While we may have to wait for the final season of Game of Thrones, there's no reason we cannot take a Journey to Winterfell ourselves with Austin Adventures. This multisport adventure visits many of the iconic set locations, and includes world class hiking and immersion into the history and culture of Northern Ireland. Set for later this year, imagine hiking and touring journey through Northern Ireland, and immersing yourself into the television drama as you visit castles and landscapes where filming for the series took place. The vast majority of the epic was filmed in Northern Ireland and locals have many a personal Game of Thrones story to share.
To assure that hearts aren’t lost to mythology, the tour’s first stop out of the gateway city, Dublin, is Downpatrick where St. Patrick is buried. Then let fly the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, including an immersion in archery at the original film set in make-believe Winterfell (Castle Ward). After libations at three pub stops, Throners collect three “stamps” on Day 1 before bedding down in Enniskeen at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, the site on Day 2 of a seven-mile hike along an old smuggling route.
Throughout this journey Throners collect “stamps” for their Game of Thrones passports. By journey’s end they will have 10 “stamps” representing film sites visited on this real-life journey of the imagination. Throners collect “stamps” galore along the world-famous Wild Atlantic Way. A photo stop at Carrickfergus Castle (built in 1177) launches the stunning coast drive. Next is a tea break at Ballygalley Hotel, the oldest, continuously inhabited castle in Ireland (dating to 1625), followed by lunch near The Stormlands aka Cushendun Caves. Blasts of adrenalin follow while walking across Carrick A Rede (rope bridge) strung between two cliffs along the sea and before passing along a creepy avenue of beech trees called Dark Hedges (in situ since the 18th century).
You can hike 8 miles around the cliff tops of Murlough Bay and Fairhead looking over to Scotland before meandering by a traditional Clachan (cluster of small white-washed houses). On another day Throners may hike 11 miles across Giant’s Causeway, a natural sculpture playground of basalt columns created by volcanic activities millennia ago in the Atlantic Ocean. This is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Older than the mythology of the game Throners are playing here is the prehistoric (3,200BC) burial chamber at Newgrange, predating Stonehenge. Nearby is Ireland’s oldest community, Drogheda, settled before the 12th century. Another urban center Throners visit is Belfast, home of Titanic Studios where much of the filming for the series was done. This city is also the birthplace of the doomed ocean liner Titanic.
Join Austin Adventures Journey to Winterfell Tour
The rates are inclusive of double occupancy rooms with private baths, all meals except one on-own-dinner, fully trained, first-aid certified professional guides, full vehicle support and land transportation during the trip, luggage service, pre-departure and packing information, incidental expenses such as taxes, dining and housekeeping gratuities, local partner and expert gratuities and national park entrance and permit fees. For full schedules and additional information visit the Visit the Austin Adventures website.
Photo Credits: Austin Adventures