With House of the Dragon airing in full swing on HBO, everyone is getting Game of Thrones fever again and we had the chance to experience the ultimate Game of Thrones studio tour. There is no better place in the world than Northern Ireland to explore the world of the Seven Kingdoms. During our most recent trip to Northern Ireland, we visited the actual studios where Game of Thrones was filmed and walked through interactive sets, sat on the Iron Throne and tried our hand at creating our own white walkers using CGI.
Linen Mills Studios in Banbridge, Northern Ireland has been transformed from a working film studio to an immersive experience where you walk through the realms seeing how the sets were created, costumes designed and weapons forged. Whether you are a Game of Thrones fan or not, this is an amazing day trip from Belfast or Dublin to experience the behind-the-scenes magic and what it takes to create one of the most successful series of all time.
Game of Thrones Studio Tour
Located just 30 minutes from Belfast and 90 minutes from Dublin, Linen Mills Studios was the main film studio for the HBO Series, The Game of Thrones. It was in these studios that John Snow was murdered by his own men, that Jamie and Cersei Lannister plotted their revenge to conquer the seven kingdoms, and where they eventually met their demise.
The most successful series in the world may have ended, but House of the Dragon is just beginning. If you are a fan of the series, you won’t want to miss this immersive experience.
Ultimate Game of Thrones Studio Tour
The studio tour at Linen Mills Studios was created in partnership with Warner Bros and is the only permanent officially licensed Game of Thrones experience out there. Book your tickets in advance at their website
With Northern Ireland being the main film site for Game of Thrones, it is fitting to have the best Game of Thrones experience in the world situated right here.
Behind the Scenes of the World’s Most Successful Series
The Game of Thrones Studio tour invites fans and movie buffs to Linen Mill Studios, the actual filming location of Game of Thrones. The studio is located just 40 minutes from Belfast and 90 minutes from Dublin making it the perfect day trip for film and tv buffs to discover the world of Westeros. Visitors are transported to the seven kingdoms for a behind-the-scenes look at the magic of movie-making.
True fans of the global hit tv series will recognize every detail right down to the infamous cup of coffee that showed up in the final season along with other hidden moments from memorable scenes.
This Game of Thrones studio tour was made to transport fans to explore actual filming locations at the site of the studio that brought the seven kingdoms from King’s Landing, The Nights Watch, and Dragonfell to life. See more Northern Ireland GOT locations at A Game of Thrones Tour of Northern Ireland
The expansive collection includes authentic sets from the Night’s Watch where Jon Snow was brought back to life by the Red Witch to the ruined throne room and the impressive Map Room at Kings Landing. But there is so much more to it than just sets. Read on to find out everything you will experience at this one-of-a-kind attraction.
It is a rare thing to explore an authentic filming location of any blockbuster show yet the Game of Thrones Studio tour not only takes you through the actual sets from the series but also showcases its expansive collection of costumes, weapons, original props, and iconic sets during your self-guided tour.
Take a journey through the entire filming process to see the creator’s vision from the beginning. The tour begins by setting the tone with a powerful film building anticipation before the doors open to a wall of smoke and dry ice transporting you beyond the wall to the land of giants and wildlings.
Day Players as Guides
What we loved most was being told stories of the experience by actual day players and regular background performers. People who actually fought in the great battles and rubbed elbows with Kit Harrington, Peter Dinklage, and Emilia Clark told us stories of their days on sets, personal experiences, and what the filming of Game of Thrones was actually like. Some of them went to work one day and ended up staying on the series for five years as regular extras.
Things to See on the Game of Thrones Studio Tour
We were giddy with excitement as we entered the studio. The mood was set with dry ice and imposing music as we walked through the doors to discover the location beyond the wall. Wildlings stood as centries either welcoming us or warning us as we stepped into their country. See what other countries Game of Thrones was filmed in at Game of Thrones Filming Locations You Can Visit in Real Life
Great Hall at Winterfell
Stand in the place where Little Finger was executed by Ayria and where the Starks welcomed many a guest into their home. This is one of the most impressive set pieces but there are several throughout the studio tour that you will walk through and be completely immersed in.
Hall of Faces
Our favorite room on the Game of Thrones Studio Tour was the Hall of Faces. This was one of the creepiest sets of the series and it definitely felt like we had been immersed in the experience. We even had the chance to put our own faces on the walls. These impressive rooms were a highlight of our time in the studios as it really captured what we watched on the screen.
I found this room to be one of the most impressive rooms on the studio tour. I have vivid memories of watching Cersei plot her invasions and plan to take over the seven kingdoms in this beautiful room. The contrast of her evilness with the beauty of this room was not lost on me.
Crypts of Winterfell
No Game of Thrones tour would be complete without visiting the Crypts of Winterfell. They have been featured since way back in Season 1 and are the true heart of the Starks. Key moments throughout the series have taken place in these halls and you can feel the weight of the Starks as you stand among their statues.
Ruined Throne Room at Kings Landing
There is no doubt that the star attraction is the last of the rooms to explore on your tour. After an amazing trip through the world of the seven kingdoms, it ends at the ruined Throne Room. See the iron throne at King’s Landing after it was scorched by dragons after Daenerys Targaryen attacks Kings Landing.
Mannequins of Jon and Daenerys stand in center stage and you can almost feel the tension in the air as she is about to meet her fate.
Don’t worry, after visiting the studios, there is one more set piece to access. It is time to sit on the Iron Throne and take your souvenir home with you. This is the actual Iron Throne, everyone! The entire series was about getting on that throne and you get to simply sit on it and make your claim and force everyone to bend the knee.
It was a highlight of our trip and you must make sure to purchase a copy. We had an entire photo shoot pretending we were on location filming our own scenes from the series.
Visual Effects Studio
A visit to Linen Mills Studios doesn’t only focus on sets and recreations of pivotal scenes, it also lets you discover the process from the show’s earliest concepts in design and visual effects. See hand-drawn sketches of costumes, learn how their visual effects were brought to life, and see how they were implemented to create those jaw-dropping final cuts.
Costumes and Make Up
Throughout the tour, mannequins are standing in actual costumes from the series. One of the guides located throughout the settings pointed out the intricate details created in every costume. Nothing was ever left out with each costume design, prosthetic, and set piece created with perfect detail.
The creature effects were also impressive to see. The make up department had its hand full creating creatures from white walkers and giants to dealing with all that blood and gore throughout its 8 season run. As a former makeup artist in the TV industry, I found this exhibit fascinating.
During your visit, you have several chances to try your hand at creating and enjoying interactive entertainment. You can create your own sigil, see how white walkers came to life, and make them dance. After that, pick up an arrow and take down as many white walkers as you can, or relax in front of the makeup mirror to create your own visual effects.
I found the armory to be fascinating. We looked at actual props of thousands of spears and swords used by extras. But they also had the actual weapons used by the stars. See Ayria’s sword needle, The crossbow Tyrion used to kill his father, and Ned Stark’s Valyrian steel sword.
How to Get to Linen Mill Studios
Linen Mills is located between Belfast and Dublin close to the border of Ireland. We drove to Linen Mills studios from Dublin en route to Belfast as we crossed into Northern Ireland, it was the perfect stop if you are planning a road trip between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Linen Mills Studios is just 40 minutes from Belfast and 90 minutes from Dublin.
With its central location, it can easily be visited from either city. Here is its location on Google Maps.
Game of Thrones Studio Tour Parking
Chances are you’ll be driving to the studio if you didn’t book a day tour. You cannot park at the studio but tickets to the studio tour include parking at a location off-site at the studio tour car park on The Boulevard Banbridge. Guests arriving by car or self-drive, cannot park onsite but instead must take a shuttle bus from the Boulevard Banbridge studio tour car park. To find the car park, search for The Boulevard Banbridge on Google Maps. You can find the coordinates here.
Tickets are priced from £39.50 for adults with one free child ages 5-15. per child or family tickets for 2 Adults and 2 Free Children
Other Places to See Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland was used for many filming sites throughout the entire run of the series. Visitors to Northern Ireland can plan an entire trip around the series and still manage to see all of the top historic sites and attractions in both Belfast and Northern Ireland. From
Belfast Titanic Studios was another GOT filming location but it is not open to the public. This studio is still a working studio, but it is cool to catch a glimpse of another iconic location. It is also the spot where the Glass of Thrones takes place.
Titanic Studios is located next to Titanic Belfast, so after you have explored the museums to learn all about the ill-fated journey, walk along the Titanic Slipways to see the studios and the large cranes that are the symbol of Belfast. Read more Best Things to do in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Glass of Thrones
After our studio tour, the Glass of Thrones was the perfect complement. We took a walk from Belfast City Hall to the Titanic Slipways exploring not only the city’s beautiful waterfront but 6 stained glass creations of pivotal moments from the series. Each work of art represents pivotal scenes from the Game of Thrones representing The Starks, Lannisters, Baratheons, Targaryens, White Walkers, and the Iron Throne
The Dark Hedges is still one of our favorite places to visit in Northern Ireland not only for its beauty but for its memorable scene from season 1. The Dark Hedges was the location for The Kings Road and was a memorable scene where Arya Stark was put on a wagon and sent away to make her escape from Kings Landing in season 2. Read more: The Dark Hedges of Northern Ireland – Tips to Visit and What you Need to Know
Game of Thrones from Belfast – This tour not only takes you to iconic GoT locations, but it also stops at the legendary Giant’s Causeway, Dark Hedges, Glens of Antrim, Cushenden Caves, Ballintoy Harbour, and more!
Cushendun Caves were used in season two of Storm’s End in Stormlands. It was here where that Davos and Melisandre landed and where Melisandre gave birth. You can visit this on a road trip. Park in the car park near the beach and walk to the caves. They were used again in season 8 when Jaime Lannister fought Euron Greyjoy as Kings Landing was being destroyed by dragons.
Ballantoy Harbour is a Game of Thrones setting where Theon first arrived home to the Iron Islands and meets his sister. The crew transformed the setting harbor into a bustling harbor filled with boats and dock workers.
Here is Dragonstone Castle stands where Melisandre, aka The Red Woman, burns the Statues of “The Seven” to make Stannis convert to her religion.
Castle Ward – Winterfell
By far, our most memorable immersion in the seven kingdoms was at Castle Ward, located in County Down, Northern Ireland. We stepped into Winterfell where we donned fur cloaks and tried our hand at archery, just as Bran did in season one as Ned Stark looked on.
Located just 45 minutes from the Game of Thrones Studio in Banbridge, this is an excellent addition to your Northern Ireland GOT experience.
Book a Game of Thrones Day Tour to Castle Ward – It takes you from Belfast to 20 Game of Thrones filming locations: featuring, Tollymore forest park where the dire wolf pups were discovered, Castle Ward Estate, and Inch Abbey where Rob Stark was crowned King of the North.
Visiting Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge was a highlight of all our trips to Northern Ireland and Ireland. This was one of the best interactive museums we have ever visited and now that we’ve seen what Warner Bros has done with GOT, we look forward to visiting the Harry Potter studios in London as we hear this studio tour modeled itself after that other epic series that we loved.
If you are visiting Dublin or Belfast, make sure to add this tour to your list. Especially if you are a fan of the series or planning to watch House of the Dragon. See our full breakdown at A Game of Thrones Tour of Northern Ireland
Tickets must be booked in advance, you can reserve tickets on their website. We recommend spending at least 3 hours at the studios. We could have honestly used another hour and for fans anywhere from 3-5 hours. That will give you the chance to really take in all the exhibits. There is a shop to buy memorabilia and a cafe for food and drinks.
To say we enjoyed our time at Linen Mills is an understatement. We had three hours to visit the authentic filming location and it wasn’t enough. As fans of the series, we could have spent the entire day here reading every piece of information from sketches of the series’ earliest concepts to how they created those jaw-dropping final cuts.
It’s one of the most amazing tours we have ever taken and while we had about three hours to explore the many film sets, interactive exhibits, and showcase of rooms, we could have spent all day.
Our trip to the Game of Thrones Studio Tour was courtesy of Tourism Ireland.
Read More about Travel in Northern Ireland