Ireland On-Screen: Visit The Filming Locations Of Your Favorite Hit Movies
Ireland has become a popular destination for filmmakers from around the world, and the country’s stunning landscapes and historic sites have been featured in many famous movies. The filming locations used in these movies have become major sights to see during a visit to the country. A few recent hit movies, such as The Banshees of Inisherin and Dungeons & Dragons utilized the Irish landscape while filming. Can you visit the iconic spots, and have your own adventure?
Fantasy Blockbuster: Dungeons & Dragons
First comes 2023’s fantasy box office hit based on the popular role playing board game, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. Ireland’s beautiful natural landscape lends itself beautifully to high fantasy settings. The stunning coastlines and magical forests offer perfect settings for bards and barbarians alike.
The film’s director Jonathon Goldstein told the Hollywood Reporter, “We didn’t want it to be that gritty, grim, medieval look that you see so often. We shot in Northern Ireland, which is one of the greenest places on Earth. It would be a sin to strip it of that natural beauty.”
Many of the castle scenes, for example, were filmed at Glenarm Castle (Co. Antrim). Most famously where Chris Pine serenades castle guards, it is a key backdrop in the film. Set among 4,000 acres of beautiful gardens, this 17th century castle is open to the public.
Donal Maloney/Tourism Northern Ireland
For many of the film’s scenic seaside moments, the coast of Giant’s Causeway can be seen in the background. A dramatic backdrop of mystery and grandeur, Northern Ireland’s most famous coast lended itself perfectly to the fantastic world of Dungeons & Dragons. It is a stunning location to visit, offering breathtaking views and wonderful hikes in the surrounding areas. When visiting Northern Ireland, this natural beauty is a must-see.
For a lush green day in the outdoors, consider visiting Tollymore Forest, where many scenes of the film were shot. The forest – Northern Ireland’s first official state forest park – is right at the foot of the Mourne Mountains in Co. Down. It offers a gorgeous setting for a hike, especially if you’re the outdoors type.
Chris Hill/Tourism Northern Ireland
Lastly, Carrickfergus Castle is heavily featured in the film. Built during the 12th century, it is one of the best-preserved medieval structures on the island of Ireland. Today, it is open to the public to visit with guided tours.
David Sexton/Tourism Northern Ireland
Awards-Worthy Drama: The Banshees of Inisherin
The talk of this year’s awards season, Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin is a distinctly Irish melodrama. Set during 1923 in the fictional peninsula of Inisherin, the film is defined by its sweeping landscapes and captivating coastline.
Is Inisherin a real place? Unfortunately, no. But, you can visit the parts of Ireland where it was filmed. For the most part, The Banshees of Inisherin was filmed on the Aran Islands and Achill Island, both off of the west coast of Ireland. Director Martin McDonagh said in an interview with Disney, “Inisherin is a fictional island, so I didn’t want it to be specifically one place…I wanted it to be more mythical.”
Brian Morrison/Tourism Ireland
Lukasz Warzecha/Fáilte Ireland
The Aran Islands (Co. Galway) make a wonderful day trip, and are worth visiting during your next trip to Ireland. Accessible by ferry, the islands are known for their ancient sites, such as stone beehive-like stone buildings. A majority of the film was shot on Inishmore, the largest of the archpelago
An incredibly recognizable location from the film is Corrymore Lake, where Dominic (Barry Keoghan) tries and fails to woo Siobhán (Kerry Condon) in a scene that likely earned them their Academy Award and BAFTA nominations. Situated up the side of Croaghaun Mountain, the lake has an eerie and captivating feel that visitors can experience while hiking.
And, perhaps most famously, Keem Bay serves as the location of the film’s final moments. The beach, located on Achill Island off the coast of Co. Mayo, is the location of Colm’s (Brendan Gleeson’s) house, and lended itself to the image of the film’s poster. The beach along the bay’s shoreline is open to visit and walk along, perfect for any fans of the film.
Chaosheng Zhang/Fáilte Ireland
Whether you’re a fan of these movies or simply looking to experience the untamed beauty of the Emerald Isle, a trip to these locations is sure to be an unforgettable adventure. Don’t know where to start? Whether you choose a private chauffeur guided tour, or specialized self-drive itinerary, or a family reunion, we can put together a unique Irish adventure customized just for you, your family and your friends. To book your authentic green experience around the Emerald Isle contact Specialized Travel Services by sending us an email or complete our contact form.
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