When some of The Dark Hedges’ trees blew over during a storm, the wood from two of the felled trees was made into 10 intricately carved doors, each of which displays a scene from Game of Thrones. These doors were then gifted to various local landmarks around Northern Ireland, each of which sits near a filming location from the show. Northern Ireland’s tourism board has released a passport, which you can print off and complete with stamps. Each site has their own stamp, so the Game of Thrones Door Tour could be the perfect road trip for the Westerosi in your life.
Fittingly, the first door portrays the opening sequence of the show, with a map of Westeros and sigils of the show’s houses. The Cuan is an award-winning hotel and restaurant in Strangford, County Down, specialising in sourcing the freshest ingredients for their dishes. Ardglass Harbour is only 10 minutes away, which explains the presence of so much fish on the menu. The Cuan serves a broad variety of seafood dishes, and we recommend settling in for a bowl of chowder before a day trip to nearby Castle Ward, which might be more recognisable as Winterfell itself.
The Cuan, The Square, Strangford, Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, UK, +44 28 4488 1222
Owens’ Bar is in possession of what might be the grandest door on the list, with the Night King and the White Walkers dominating the frame, looming over the Stark sigil. Owens’ is a small traditional pub with a beautiful wooden bar that complements the door surprisingly well. Nearby, Downhill Beach stood in for Dragonstone, while a trip to Binvenagh and the Antrim Plateau places visitors in the middle of the Dothraki Grasslands.
Gracehill House is near The Dark Hedges themselves, otherwise known as the Kingsroad. This door hasn’t strayed too far from home, and it depicts the three-eyed raven and several sigils. At the base of the door, a beech leaf sits within a crown, a reference to the beech trees of The Dark Hedges. Gracehill House is a historic hotel, bar, and restaurant, and The Dark Hedges were originally planted to serve as the country house’s drive.
Mary McBride’s was, at one point, one of the smallest bars in Ireland. Now, it’s a charming hub of music and craic, as well as the host of the eighth door. “Valar morghulis. Valar dohaeris,” proclaims the centre of the door, and Arya’s journey through Braavos is a major theme. Several filming locations are nearby, including Cushendun Caves, Murlough Bay, Carnlough Harbour, and The Glens of Antrim.
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