Good Vibrations in Belfast: A Guide to Belfast for Movie Fans

The Dark Hedges-Ballymoney County Antrim - ConnollyCove

Updated On: April 30, 2024 by   Asmaa AlhashimyAsmaa Alhashimy

From Game of Thrones to Dracula Untold to even TV shows like Line of Duty and the acclaimed movie Good Vibrations, Belfast is becoming a place that many people are starting to film in for many good reasons.

Northern Ireland is the most compact 5,196 square miles of back-lot in the world — offering myriad stunning locations from beautiful coastlines to idyllic villages, mountains, glens and loughs, through to urban landscapes and bustling cities with a diverse mix of architectural styles, from Victorian red-brick to 21st-century glass and steel. The bustling city life can be a great place to set an action scene, or even the serene countryside life can provide a relaxing background.

This guide is dedicated to the average or more dedicated movie lover who wants to experience the locations of their favourite shows and movies.

If you’re also looking for local insight, you’ve come to the right place, as this article was written in Belfast. So, enjoy this guide to the fantastic movie history Belfast contains.

Good Vibrations in Belfast: Our Essential Tour

Good Vibrations poster for Good Vibrations Belfast blog

Come along with us as we explore some of the most recognisable places in Belfast and a little further afield. These movies and television shows have put Belfast on the world stage, showing off its unique beauty and history of the city that is not to be missed.

So even if you don’t want to go there to experience how the movies were shot and where the scenes took place, it’s still great to experience to explore these famous locations.

With this in mind, it’s impossible not to start with a giant of the TV world already driving enthusiasts to our city…

Game of Thrones – The Dark Hedges

The Dark Hedges has become increasingly famous over the last few years, with many tourists coming from around the world to see the beauty of locations across Northern Ireland. But many will be coming here due to the appearance of the hedge on the very popular American Television show ‘Game of Thrones’. Game of Thrones fans will be totally intrigued by this impressive natural landscape that played an iconic role in the Television Series.

We can admit that the shots used in the television show, and the inclusion of the hedges is a stunning touch. The road is for pedestrians only. So remember this before you start driving down the road by accident. However, there is parking nearby at the dark hedge hotel, so you can park there to keep your car safe.

Good Vibrations in Belfast: A Guide to Belfast for Movie Fans
Source: Colin Park/Wikimedia Commons

These hedges are located in Ballymoney, right outside the Gracehill house, which is worth taking the trip to. However, I’m not sure if it is something you’d want to do right away as there are locations that are closer to Belfast.

Starred Up – Crumlin Road Gaol

Crumlin Road Gaol has always been a popular attraction for many tourists alike, it is especially popular during the night of Halloween as the prison is rumoured to be haunted (with quite a lot of pictures of ghosts mind you).

So if you’re pretty faint of heart, I’d say leave the scary tour for those looking to indulge themselves in the famous ghost stories of the inmates. However, regular tours take place throughout the year, exploring the exciting history of the gaol.

Good Vibrations in Belfast: A Guide to Belfast for Movie Fans
Source: Agadant/Wikimedia Commons

However, if that’s not your cup of tea, try some of the fantastic food at Cuffs Bar and Restaurant at the gaol. (personal experience, the food there is 10/10). However, you might be kind of uncomfortable eating food in a place where people were once executed, but honestly, the food is worth it.

The Movie Starred Up

The Award-winning British Film chose the Crumlin Road Gaol filming location for different scenes. The prison played the perfect backdrop for the film, including the rising star, Jack O’Connell. The main areas used in filming were the cells, corridors and the courtyards.

Although you won’t be able to access some of the parts of the gaol featured in the movie, the prison experience alone will be enough to make up for this.

Crumlin Road gaol is relatively easy to find if you’re looking for it, it is at 53 – 55 Crumlin Road Belfast, County Antrim, BT14 6ST. This should lead you to it on Google Maps.

Planning a trip? Visit the attraction’s website to see what’s on!

Game of Thrones – Castle Ward

Game of Thrones Poster for Good Vibrations In Belfast Blog

Castle Ward is a big part of the Game of Thrones series, with many episodes and major scenes.

The castle is almost 300 years old and is still in excellent condition today which is interesting in itself. The castle offers tours and even glamping services if you’re into that, however, make sure you have some money on hand as the tour and everything else is quite pricey.

The episodes of Game of Thrones, which were shot at Castle Ward, have attracted many visitors and have become more popular since its appearance.

The locations of the scenes that were shot inside can all be found and explored, Such as the Historic Castle Ward Farmyard that played the Winterfell location featured in much of the first season.

Good Vibrations in Belfast: A Guide to Belfast for Movie Fans
Source: Irishdeltaforce/Wikimedia Commons

Even without its feature on Game of Thrones, the castle was always an exciting and beautiful attraction that offered lots for people to discover.

The castle is located 1.5 miles from Strangford and is about 820 acres of land.

For loads of Game of Thrones content, check out HBO’s own GOT website.

Dracula Untold – Roe Valley Country Park

Roe National Park is a fantastic place; its scenery is beautiful and sets a beautiful scene for Dracula Untold. Now this movie wasn’t the best, but the locations used in it were stunning, with its beautiful riverside views, making it good enough to go to and admire the beauty of the park.

The park offers many options for those who are disabled. For example, anyone who may be blind can listen to an audio recording while walking with someone and there are wheelchair ramps for those who need a wheelchair.

The park can be located at 41 Dogleap Road, Limavady, County Londonderry, BT49 9NN.

Good Vibrations – Lyric Theatre

If you’re a fan of the movie or the real-life record label, then you should know that the shop closed down for good in 2015. That’s why I didn’t want to include them on the list, but the lyric theatre; what kind of person wants to stand outside a shop and just look at the exterior when the real magic and atmosphere happened inside?

However, if you want to see the original shops, one is located on Great Victoria Street and although I couldn’t find the location of the second shop, the third shop opened up on Winetavern Street. If you want to learn about the history of the label, then you can find the information anywhere in Belfast, as the label and even the man himself, Terri Hooley, are both regarded as a local legend.

The Lyric Theatre sometimes shows the play Good Vibrations; if you can’t catch a show at the lyric the movie is still something you can stream or buy.

The Lyric Theatre is located at 55 Ridgeway St, Belfast BT9 5FB. For what’s on and tickers, see here.

Game of Thrones – Inch Abbey

Inch Abbey is a church that John de Courcy founded. Game of Thrones used this place to shoot some scenes for when the story takes place in Winterfell; however, some people say that when they visit it, it doesn’t look enough like how Winterfell was portrayed in the show, so be aware of that whenever you go to it.

Good Vibrations in Belfast: A Guide to Belfast for Movie Fans
Source: Ardfern/Wikimedia Commons

The history behind this place is also very interesting as it was founded by John de Courcy as an atonement for destroying Erenagah Abbey. It was inhabited by monks from the same place he destroyed and monks from some other places. However, there weren’t that many monks as suggested by the small chapter house (a place where the members of the church gather for readings and meetings)

This place can be found at Inch Abbey Road, Downpatrick, County Down BT30 9AX

Game of Thrones – Cushendun Caves

the Cushendun caves were formed over 400 million years ago because of extreme weather conditions; they were also the caves where Melisandre gave birth to a dark spirit in Game of Thrones. These caves are a popular attraction for Game of Thrones fans as they are fun to explore and look amazing inside.

Many people who visited this say that the location is iconic enough, so if you even approach the caves it feels as if you’re in the scene. There aren’t that many people in the caves, so the absence of people is something you can use to take breathtaking photos. And for those interested, there is a door of thrones located nearby in Mary McBride’s bar.

You can also find another attraction, the famous sculpture of Johann the goat – a renowned resident of Cushendun.

The Cushendun caves are at 5 The Bay Apartments, Cushendun, Ballymena BT44 0PE.

Want more on NI and Game of Thrones? Click here for FREE guides.

The Lost City of Z – Belfast City Hall

The Lost City of Z is a movie with James Grey as its director and actors, including Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, and Charlie Hunnam. It is mainly shot in Belfast and has gained a lot of local respect due to this.

The movie has locations such as Belfast City Hall and Strangford, as the film is mainly set in Belfast, and there are a lot of places here, like the Botanic Gardens and the Somme nursing home.

Good Vibrations in Belfast: A Guide to Belfast for Movie Fans
Source: Macnolete/Wikimedia Commons

The city hall faces north and divides Belfast’s commercial area from Belfast’s business area. The city hall began planning in 1888 and was built over 8 years from 1898 to 1906.

Belfast city hall can be easily found in Donegall Square. You won’t miss it; it’s the most conspicuous building in Belfast.

Dave Allen at Peace – Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

Dave Allen picture for Good Vibrations in Belfast blog

Dave Allen at Peace doesn’t have many locations as the movie is set up to tell how he became the most successful (and complained about) comedian on the BBC.

The movie has scenes shot in the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, which in itself is something that anyone should visit if they want to experience the history of folk and transport in Ulster and Belfast or even get involved in some activities that can be extremely fun and interesting.

The museum has self-guided tours, so you can walk around at your own pace without worrying about keeping up with the guide. It has areas you can stop by if you want to get some food to eat and drinks to drink.

if you’d like to see what the folk and transport museum offers, check out their website and maybe make some plans!

The museum can be located in Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, 153 Bangor Road Cultra Holywood County Down BT18 0EU.

And finally…

Hellboy 2 – Giants Causeway

Hellboy 2 has a sequence set at the Giant’s Causeway, and as a matter of fact, it’s where the movie’s climax takes place. However, in the whole scene, the cast never even stepped foot in Northern Ireland for it as they were superimposed onto aerial shots that the crew took.

Regardless of that, this area is still an outstanding place to visit and is a lovely area, too. Now, you may have heard there are ways to get into the Causeway for free, and sure, you can do that, but I cannot stress how much the money helps the volunteers take care of the place. For every pound they receive, they can plant one native wildflower plug. For every £6 they get, they can repair a metre of livestock fencing. The money they earn from this site also goes toward their national fund, which helps every other site and vice versa. With that out if the way, this is something that you should visit while you’re in Belfast, but it should also be on your bucket list as it’s that beautiful.

Good Vibrations in Belfast: A Guide to Belfast for Movie Fans
Source: Chmee2/Wikimedia Commons

The site has many attractions, like the giant’s boot, the wishing chair, the camel, etc.

The Giant’s Causeway can be located along the sea coast of the edge of the Antrim plateau, or you can get a tour from Belfast, which will take you right to it. 

To find out more about the causeway: The Amazing Giant’s Causeway, Causeway Coastal Route

Summary: Belfast for Movie-Lovers

Belfast has many more movies and TV shows shot in it, and this list doesn’t even scratch the surface of the unique places and attractions Belfast has to offer. If you’re a fan of most of the movies on this list, check out some more of the films the place provides.

You can also visit the city to experience these locations you might have just seen on TV in real life. We promise you won’t regret it; Belfast and the surrounding areas offer something special for visitors. 

  • Written by ProfileTree placement guest writer (and local movie fan!) Dáire Cullen.

Don’t forget to check out some related blogs that might interest you:

The Real Direwolves from Game of Thrones| Amazing Game of Thrones Tapestry| Game of Thrones Filming locations in Ireland| Famous Irish Authors Who Helped Promote Irish Tourism|Best Tourist Attractions in Northern Ireland| Movies Filmed in Ireland|

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *