Experience Westeros with a visit to Winterfell, located only 40 minutes out of Belfast, Northern Ireland in County Down.
Immerse yourself in the world of Game of Thrones with a visit to Old Castle Ward, the film set of the iconic Winterfell. Castle Ward is the location of Winterfell, the whispering woods and many more iconic scenes. Now that the series is wrapped up, you can live the Game of throne experience, dressing up in Character and walking where the cast walked.
Earlier this year we took a trip to Ireland, and then headed north to Northern Ireland. To visit some of the iconic Game of Thrones locations, and visiting Winterfell was a priority.
Winterfell or Old Castle Ward has gone from a small tourist castle to one of Northern Ireland premier Visitor attractions.
8 things I learned about the Winterfell tour
Winterfell really is an immersive experience, and before I went I didn’t realise how much.
1. Get Involved
There is nothing like dressing up in costume with your own cloak to really immerse yourself in the experience. Wandering down the site of many iconic scenes dressed up as a stark, in your black cloak really puts helps you really feel a part of it.
2. Book into the Banquet
If you get a chance to book into the Medieval Banquet night, you won’t be disappointed.
On arrival, guests are greeted by the Grand Maester and escorted to the courtyard to receive their costumes and then the immersive experience begins. Live Band entertainment, amazing food, and Winterfell Ale. The Banquet table is set up with candle lights flickering, bench seats draped with fur skins and Winterfell ale to drink.
3. Try some new sports
Have you ever wanted to try your hand at Axe Throwing, Archery or Sword fighting? Then Winterfell is the place for you.
Stand in the spot that Bran, Robb Stark, and the King of the North Jon Snow stood. The Archery range film set is in the same spot it was used for filming. Practice your aim and fire straight.
4 – Old Castle Ward is more than just Winterfell.
A visit to Old Castle Ward is not just about Winterfell, there are so many more amazing places. Stand at the base of the tower that started it all, where Bran fell. Hire a bike and cycle down to the spot that Jamie Lannister was held captive in Robb’s camp. See the tree that Robb secretly marries Talissa at and so many more.
5 – It might come with unexpected guests
Whether it is an actor from the acclaimed show, many of the staff at Old Castle Ward, were extras in the film, as well as some involved in training the actors in fight scenes. Or a White walker staring you down as you walk around the paths.
6 – Iron throne
When we went we had the privilege of sitting on the Iron Throne, located in a dark room, with only a small window and candlelight to illuminate us, dressed up in our cloak, you can imagine what it would feel like to be fighting over the throne.
7- Expect to use your imagination
The one thing that surprised me the most was the pure volume of creativity from the film team, so much of what we see as Winterfell is actually CGI. Our guides were amazing who showed us pictures that showed the before and after and it was amazing.
8 – More than just castles, it’s a photographer’s dream.
We only had one day at Old castle Ward, but I will definitely come back and next time I will take advantage of the overnight accommodation, so I can take some photos at night. Old Castle Ward is a photographers delight with so many amazing places to photograph.