Ireland has been a popular film location for many renowned directors and producers for many years. The enormous variety in the landscape, of lovely green hills, rugged cliffs and rugged coasts, means that Ireland is often chosen as the stting for series and films. One of the most famous series shot in Ireland is, of course, Game of Thrones. In this blog I have the famous film locations in Ireland of 10 films that have been shot there in recent years.
10x famous film locations in Ireland
1. Game of Thrones
With most of the locations of the Seven Kingdoms in the world, Northern Ireland has earned its title of ‘territory of Game of Thrones®’. In Northern Ireland, the green Riverlands lie side by side with the Iron Islands, the Dothraki Sea borders Winterfell and you never know when you’ll run into a terrifying wolf from the real Westeros.
2. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
The Cliffs of Moher: This is where the wizards Harry Potter and Dumbledore go to find the Gruzi elements. Even a Dumbledore can see the magic of this place: on a clear day you’ll see the Aran Islands, Galway Bay and also the Maumturk Mountains in Connemara. (Movie location: Counties Clare and Kerry)
Braveheart may be Mel Gibson’s movie, but Trim Castle is the star. It’s hard to miss this Norman fortress in County Meath, with its typical medieval walls, towers and battlements. On the screen, this fortress represents the walled city of York. The Wicklow Mountains loom up as a rugged backdrop. (film location: Counties Meath and Wicklow)
4. P.S. I Love You
This romantic drama comes across as a love letter to Ireland. Featuring some of the most stunning locations on the east coast, including The Sally Gap and the picturesque lakeside village of Lacken, the characters fall in love with the charm of the moorland landscape and enchanting views along the Wicklow Way. And so do we. (film location: County Wicklow)
5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
While filming The Force Awakens, actors Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill were to be found on the steps of the steep cliffs on the beautiful island of Skellig Michael. It is not for nothing that this location is on the UNESCO world heritage list. Known for its beehive huts, amazing wildlife and high ocean waves, the island provides a magical setting to one of the most grandiose films. (film location: County Kerry)
6. The Quiet Man
In 1952, actor John Wayne Cong walked into County Mayo and introduced this typically Irish village to the world. This Oscar-winning classic includes Ashford Castle, Thoor Ballylee (once home to W.B. Yeats) and, of course, the Quiet Man Bridge across the River Owenriff. (film location: Counties Galway and Mayo)
The main action of this 2015 film took place in North America, but Brooklyn was also partly filmed in Enniscorthy, County Wexford. The film takes us back to the 1950s in Ireland and was nominated for an Oscar for the best female actress, the Irish Saoirse Ronan. The beaches of Curracloe and Ballinesker also feature in the film. (film location: County Wexford)
8. Saving Private Ryan
The opening scenes of D-Day in this film are both spectacular and poignant. Interesting detail: they were filmed on County Wexford’s Curracloe Beach. Steven Spielberg probably knew he needed an exceptional place to depict one of the most dramatic moments of the 20th century. You must have seen Curracloe, with its wide sandy beaches and ocean views, once. (film location: County Wexford)
9. Ryan’s Daughter
This passionate Oscar-award-winning film captures the drama and romance of Ireland’s west coast right from the opening scene, high above the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry. Slea Head and Dunmore Head are two eternal highlights. (film location Counties Clare and Kerry)
10. Paddington 2
The favourite bear of many can be seen together with an Irish historical star on the big screen in Paddington 2. Pay close attention to the scenes in prison. You may recognise Kilmainham Gaol’s Victorian east wing, which also shone in the film classics The Italian Job and The Wind That Shakes The Barley. (film location: Kilmainham Gaol)
Which of these 10 famous film locations in Ireland have you visited?