Game of Thrones stag weekends on the way

Shane's Castle
Shane's Castle

An English firm has launched weekend package tours to Northern Ireland, themed around the hit TV show Game of Thrones.

The series was in large part filmed in Northern Ireland, and tours of some of the familiar settings of the programme have been operating for some time.

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones

However, a senior hospitality figure said this is the first time he has heard of dedicated stag party trips to the Province being offered, which use the medieval-style fantasy show as their basis.

The new Friday-to-Sunday package sees guests staying in a hotel in central Belfast.

They would then go on trips to where the filming took place, take part in archery sessions, and film their own action scenes.

A string of locations including the north coast and the Ards peninsula are included.

Shane's Castle in south Antrim

Shane's Castle in south Antrim

Andy Viveash of Stag Web Ltd, the Bath-based firm which came up with the idea, said: “All of these areas are where big scenes happened in the show.

“It’s really [due to] the popularity of the show. Half of the office here watch it. It’s on Monday, and on Tuesday it’s the go-to conversation topic.”

He added: “It’s trying to offer something different for the stag parties going away. This is definitely going to be unusual for the chaps.

“A lot of stag groups have done go karting and paintballing, It’s all about upping the last stag do.”

The whole thing costs around £250 per person.

Mr Viveash said that they have previously held individual Game of Thrones-related events in England, consisting of medieval banquets and hog roasts.

The trips to Northern Ireland were launched yesterday.

The list of locations which ‘stags’ will visit include a disused quarry in Magheramourne (which is where the fictional Castle Black was located in the show), as well as Carrick-a-Rede, Ballintoy Harbour, Castle Ward and Shane’s Castle.

Colin Neill, chief executive of Hospitality Ulster (formerly Pubs of Ulster), said: “It’s what they call now ‘screen tourism’, and it’s a really big thing here. You can go on bus tours, dress up in one of the venues...

“It’s encouraging to see stag dos that are themed, because you don’t want to encourage just drinking-only stag dos – it’s not the market we want to be.

“It’s the first time I’ve come across it but when I think about it, it doesn’t surprise me. Because you see all the comic and Star Trek conventions, if you’ve got someone who is really into that I can see how it follows through.”

Tourism NI said among the Game of Thrones experiences that already exist are the Winterfell Tours Archery Experience at Castle Ward, and McComb’s Game of Thrones Locations Coach Tours.