Explore the reel Ireland

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Take a trip and see the real Ireland with your own eyes.

Ireland has provided the backdrop for some of this year’s best films and TV. You could even say, at times, that its epic natural landscapes, country towns and historic castles (as in the magnificent image of Lough Key Castle, Co. Roscommon by Ernie Watchorn) have stolen the show. But you don’t have to rely on the silver and small screens to catch a glimpse of them – take a trip and see the real Ireland with your own eyes.

The Dark Hedges, Armoy, Co. Antrim
The Dark Hedges, an avenue of beech trees, were planted by the Stuart family in the 18th century. It was designed to impress visitors as they approached Gracehill House, which is now a golf course and restaurant. Photo by horslips5
Game of Thrones set ... Antrim, Northern Ireland
Game of Thrones set … Antrim, Northern Ireland. Photo by horslips5
The Antrim Coast, Northern Ireland
The Antrim Coast. Photo by horslips5

Game of Thrones

Filmed in Northern Ireland, the popular fantasy series has wowed audiences across the world with its stunning backdrops. One iconic filming location is Shane’s Castle, built on the north-east shores of Lough Neagh near Randalstown, County Antrim.

The grounds of Shane’s Castle were used heavily in the filming of the pilot and also served as the location of the tournament scene.

Boyle, Co. Roscommon
Boyle. Photo by Tony Kav
Lough Key Forest Park, Boyle
Lough Key Forest Park, Boyle. Photo by IrishFireside
Boyle, Roscommon
This sculpture of a Gaelic Chieftain on horseback stands close to Boyle at the site of the Battle of Curlew Pass. The battle took place in 1599 and Maurice Harron created the sculpture. Photo by Mark Heard
Doon Shore in Boyle, Roscommon
Doon Shore in Boyle, Roscommon. Photo by alanshanleyphotography

Moone Boy

Moone Boy is a comedy on Sky One about Martin Moone, a 12-year-old boy, and his imaginary grown-up friend Sean “Caution” Murphy. It stars Chris O’Dowd of the IT Crowd and Bridesmaids fame, and co-stars British comedy legends Steve Coogan (as Francis “Touchy” Feely, the fishmonger) and Johnny Vegas (as Crunchy Danger Haystacks, the wrestler) among others.

Co-written by O’Dowd, it’s a semi-autobiographical tale of growing up in the West of Ireland at the end of the 1980s. The 1990 presidential election featured in Episode 2. Mary Robinson was described as the “Joan of Arc of Connaught”! And the fall of the Berlin Wall (plus David Hasselhoff singing Looking for Freedom ) formed the back story of Episode 3 when Martin knocked down the wall separating his house from the school yard.

Some tales – and rites – are timeless, such as Godfellas when Martin made his Confirmation and became an altar boy.

The show is set in the charming town of Boyle, County Roscommon – O’Dowd’s home town.

Crom Castle, Fermanagh
Crom Castle, Fermanagh. Photo by www.cromcastle.com
Workers' cottages on the Crom Estate, County Fermanagh
Workers’ cottages on the Crom Estate, County Fermanagh, next to Upper Lough Erne. Photo by Charlie Phillips
Crichton Tower, Gad Island, Upper Lough Erne
Crichton Tower, Gad Island, Upper Lough Erne. Photo by Charlie Phillips
Crichton Tower, Gad Island, Upper Lough Erne
A view of Crichton Tower on Gad Island. Photo by Neil Ward


Blandings is a six-part BBC television adaptation of PG Wodehouse’s celebrated books of the same name set to air this autumn. The comedy follows the chaotic lives of a dysfunctional aristocratic family who live at Blandings Castle.

Jennifer Saunders and Timothy Spall play the lead characters, while Paloma Faith and David Walliams are set to make guest appearances. The series is filmed at the stunning Crom Castle and Estate in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.

Trinity College Dublin
Trinity College Dublin. Photo by Jennifer Boyer
Ha'penny Bridge, Dublin
Ha’penny Bridge, Dublin. Photo by @ANDYwithCAMERA
Temple Bar, Dublin
Temple Bar. Photo by daspunkt
The River Liffey, Dublin
The River Liffey. Photo by dansapples

Ek Tha Tiger

Ek Tha Tiger is a big-budget Bollywood romantic action thriller starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif. It tells the story of an Indian spy who is sent on a mission to Dublin.

Much of the film was shot on location in some of the capital city’s most recognisable spots such as Trinity College, the Ha’penny Bridge, Temple Bar and the River Liffey.

Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…

Explore the reel Ireland was last modified: October 27th, 2015 by Brett Ackroyd
Author: Brett Ackroyd (1167 posts)

Brett hopes to one day reach the shores of far-flung Tristan da Cunha, the most remote of all the inhabited archipelagos on Earth…as to what he’ll do when he gets there, he hasn’t a clue. Over the last 10 years, London, New York, Cape Town and Pondicherry have all proudly been referred to as home. Now it’s Copenhagen’s turn, where he lends his travel expertise to momondo.com.