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Game of Thrones Coach Tour
Sunday 25 September 2011


Our Sunday event at TitanCon 2011 was a phenomenal success with all tickets sold out well in advance and demand for more but places on the Game of Thrones Coach Tour were limited. Those lucky 100 odd people who got tickets were able to visit various Game of Thrones filming locations and enjoy some special events along the way.

It would be impossible to get around every Game of Thrones filming location that was used in Northern Ireland in just one day so in 2011 we concentrated on locations to the south of Belfast. Our Coach Tour included Tollymore Forest, Inch Abbey and Castle Ward (Winterfell courtyard) where we held a seriously hardcore combat demonstration by Clan Ulaidh, an archery workshop by the SCA and also hosted a delicious medieval feast.

Something else that made the tour really special was that Miltos Yerolemou (Syrio Forel) and Kristian Nairn (Hodor) were able to join us on the Coach Tour. Also Art Parkinson (Rickon Stark) was able to join us at Castle Ward.

Coach tour itinerary

This was the scheduled itinerary for the 2011 Coach Tour, but for various reasons (mostly weather related) we were running a little on the day.

Position your mouse over itinerary to change image
Screenshots from Game of Thrones © HBO 2011

10:15 am Depart Europa Hotel, Belfast
10:30 am Drive by Painthall Studio
11:45 am Arrive Tollymore Forest
01:00 pm Depart Tollymore Forest
01:30 pm Arrive Inch Abbey
02:00 pm Depart Inch Abbey
02:30 pm Arrive Castle Ward
03:00 pm Tour of Castle Ward & Audley's Castle
03:00 pm Combat demonstration by Clan Ulaidh
03:00 pm Workshop in medieval archery skills
05:00 pm Medieval feast
08:00 pm Depart Castle Ward
09:00 pm Arrive Europa Hotel, Belfast

Painthall Studio

We began the tour with a drive by of the Painthall Studio where Game of Thrones is filmed.

Tollymore Forest

Tollymore Bridge

Photograph taken by Wyvernwood (2009)

Our first stop of the day was in the beautiful surroundings of Tollymore Forest where we visited two filming locations:

We had originally intended to have a picnic in the forest but the rain was really heavy and so we ended up making our sodden way back to the buses. We will try to order better weather for next year.

Please note that the wooden bridge in the photo to the right is a prop that was constructed for the TV show which is no longer there. We should also point out that there wasn't any snow or white walkers in the location where the prologue scenes were filmed!

Inch Abbey

"The King in the North! The King in the North!"

I think that says it all.

Castle Ward aerial view

Castle Ward

Our main stop of the day was the location where the Winterfell Courtyard scenes were filmed. Originally we had intended to offer a choice of activities but we were running behind schedule which meant we had to drop the walking tour that would have included Audleys Castle a mile or so away by the river and so instead we got stuck into the entertainment!

Combat demonstration by Clan Ulaidh

Clan Ulaidh are historical re-enactors who fight with real swords and shields. Lord Jo Favourite Spearwife warned me her boys do not pull their blows and put on a seriously hardcore show and they did not disappoint. In the courtyard of Castle Ward, right on the spot where the Winterfell courtyard scenes were filmed, the Clan put on a thrilling show for the crowd with a real tournament getting the crowd into it by shouting for their favourite fighter.

Workshop in medieval archery skills

SCA logo

Paul O'Brien from the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) hosted the workshop in medieval archery skills for us. TitanCon members got the chance to learn to shoot as perfectly as Arya Stark!

The SCA are a worldwide organisation so there is a group near you wherever you are in the world. They hold medieval fayres, parties, tourneys, archery, horse riding events and much more. Check out the SCA website for more information.

Medieval Feast

In the evening everyone gathered in the main hall of the Castle Ward visitor's centre for a medieval style feast including a delicious hog roast, chicken, stuffing, bread rolls, wine and even some mead. After the food came the singing with Lord Jo Favourite Spearwife performing a Dothraki song with everyone pounding the tables.

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