HBO's Game of Thrones at Castle Ward

A warrior in brandishes his sword at the Winterfell Tower House at Castle Ward Co. Down

Did you know HBO's Game of Thrones® was filmed at Castle Ward? The hit HBO series became a worldwide phenomenon over the course of its award winning seven seasons.

Castle Ward’s historic farmyard is the location of Winterfell, the backdrop for the series pilot and much of season one. It’s also where you will find the Whispering Wood and key scenes including Robb Stark’s Camp, the Baelor battle and when Brienne confronts the Stark men. 

HBO's Game of Thrones® spent eight weeks at Castle Ward building the set of Winterfell ahead of the pilot episode and hundreds of actors and crew worked on the filming here.

Download our Game of Thrones location map to see where your favourite scene was shot.

A scene from Game of Thrones filmed at Castle Ward
An image from a scene from Game of Thrones which was filmed at Castle Ward
A scene from Game of Thrones filmed at Castle Ward

Behind the scenes

Castle Ward had no idea what it was getting into when it agreed to the filming of a pilot for a fantasy series. There had been small shoots before but nothing of this scale. The staff were a little star-struck when the team of producers and executives flew in from LA to check out the site, and it was agreed that the area was simply perfect to provide the setting of the home of the Stark family. 

The farmyard was transformed into Winterfell with a large set, helped by a large amount of CGI in post-production. Although the set no longer remains, it's easy to see how the Tower House became the imposing entrance to Winterfell.

Video

How Castle Ward became Winterfell

Discover the VFX that transformed Castle Ward into Winterfell along with other special effects from season one of Game of Thrones.

From 2009 to 2011, Castle Ward hosted the pilot, scenes from Season 1 and a few in season 2. After the first season aired and it was clear the show was a bit of a hit, a version of the set was built in Titanic studios, as continued filming on a heritage site in a National Trust property wasn't sustainable.

George R.R. Martin

George visited the set early in the days of season one, and we were able to welcome him back for an incredible evening 10 years later for a special Q&A in 2019. Being able to bring George to meet so many fans of the show in one of the places where it all began was a real treat for us. Listen to George talk about the impact and legacy of his writing on the landscape of Northern Ireland when he was interviewed just before the event in our Cornmill in 2019.

Book today

Book your tickets for entry into Castle Ward and discover the home of Winterfell.

Please book ahead before visiting

The garden, estate and stableyard toilets at Castle Ward have reopened and you’ll need to book tickets by 3pm the day before your visit. Members can book for free, while non-members will need to pay when booking. We'll be releasing tickets every Friday. Please note we’ll be turning people away who arrive and haven't booked. We're looking forward to welcoming you back.

An image from a scene from Game of Thrones which was filmed at Castle Ward

Game of Thrones filming locations 

HBO's Game of Thrones® is known for its warring families, dragons and dramatic landscapes - but did you know that many of the places that we care for in Northern Ireland were used as locations for the show? Discover where you can follow in the footsteps of the Starks and the Lannisters.