12 ‘Game of Thrones’ Filming Locations For Winterfell & The North That You Can Visit IRL


Whenever you hear the characters in Game of Thrones talk about the Northern part of Westeros, they don't seem too thrilled about it. The north, which includes Winterfell (home of the Stark family), Castle Black, and all of the areas north of the wall (Tormund refers to this as "the real north") is cold, dreary, snowy, and dark. Compared to the scenes that take place in spots like King's Landing, Meeren, and Dorne, the north is downright depressing: everyone is bundled up in millions of layers, there's always a fire happening to try and stay warm, and literally everything seems to be way too dimly lit. It's not for the faint of heart!

So, it might seem like the Game of Thrones filming locations for Winterfell for Winterfell and the north in real life are less than desirable spots to travel to — but that couldn't be further from the truth. The north on GoT may be dreary and sad in Westeros, but in real life, the locations where it was filmed are gorgeous, interesting, and full of natural wonders. Visiting any of these places will make you wonder what, exactly, everyone in the Seven Kingdoms is always complaining about.

Much of the scenes in the north are filmed throughout Iceland, although a few are also filmed in Ireland and Scotland. You can easily plan a few different trips around these Game of Thrones spots, and have the time of your life — and take loads of pictures. Here are the filming locations for Winterfell and the north you can go to:


Winterfell: Doune Castle, Scotland


In the first few episodes of Game of Thrones, the scenes of Winterfell took place in Doune Castle in Scotland. It was originally built in the 13th century as a medieval stronghold and has a ton of history. If the towers look familiar, there's a reason: this is where Bran Stark was pushed out of one of the windows by Jaime Lannister. There's a nature walk around Doune Castle so you can explore it yourself.


Winterfell: Castle Ward, Northern Ireland


Located in Strangford in Northern Ireland is Castle Ward, which is basically the unofficial Winterfell, because that's where all of the scenes were shot after those first few episodes. Castle Ward really plays into the filming location: they offer lots of Game of Thrones tours and activities, like archery, direwolf meet-and-greets, and medieval banquets. They even offer glamping!


Northern Forests: Tollymore Forest Park, Northern Ireland


Remember the forests in the North where Ned Stark and his sons found their adorable little direwolves? And where Theon Greyjoy is chased by Ramsay Snow? And where Sansa and Theon hid from Ramsay and his dogs? That's all Tollymore Forest Park, located near the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland. You can go there to walk around and check it out for yourself.


Wildling Camp: Dimmuborgir, Iceland


Dimmuborgir is a lava field in Iceland where the camp for the Free Folk was filmed, and where Mance Raider held his own Wildling army. It's filled with unusually-shaped rocks and is a very popular spot in Iceland to visit.


Jon and Ygritte's Love Cave: Grjótagjá, Iceland


Who could forget the steamy love session that went on between Jon Snow and Ygritte in this cave? You can actually visit it by heading to Grjótagjá in Iceland. It's a small lava cave near Lake Mývatn in northeast Iceland. Since the hot springs water has cooled, you unfortunately are not allowed to take a dip to pretend you're Jon or Ygritte... but you can still get a glimpse of it in real life!


Beyond The Wall: Hverfjall Volcano, Lake Myvatin, Iceland


Hyverfjall volcano in Iceland is another popular filming spot for the scenes that took place beyond the wall. If you go there, you'll likely notice how familiar it looks for scenes with Wildlings and White Walkers.


Beyond The Wall: Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland


Another spot for lots of the beyond the wall scenes is Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland. Skaftafell National Park is also located in there, another specifically popular spot for scenes with the Night's Watch and the Wildlings. Vatnajökull is a beautiful place to visit: there are geothermal rivers, ice caves, mountains, massive glaciers, and beautiful waterfalls to take in.


The North: Höfðabrekka, Iceland


The setting for the Frostfang Mountains is in Höfðabrekka, Iceland. This is the jagged mountain range where Qhorin Halfhand takes a few of the Wildlings and Jon Snow to explore the Skirling Pass to look for more Wildlings.


Castle Black and Beyond The Wall: Magheramorne Quarry, Northern Ireland


Scenes in Castle Black and north of The Wall were shot in Magheramorne Quarry, located in Loch Larne in Northern Ireland. It's a very small fishing town that was transformed for the epic scene in Hardhome, which is where Jon and the Widlings tried to fight off a tremendous amount of White Walkers. The location has also been used to film scenes of Castle Black and the Battle of Blackwater.


The Mountain Beyond The Wall: Kirkjufell, Iceland


Scenes at Arrowhead Mountain beyond the wall were shot at Kirkjufell in Iceland — and the real mountain is pretty much instantly recognizable. The peak of the mountain is super popular to visit and see the Northern Lights in Iceland.


Beyond The Wall: Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, Iceland


More scenes beyond the wall were filmed at Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon in Iceland. It's also known as Diamond Beach, and is a spectacular natural wonder to see in person.


The Wall: Svínafellsjökull Glacier, Iceland


Remember those earlier scenes where Jon is trapped by the Wildlings? They were filmed near Svínafellsjökull Glacier, which is an outlet glacier of the Vatnajökull glacier. A lot of beyond the wall scenes were filmed there!