HBO's Game of Thrones at Castle Ward

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

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.

What parts of Game of Thrones were filmed in Northern Ireland?

Game of Thrones was filmed across a variety of landscapes in Northern Ireland. The historic farmyard at Castle Ward is the location of Winterfell, the famous backdrop for the series pilot and much of season one. Castle Ward is also where fans 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.


Turning Castle Ward into Winterfell

Discover how BlueBolt VFX turned our historic farmyard into the home of the Stark family, along with their other season one work.

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

Why was Game of Thrones filmed at Castle Ward?

Behind the scenes

Supervising Location Manager Robbie Boake first started scouting in Northern Ireland in 2008, and soon discovered the draw of these special places: ‘As I was exploring the countryside, it soon became apparent that some of the most beautiful areas here are owned by the National Trust’. It was agreed that the area was simply perfect to provide the setting of the home of the Stark family. 

Castle Ward had no idea what it was getting into when it agreed to the filming of the pilot for the 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 location.

When was Game of Thrones filmed at Castle Ward?

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

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.

Places to stay at Castle Ward

Stay overnight at Castle Ward with our holiday accommodation. Camp in the caravan park, glamp in a pod or relax inside Potter's Cottage. Whether you're looking for a romantic weekend away or a family-friendly location, Castle Ward doesn't disappoint.

Game of Thrones Filming

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.