The Last Rifleman: From Historic Belfast to Beautiful Normandy


Updated On: November 09, 2023 by   Maha YassinMaha Yassin

The acclaimed actor Pierce Brosnan is making a comeback soon with his latest film, The Last Rifleman. It is a story about a veteran living in a care home in Northern Ireland. He goes on a daring trip from Northern Ireland all the way to France to attend the 75th anniversary of D-Day. As Pierce Brosnan’s character makes his journey, we, too, shall accompany him to discover these fantastic countries!

Pierce Brosnan the last rifleman

Filming The Last Rifleman took the cast and crew on a journey across Northern Ireland. From Belfast to the town of Antrim, the cast and crew got to visit and work in beautiful locations across the country. The shooting wasn’t exclusively in Northern Ireland, though. The cast and crew also got to see the beautiful coastal city of Normandy, France and shoot there while enjoying the sunny weather.

Now that shooting has finally wrapped up, we can take you on your own journey across the various shooting locations The Last Rifleman used. Whether in Northern Ireland or in France, the film has undoubtedly chosen some beautiful places to shoot at! You might not be shooting a movie with Pierce Brosnan, but you should still visit these places and bask in their wonderfulness!

The Filming Locations of The Last Rifleman

From cafe shops to market squares to malls and beaches, The Last Rifleman had a variety of filming locations to showcase the journey Pierce Brosnan’s veteran characters make, from Northern Ireland all the way to France. The sites are used to show the audience not just his current trip but a look into his past. We can expect that some of the locations will be used to show us the veteran’s happy memories with his recently deceased wife as well as his memories during wartime.

Even though the film will have more than a bit of melancholy, that does not mean that we will have these feelings when we visit the filming locations! Movies nowadays are used to showcase tourist attractions just as much as the film’s story. We can watch a movie and use it to make a list of places to visit, and that is exactly what we will be doing here!

Between Northern Ireland and France, get ready to add multiple new places to your must-visit attractions list.

Northern Ireland Filming Locations

Northern Ireland might be part of the United Kingdom, but it has its own flavour and vibes! The Last Rifleman’s crew knew that Northern Ireland was the place to be for beautiful shooting locations. From the capital city of Belfast to the county of Antrim, they chose their sites with care, and you can visit all those locations yourself and judge them with your own eyes! Here are some of the places the film shot at that you must see:

The Belmont Bistro in Belfast

If we have to guess, the crew of The Last Rifleman must have been shooting a romantic date at this particular location. However, even if we are wrong, we’ll make it right by telling you that The Belmont Bistro is the perfect place for a low-key romantic date!

The Belmont Bistro is located on the East Side of Belfast on Belmont Road. It’s a cosy little bistro that offers a variety of dishes and drinks. From classic fish and chips to tender steak, The Belmont Bistro has a beautiful selection of breakfast, lunch and dinner options. When you get there, do not miss the opportunity to try their mouth-watering French toast! Pair your dessert with a delicious cup of coffee for the perfect taste.

Helen’s Bay Beach in County Down

With your stomach full, you are now ready to hit the beach! Not far from Belfast, the cast and crew of The Last Rifleman headed down to Helen’s Bay Beach. Helen’s Bay Beach is a beautiful beach located inside Crawfordsburn Country Park. Get your bathing suits, we’re going swimming!

The golden sandy beaches of Helen’s Bay are the perfect location for some sunbathing. The water is clear and tempting―you will definitely want to swim the moment you see the sea. The beach has a breathtaking backdrop of woodlands and meadows that are perfect for a picnic, a short hike, or just walking around bathing in the sunlight and nature.

The park has lots of facilities as well. From restaurants to cafes, you can always find a nearby place for a quick bite. There are parking spaces and toilets, and even your dogs can enjoy the site.

Bow Street Mall in Lisburn

It must be tough to shoot in a crowded mall, but the crew of The Last Rifleman made it work. Since we’re not shooting a film, we don’t really have to worry about the crowds, and we can just enjoy visiting Bow Street Mall in Lisburn.

The mall has a variety of local and international brands. From clothes to shoes to bags, you can find various products if you’re up for a shopping spree. You can also find many restaurants and fast food chains such as KFC and Burger King. If you have children with you, they might prefer these options over cafes and fancy restaurants! Whatever it is you’re looking for, we’re sure you can find somewhere around the busy Bow Street Mall in Lisburn.

The Town Centre in County Antrim

The Last Rifleman crew transformed the Antrim town centre to resemble a French town during the World War. The townspeople were fascinated by the change and all the wartime vehicles and props the crew brought with them. Even Though all of this is gone now, Antrim is still a place worth visiting!

Antrim is the biggest county in Northern Ireland. It covers over 1,000 square miles and has some of the most breathtaking landscapes you will ever lay your eyes upon. From the Giant Causeway to Bushmills to Portrush, each place in Antrim has unique things to offer you. You must also visit the Glens of Antrim. There are nine glens in all, each one more beautiful than the other. 

You can read more about the history and the attraction of Antrim in “Getting Around the Beauty of Antrim”. A comprehensive guide in our very own Connolly Cove!

Antrim Castle in County Antrim

We’ve talked about County Antrim in general, but we’re going to talk a little bit more in detail about Antrim Castle. The cast and crew of The Last Rifleman did not only shoot in the transformed town centre; they also visited the Antrim Castle to shoot a few scenes.

The truth is there is no more Antrim Castle. The original building was destroyed in a fire in 1922 and finally demolished in the 1970s. The only thing that remains from the historical building is the grassed platforms, freestanding Italian stair tower and gatehouse. Despite demolishing most of the castle, the land remains a top-rated tourist attraction. Why? Because of the beautiful gardens that surround it.

You can also visit the Garden Heritage Exhibition on the grounds, where you can learn about the rich history of the gardens and the surrounding area. The whole experience is fantastic and will leave you in awe of the beauty of the land.

France Filming Locations

All the way on the other side of the English Channel, the cast and crew of The Last Rifleman moved their filming location to France. Shooting took place at Bayeux Cathedral in Normandy off the coast of the Channel.

Normandy in the North of France

The castle of Dieppe in Normandy

When you think of beaches in France, you automatically think of the South of France. That’s fair, considering the Mediterranean is much warmer and summer-appropriate than the English Channel. However, Normandy has many things to offer that the South of France cannot: Cliffs, castles and the Claude Monet Gardens!

The landscape of Normandy is close to Northern Ireland, considering it’s only on the other shore. The land boasts several gorgeous cliffside beaches and vast meadows that are the perfect place for a breath of fresh air. From the Chateau de Caen to the Dieppe and the Bayeux Castle, history is everywhere in Normandy.

If you are an artist or just an art lover, then you do not want to miss out on visiting Claude Monet’s House and Gardens. Walking around the beautiful garden surrounded by wisteria, sunflowers and sparking lily ponds will make you understand how Monet saw beauty in the world. You can also visit his house and walk around his kitchen and living room—even pretend you’re him; it’s a remarkable experience!

Château de Bayeux, aka Bayeux Castle

Bayeux Tapestry

The cast and crew of The Last Rifleman wrapped shooting at Bayeux Castle in Normandy. The historic castle was constructed in the 10th century and was sacked by many armies since then, including Henry I of England.

The Castle itself is not a popular tourist attraction; however, the city of Bayeux has a lot to offer. You can visit the famous Bayeux Tapestry and walk around the gorgeous Botanical Garden. In the old town of Bayeux, you can visit traditional tea rooms for some relaxation and delicious tea.

And if you have a few million pounds to spare, many castles are up for sale around the area —just kidding! Unless you do have millions to spare, then go ahead and choose your fairytale.

The Last Rifleman Film

With all of these beautiful filming locations, we at least know for sure that The Last Rifleman will have the most stunning scenery throughout the movie. However, with Pierce Brosnan as the leading man of the film, the movie is sure to be a great watch.

From what we can tell from Pierce Brosnan’s wrap social media post, the A-list actor really enjoyed shooting this movie around the stunning Northern Ireland and France. We’re sure you too will love visiting those places and walking a mile in the former James Bond’s shoes.

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