A Northern Ireland company has confirmed it is launching pilot Game of Thrones-themed tours from Derry to determine demand.
Tour Thrones NI already runs a series of successful Game of Thrones-themed coach tours from Belfast. The company is now planning to branch out by giving local people in the north west and visitors to the region the chance to check out many of the key locations along from the world’s biggest TV show.
The first coach tour departed from Derry’s city centre at the weekend with the next tour planned for Sunday, July 5.
Hugh McCloy from Quinns Coach Hire and Tour Thrones NI said the tours were a unique new addition to the tourist draw locally.
“We plan to do a couple of test runs,” he told the Journal. “This will add another dimension for local tourism.
“Game of Thrones has become massive everywhere, including here, and we have noticed on the tours we run from Belfast there are a lot of people from here. On one tour it was all people from here.
“Of those the age range was from 15-year-old- a father had brought his children- up to a 72-year-old guy who was a die hard fan.
“We take people to the exact spots and then show them where they are standing in relation to the show.
“With the scenery here, there are a lot of ready-made sets and a lot of the places are really stunning.”
Mr McCloy said that an experienced tour guide would lead people through the independently-run tour, with site visits, storyboards, DVD clips.
With the scenery here, there are a lot of ready-made sets and a lot of the places are really stunning.Hugh McCloy
The tour leaves the Visitor Centre, 44 Foyle Street, at 9am and returns around 6pm, with further pick ups at Magherafly Over and Dungiven.
Among the locations on the ‘Stormlands’ Derry tour, people will pass along The Dark Hedges, which is used as a King’s Road in the series.
They will also visit Ballintoy Harbour, which is used as the setting of Pyke Harbour and the Iron Islands- home of Theon, Asha (Yara) and their sea-faring Greyjoy family.
Ballintoy Beach, where scenes featuring the Knight of Onions Davos Seaworth were filmed alongside scenes featuring the Tyroshi pirates, is also on the tour.
Larrybane where Renly Baratheon’s War Camp was located is visited as well as Cushendun Caves, where the infamous Stannis Baratheon - Melisandre ‘Shadow Baby’ was birthed.
There is also a brief visit to the Giant’s Causeway on the tour and, time permitting, possibly a trip to Murlough Bay.
The tour price is £35 per person and can be booked by telephoning 02871812777 or through the website www.tourofthronesni.com