Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post done in association with Chill Insurance
Ireland is known for its stunning scenery and natural beauty, so it makes sense that it’s also a popular filming location. So, if you are a movie buff then here are 5 Ireland filming locations worth visiting on your Irish road trip.
The Cliffs of Moher, County Clare
Movies: The Princess Bride and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Cliffs of Moher are a must-visit when in Ireland. Towering over the Atlantic Ocean along the Wild Atlantic Way, the Cliffs of Moher is the second most visited attraction in Ireland (behind the Guinness Storehouse). Beautiful whether shrouded in mist or reflecting the warm light of the sunset, it’s no surprise that the Cliffs of Moher feature in two well-known films.
In the Princess Bride, you’ll recognize the Cliffs of Moher by a different name: The Cliffs of Insanity. Though really, the characters in the film are the insane ones for trying to climb them. In real life, the Cliffs of Moher are best viewed from the top (behind the safety rails) or, from a boat tour below.
Another more recent movie that features the Cliffs of Moher is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. You make recognize them in the scene where Dumbledore and Harry go in search of one of Voldemort’s Horcrux and end up entering a dark and eerie cave set into a towering cliff face. You can see the cave they used for filming when standing on the cliffs close to O’Brien’s Tower. Thankfully, as far as I know, there are no magically animated corpses inside.
Skellig Michael, Country Kerry
Movies: Star Wars The Last Jedi & Star Wars the Force Awakens
Located off the south-west coast of Ireland, not too far from Dingle, is one of Ireland’s most mysterious places: Skellig Michael. The rocky island is 218m above sea level at its highest point and was once home to a Gaelic Monastery that was founded on the craggy island between the 6thand 8thcenturies. Today, it’s only home to birds but can be visited at certain times of the year depending on weather.
This mysterious island made for an ideal filming location for two of the latest Star Wars movies: The Last Jedi and The Force Awakens. It is here that Rey finds Luke Skywalker and convinces him to train her in the Jedi arts. As mentioned above, Skellig Michael is known for its bird-life and the porgs (the funny little creatures that live on this ‘planet’ in Star Wars the Force Awakens) are said to have been based on the island’s puffin population.
Whelan’s Pub, Dublin
Movie: PS I Love You
Part of Dublin’s charm is the number of great pubs it has, but if you are a movie lover then you will want to add Whelan’s to your list of Irish pubs to visit! Located at 25 Wexford Street, this Irish pub is known for its atmosphere and live music.
Whelan’s appearance in PS I Love You stayed true to its musical roots. It was here that Gerry found Holly in the crowd and sang the Irish classic ‘Galway Girl’ to her. While I don’t recommend trying to get up on stage and do a repeat performance, I definitely suggest going in for a pint and some music. No matter what night you decide to visit, there’s bound to be something going on.
Movie: Marley and Me
Connemara is one of the wildest and rugged parts of Ireland. This area has mountains, forests, lakes, hills, adorable villages, castle hotels, and of course, plenty of sheep. It’s a romantic area and perfect for a Hollywood movie honeymoon scene.
You may have recognized some of this area in the move Marley in Me (assuming you remember anything about the movie other than how hard it made you cry). Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston celebrate their honeymoon in Ireland and Connemara and Ballynahinch Castle served as the backdrop for these scenes. By the way, for those interested, you can actually stay in Ballynahinch Castles yourself. It’s one of Ireland’s top castle hotels.
Ballymoney, County Antrim
Movie and TV Shows: Transformers the Last Knight and Game of Thrones
Ballymoney, located in County Antrim in Northern Ireland may not be a name you are familiar with. But, if I tell you it’s where you’ll find the Dark Hedges then chances are you know exactly where I’m talking about. This road with its gnarled and twisted trees has become an iconic image of Ireland over the past few years. Largely in thanks to it being a filming location.
The Dark Hedges is best known for making an appearance in Game of Thrones. We all watched young Arya Stark run down the path, known in the show as the Kings Road, when she escaped Kings Landing. The Dark Hedges also make an appearance in the movie Transformers: The Last Knight as well when a knight is seen charging down the road on his horse.
Looking for some more Ireland filming locations? You can find a comprehensive list of movie and TV shows that have been filmed in Ireland curated by Chill Insurance here.