Filming in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is the most compact 5,196 square miles of back-lot in the world – offering myriad stunning locations from beautiful coastlines to idyllic villages, mountains, glens and loughs, through to urban landscapes and bustling cities with a diverse mix of architectural styles, from Victorian red-brick to 21st century glass and steel.

Below is a list of just some of Northern Ireland's diverse locations: 


Surrounded by verdant hills Belfast nestles in three valleys at the western end of Belfast Lough. Although predominately Victorian in architecture, Belfast has undergone considerable change in the last few years. Alongside the classic imperial structures sit some of the most striking examples of modern architecture.


The historic walled city of Derry/Londonderry spans the river Foyle and the centuries. As well as being a striking location in its own right, as the major city in the north west of Ireland, it serves as an excellent production base for the surrounding counties of Donegal, Tyrone and Derry.

Mourne Mountains

The Kingdom of Mourne provides a rugged and austere landscape, where the craggy mountains sweep down to unspoilt beaches and picturesque harbours.Within a 25 mile diameter, the granite hills dominate the skyline.

CS Lewis once said that the view over County Down to the Mourne Mountains inspired him to create the magical kingdom of Narnia.

Rich flat farmland in the north slowly transforms into undulating drumlins which, in turn, become foothills to the granite batholiths of the Mournes.

Strangford Lough 

A hidden gem, Strangford Lough and its surrounding countryside is located only 10 miles from Belfast.

The largest sea lough in the British Isles, it reputedly has 365 islands, one for every day of the year. The area also combines a mix of Irish Sea coast and rolling countryside, dotted with ruined castles, stately homes, quaint harbours, wind-swept beaches and beautiful gardens. 

Fermanagh Caveland

360 million years in the making, the carboniferous limestone of Fermanagh hides a unique and stunningly beautiful landscape.

Rivers flow over harsh, lonely peatlands before disappearing at the base of spectacular cliffs or into the darkness of potholes. Reyfad, the deepest pothole in Ireland is over 180 metres deep and the world renowned Marble Arch is open to the public as a show cave.

The dry valleys, deep gorges, limestone pavement and swallow holes remain virtually unknown.

Fermanagh Lakelands

An entire county, more water than land, Fermanagh's lakes and rivers remain a well kept secret. Upper Lough Erne is a reedy maze of islands, creeks and secret shores. Many of the lough's 60 islands are uninhabited now, but the ancient island monasteries of Cleenish and Lisgoole were once amongst the most important in Ireland.

As the Erne flows through the island town of Enniskillen, it takes on a different character. The Lower Lough is best viewed from the sweeping Cliffs of Magho where Boa Island can be seen, home to the mysterious Janus Idols.

The castles of Monea, Cauldwell, Tully, Magherameelan, Crevenish, Portora, Archdale and Enniskillen provided a formidable ring of steel around the lough and the ancient monasteries of Devenish and Inishmacsaint stand like sentries on now peaceful islands.

The Causeway and Antrim Coast

The Antrim coastline is simply one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. Offering unspoilt beaches, stunning seascapes, ancient castles, hidden harbours, breathtaking vista and the jewel in the crown - the Giant's Causeway World Heritage Site.

The towering cliffs of northern Antrim overlook an extraordinary promontory. Volcanic activity 50-60 million years ago has left behind over 40,000 massive basaltic columns, each formed with geometric precision.

Epic struggles between warring Gaelic clans caused many great castles like Dunluce and Dunserverick, to be built high on the cliffs. Their ruins still cling precariously to the basalt, as the erosive waters of the Atlantic crash far below.

Built between 1832 and 1842 by the men of the Glens as the largest civil engineering project in Ireland, the Antrim Coast Road gives access to some of our most spectacular scenery.

The Ring of Gullion

Moulded over 65 million years ago during a period of intense volcanic activity and subsequent glacial erosion, nature has carved out a distinct and unique topography.

For seven centuries the area was the seat of the ancient Kings of Ireland, with Emain Macha, the Navan Fort, their royal capital and Cú Chulainn, the Hound of Ulster their hero. These ancient peoples left their mark in stone: their megalithic tombs, cairns and burial chambers remain a legacy to their craftsmanship and culture.

Northern Ireland film and television studios

With its strong crew base, stunning locations, studio facilities and financial incentives, Northern Ireland is becoming one of the most sought-after filming locations for both film and television productions. 

Since 2007, when the region pulled in its first high-profile US studio project from Tom Hanks’ production outfit (City of Ember), inward investment in the industry has shown significant growth.

Followed by another US studio, Universal Pictures, who brought feature film Your Highness to Northern Ireland, HBO arrived in 2009 to film a pilot of Game of Thrones, has subsequently returned to shoot 4 series and is currently filming Season 5 there. 

Increased activity has helped spark fresh investment in infrastructure expansion, with two new sound stages being opened in 2012 in the Titanic Quarter in Belfast. It is not inconceivable that further stages will be built, while 30 minutes away, the studio facility at The Linen Mill plans further renovation and development.

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NI Bureau New Summer 2022


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