you need a period prison scene in your movie, then look no further than Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin. Not only were many of Ireland’s most famous figures locked up in Kilmainham but it’s been the prison setting for many movies. Films like The Italian Job, Michael Collins, The Wind that Shakes the Barley and In the Name of the Father were all shot at this Dublin tourist attraction. And when you need to escape from the confines of Kilmainham Gaol you’ll always have your own budget bolthole at one of our five budget hotels in Dublin.
Quiet in Cong, close to Galway City
One for the older Travelodge Ireland guests. Travel 40 minutes from Galway city and our budget hotel and you can imagine meeting John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara as they move on their ass and cart through the set of John Ford’s The Quiet Man. This movie was a sensation when it arrived at the tiny village of Cong in County Mayo. The former shooting retreat of the Guinness family, Ashford Castle, which dominates the village also featured in this enduring movie classic.