The Quiet Man was the first movie that put Ireland on the tourist map in the early 1950s. But many other big name productions continue to feature the island’s spectacularly dramatic, romantic and even historical landscapes. These films draw in millions of visitors to the filming locations each year.
Here, our friends at Ireland.com round up five of the island’s most breathtaking film locations of recent years.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the rugged and remote island of Skellig Michael just 12km off the western coast of Ireland was once home to Christian monks in the 6th century. For Star Wars fans, it is also the location of Luke Skywalker’s hideout in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Known for its beehive huts, wildlife and crashing waves, visitors can access the island via Portmagee in County Kerry.
Rom-com goers will no doubt instantly recognise the beautiful County Wicklow and its mountains. Stunningly featured in P.S. I Love You, the enchanting landscape of Ireland’s largest national park provides the perfect setting for couples falling in love. Located 37km south of Dublin and accessible all year round, Wicklow also starred in the Academy Award winning Braveheart and Vikings.
Hit comedy series, Derry Girls, was set within the historical 400-year-old walls of the vibrant Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland. Bursting with history, charm and culture, this is also where the Wild Atlantic Way meets the Causeway Coastal Route. Visitors to the city will not only be thoroughly impressed by the surrounding views and quaint Georgian architecture, but also its surprising modern food scene and the locals’ wit, as so accurately portrayed in the series.
The Cliffs of Moher
Situated in the heart of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way in County Clare on the west coast, the Cliffs of Moher made a formidable appearance in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, where Dumbledore and Harry venture into a cave to destroy a horcrux. Stretching 14km, the outstanding nature and cultural heritage of the Cliffs of Moher were granted UNESCO Global Geo Park status in 2011. Open year-round, more than 1.6 million people visited the sea cliffs in 2019.
One of the most recognisable roads in the world today, much thanks to the Game of Thrones, the Dark Hedges is a row of beech trees planted by James Stuart back in the 18th century as part of the entrance to his home. The mystique of the “tunnel” created by the interlacing branches was so powerfully and beautifully depicted in the HBO series that it has become a highlight experience for many fans of the fantasy series when they visit Northern Ireland.
Have you visited Ireland? Why not share the filming location you’d most like to visit in the comments section below?
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