After the introductory video, the screen lifts to reveal the ice tunnel beneath The Wall, where the Night’s Watch fought the Giant Wun Wun. Beginning with Castle Black, we are taken to many of the locations that we know so well, with three especially large sets, Winterfell’s Great Hall, Dragonstone’s Throne Room and the Iron Throne itself, within King’s Landing, allowing us to immerse ourselves completely in Westeros.
Arrayed in each set are the costumes worn by our heroes (and villains) in those iconic locations, along with the fearsome weapons that often sent us scurrying behind our sofa. As we journey, we are told the story of how the series’ Emmy-winning team made the impossible happen: pyrotechnics, prosthetics, costumes and design. Astonishingly lifelike models of the corpses of twins Cersei and Jamie Lannister demonstrate their gruesome skills.
Interactive displays allow us to move like the undead and watch our face morph into one, as well as shooting fire arrows at the White Walkers on screen. Selfie opportunities abound, including with the Stark clan in the crypts beneath Winterfell. The gift shop teases us with a huge range of GoT merchandise, with fans able to indulge their love of their favourite family. (The Lannisters may be cruel, but I do love their garb!) Hodor is not forgotten neither.
The Studio Café serves hot meals ranging from hearty Ale Batter Fish & Chips to plant-based dishes such as Grilled Mushroom & Roasted Onion Burger. Located at the entrance, The Lobby Café fuels up visitors pre-tour with barista brews, cakes and snacks.
Game of Thrones Studio Tour is located outside Banbridge, 24 miles from Belfast and 80 miles from Dublin. Car parking is nearby at The Boulevard, Banbridge, with a regular shuttle bus bringing visitors to the studio.
Open daily: Jul & Aug 08:30 - 21:00, Apr-Jun & Sep 09:00 - 21:00, Oct-Mar 09:30 - 19:00.