Its very rare that when I visit another place or country I could picture myself living there. It’s only ever happened with two places, Brighton and Venice. Now there is a third place, Dublin. After booking a short weekend away to Dublin as a Christmas present to my boyfriend, April 21st rolled around and it was time to go. The main reason we went to Dublin was to visit the Game of Thrones sets as we are both major fans of the show. Considering the fact we were only going to be there for 3 days and two of the days were going to be spent traveling, Saturday was the best day to do it as its an all day thing. I decided to book a fancy hotel as we never really book places that cost more than £50 a night. The Ashling Hotel in central Dublin is one of the most beautiful places we have ever stayed in. The room was massive, as was the attached en suite which as someone who is only able to have showers, having a bath every night was heaven. My boyfriend wouldn’t agree, he says I’m too messy and don’t have the right attention span for a bath. The staff were delightful and the room service was delectable, they had steak and chips on the menu and anyone who knows me knows I only live for three things: Make Up, Adele and Steak and Chips. I defiantly recommend the Ashling Hotel for anyone who wants to visit Dublin and maybe splurge a little. I’m not going to bother talking about the Guinness Tour purely because it’s quite boring. If you aren’t into beer or how it is created, then it isn’t the place for you. The whole thing was quite extensive and overpriced, and the Guinness at the end tasted like a cold glass of piss. Enough about that, lets talk about the actual trip…
Before we started the walk, we were given the choice to dress up as characters in cloaks and every single person said hell yeah. I will admit they’re quite heavy and I kept having people tread on the back of mine, it did make the tour feel more authentic and more enjoyable, even if we looked totally mad to other members of the public. Our first stop was Tollymore Forest where we were shown iconic places that were included in the majority of the first season. We were surrounded by the most beautiful scenery and wildlife that even if you didn’t enjoy the show, you could still appreciate the views. We got to also view the small stub of wood that Kit Harrington himself sat on while on his venture with Tyrion Lannister to get to the Great Wall. I know right, swoon. I will give anyone who wants to do this tour a warning, THERE IS A LOT OF WALKING INVOLVED, INCLUDING UP HILL. We were briefly shown where the Direwolves were discovered by the Stark men and told funny stories about how they were incredibly hard to work with, but more on them later.
At roughly 12.30PM we stopped off for lunch at a cute little pub named The Lobster Pot where we were told that the real Direwolves from the show were outside and waiting for us and after eating we could go and hang out with them. As you could imagine, I ate the quickest I have ever eaten in my life. The lunch and drinks menu were all Game Of Thrones themed and being served in Chalice’s and Goblets which made everyone feel like giant kids. After paying we headed across the road to where the Direwolves were, and I felt myself welling up. They were in a gated area with their owners who we later found out all played roles from Wildlings to Dothraki Slave Masters. I can not rate this part enough, the owners are the loveliest people you will ever meet. They were telling us about how they purchased these dogs purely because they wanted them, and their lives were changed forever. The pups played Summer and Greywind on the show but their actual names are Odin and Thor. They are the most chill, calm dogs I have ever come across. I mean as far as Wolves go they don’t have anything on my little Wolfie, but they aren’t far off. We were able to stroke and hug both dogs and pose for photos which I was all over. I think purely because it was about animals and involved less walking and physical effort, this was my favourite part. If I could go back just to hang out with Odin and Thor and their owners all day, I would.
At roughly 14.15PM we ended up in our last full stop which was at Old Castle Ward but to many fans its known as Westeros. This part of the tour I will admit I started to lose focus in as I was incredibly tired and I find walking tedious anyway. This part of the tour was mainly focusing on the CGI involved with Game Of Thrones and how they were able to take such a minimalistic space and create such a large fantasy world. Although it’s incredibly obvious that HBO use a lot of CGI for the majority of the show, but its actually surprising to see how much actually is CGI and how much they pay attention to detail. CGI for anyone that doesn’t know is an abbreviation of Computer Generated Images. This part of the tour involved a lot more facts and felt a lot more informative compared to the other parts which I liked as I’ve started to rewatch all of Game Of Thrones episodes and I find myself looking out for all the places we visited and remembering all the things I leart. Before we made the long journey back to Dublin, we stopped off for our last landmark which is the place that Robb Stark was knighted King of The North, Inch Abbey. In the distance you can see Downpatrick Cathedral, burial place of St Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint.
This is where we were given swords and axes to take some of the coolest photos I have ever seen. Granted I don’t exactly look like the type that could do much damage in any type of war or battle, I do think I look like quite a badass. Remember the quiz I said we took earlier? Well the winner was told that they were going to be knighted King of The North and we were all to bow before them and chant “KING OF THE NORTH” just like in the show. I thought it was a joke. It wasn’t. It was the equally the most nerdy but wicked thing I have ever been a part of in my life.
So after an already 10 hour day, we hopped on the coach and it was back to Dublin we went. The day began at 7am and it didn’t end until 7pm. My final review is that the Game Of Thrones Dublin tour is something that I will never forget. I had one of the nicest days of 2017 as of yet. For the price you pay for a ticket (€55 per person) you literally can’t get more for your money. If you aren’t a Game Of Thrones fan then the scenery and fact you get to hang out with giant dogs for the day should be enough to make you want to go. Although it obviously wouldn’t be enjoyed by young kids and babies, there are individual tours for each part. Failing that, you can visit these places yourself as its open and free to the public to view for themselves. I will be recommending this tour to everyone and anyone.
Enjoy the photos and I’ll be back soon with another post.
Megan Rose Wing