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Northern Ireland’s most famous filming locations

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Northern Ireland’s most famous filming locations

The Giant’s Causeway has been named the most popular filming location in Northern Ireland…

The experts at City Tours Belfast analysed the top 50 films and shows with filming locations in Northern Ireland, according to IMDB. Each location was ranked based on the total volume of Instagram posts and Google rating to reveal the most famous filming spot in the region. 

Northern Ireland‘s only UNESCO World Heritage site, the Giant’s Causeway, topped the study as the region’s most popular filming location. With a popularity score of 19.59 out of 20, the tourist destination soared above every other spot on the list with 366,500 Instagram posts and a Google rating of 4.7. Known for its iconic hexagonal basalt stones and the legend of Finn McCool, avid film fans will also recognise its vista from Hellboy II: The Golden Army and Dracula Untold. The world-renowned attraction was spotlighted as one of the entrances to Hell in Guillermo Del Toro‘s Hellboy II, while it also doubled as a Transylvanian mountain for Universal’s Dracula Untold

The Mourne Mountains fell just short of the top spot in the study with a score of 17.63 thanks to 279,490 Instagram posts and a joint-highest Google rating of 4.9 out of 5. With Slieve Donard as its peak, the County Down mountain range has proven popular in TV and film productions worldwide. Robert Eggers‘ Nordic epic The Northman used many locations across Northern Ireland, including the Mourne Mountains, where the sweeping backdrop sets the scene for a Viking ball game. Other productions that used the Mournes include Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves and Game of Thrones.  

The Dark Hedges is the third most popular filming location in Northern Ireland, according to the new study. Accumulating around 126,993 Instagram posts related and a Google rating of 4.3, the famous route of intertwining beech trees placed third with a score of 12.24. Synonymous with Game of Thrones as the King’s Road, the Dark Hedges has become a popular location for fans to visit, featuring as one of the prime destinations on Northern Ireland’s Game of Thrones tours. While the 18th-century trees shot to worldwide fame via the HBO show, they also served as a filming location for the 2017 American blockbuster Transformers: The Last Knight.  

Titanic Belfast took the fourth spot in the study of Northern Ireland‘s most famous filming locations. The world-famous museum, which details the story of the famous ship from its development in the early 1900s to its tragic end in 1912, has a high Google rating of 4.5 and 71,150 Instagram posts. Despite its status as a museum and visitor centre in Belfast, its halls can also be seen in the 2014 TV mini-series Halo Nightfall, produced by legendary film director Ridley Scott. More recently, the museum served as a secret rendezvous in series 2 of the hit BBC series Blue Lights, set in Belfast.

Strangford Lough is Northern Ireland‘s fifth most popular filming location, boasting a score of 10.8 out of 20. The lough was propelled towards the top of the study due to a high Google rating of 4.8 and 36,981 Instagram posts. Local BBC crime drama Bloodlands featured Strangford Lough prominently. The plot revolves around a car with a suicide note being recovered from the lough.  

Dunluce Castle secured sixth on the study with a score of 10.70. The North Coast medieval structure, located dramatically close to the shoreline, is popular among visitors with a Google rating of 4.6. At the same time, Instagram users have shared 48,110 posts related to the tourist spot. Dunluce Castle is one of Northern Ireland‘s many Game of Thrones filming locations, where it spotlights as the House of Greyjoy in the Iron Islands. It is the region’s most popular Game of Thrones castle filming location, ranking above Castle Ward, aka Winterfell.  

Tollymore Forest is the only forest park in Northern Ireland to be named among its most famous filming locations. The County Down forest scored 10.48, with visitors giving it a 4.8 rating on Google and Instagram users sharing 25,043 posts. It has proven immensely popular with large film and TV productions, featuring in Game of Thrones, Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves, Dublin Murders, Philomena, and many more.  

Mussenden Temple is another Game of Thrones location to feature in the ranking. With a Google rating of 4.7 and 32,051 Instagram posts, the historic building claimed eighth place in the study. The clifftop structure served as Dragonstone in season 2 of Game of Thrones, pictured in the backdrop as Stannis Baratheon drew his flaming sword ‘Lightbringer’ on Downhill Beach.  

Belfast City Hall and Mount Stewart rounded out the 10 most popular Northern Ireland filming locations with scores of 10.35 and 10.31, respectively. Belfast City Hall’s interior was used in The Lost City of Z, starring Charlie Hunnam and Robert Pattinson, while Mount Stewart was used in several productions, including Your Highness, Philomena, and Dracula Untold.  

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