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
Fiddler’s Green is a pub and B&B at the tip of the Ards Peninsula, and the location of the second door. Located at the edge of ‘The Narrows’, the point at which Strangford Lough meets the sea, it’s actually directly opposite Strangford town. Fiddler’s is known for the character of its bar, its live music, and its excellent Guinness. Its door shows the struggle between House Bolton and House Greyjoy, with Greyjoy’s kraken rising from the bottom of the door. Nearby Castle Quintin is a 12th-century Anglo-Norman castle that also served as Stokeworth in season five.
Nestled at the foot of the Mourne Mountains lies Percy French, a restaurant attached to the renowned Slieve Donard Resort and Spa in Newcastle, County Down. The folks behind Percy French are clearly proud of their door, as they’ve added ‘The Westeros Tomahawk’ to their menu, a 20-ounce steak served with a Valyrian Steel-inspired knife. Down’s Tollymore Forest Park appeared in the very first episode of Game of Thrones when the Starks found their direwolves, and the door reflects one of these wolves in particular (no spoilers!).
Slieve Donard Resort & Spa, Downs Rd, Newcastle, Northern Ireland, UK, +44 28 4372 3175
Blake’s of the Hollow
The frontage and bottom bar at Blake’s have barely changed since the Victorian era, but this Enniskillen bar manages to seamlessly blend the old with the new. The ground floor bar is the cosiest, while the upper-level bars get trendier as you ascend the stairs, and the two attached restaurants complete the building. Pollnagollum Cave is a part of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark and acted as Hollow Hill during season three. The door at Blake’s depicts the Targaryen rise to power, with the dragons dominating the base of the door.
Blake’s of the Hollow, 6 Church St, Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, UK, +44 28 6632 2143
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.
The Fullerton Arms
The Fullerton Arms Hotel in Ballintoy sits between The Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, making it an excellent pit stop on either your Doors of Thrones journey or just a Causeway Coastal Route road trip. Ballintoy Harbour is synonymous with the Iron Islands, and many of the hotel’s rooms come with a sea view. Its door shows Drogon gripping Dothraki stallions in his claws.
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.
Ballygally Castle Hotel is perched on the Antrim Coast, 26 miles (41.8 kilometres) from Belfast and very close to Larne. It’s the only 17th-century building in Northern Ireland that’s still used as a residence today, and legend has it that a (harmless) ghost haunts it. Its door portrays the ‘Battle of the Bastards’, and like Percy French, the hotel is proud of their door, as they offer a Game of Thrones-inspired afternoon tea service, including sweet treats that represent each of the lands of Westeros. Cairncastle has been shown in the show on several occasions, including in the very first episode, so it’s worth a look for Game of Thrones buffs.
Ballygally Castle, Coast Rd, Ballygally, Northern Ireland, UK, +44 28 2858 1066
The Dark Horse
The Dark Horse is a bar and coffee bar in the heart of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, tucked down the same alleyway as The Duke of York and several other bars. The door at The Dark Horse provides a broad overview of Westeros’ state of affairs at the end of season six, which is fitting, as the door is supposed to represent all the filming that has taken place in Belfast. The door also provides some clues about the parentage of Jon Snow, but again, no spoilers here.
The Dark Horse, Hill St, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK, +44 28 9023 7807