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38 amazing Game of Thrones locations: in pictures

To celebrate the return of Game of Thrones season eight, Skyscanner reveals the secrets behind some stunning locations from the series.

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Jon Snow from Game of Thrones

Go Westeros! As mega fantasy romp Game of Thrones starts its eighth and final season, we take a fact-filled tour of 38 places where it has been filmed, from Malta to Iceland.

Spain

1. Alcázar de Sevilla (Water Palaces of Dorne)

The lush gardens of Alcazar palace in Seville, Spain

This is the perfect spot to represent the Water Gardens of the Kingdom of Dorne. The Alcázar de Sevilla is transformed in to the palatial private residence of Martell in the capital, Lanza del Sol, an appropriate place name considering the amount of heat this Andalusian city gets.

Expect to see Doran Martell roam the lush gardens and private rooms that, five centuries ago were occupied by Catholic Monarchs and, before them, the caliphs who built it. Watch out for the beautiful Baños de Doña María de Padilla and the Grotto of the Sultans.

Arched passage in Alcazar, Seville

A country steeped in history, Spain has its fair share of charming castles for you to explore. Here are 15 of the most spectacular to visit in 2019.

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2. Plaza de toros de Osuna, Seville, Andalusia (Arena of Meereen)

Osuna bullring in Plaza de Toros, Andalusia

Osuna‘s bullring shines on the small screen in the fifth season. It was transformed into the sands of Meereen for one of the show’s biggest scenes, and the most expensive in the history of television! Tyrion and Daenerys meet here, but you’ll have to watch to find out the details.

Due to the secrecy that has surrounded filming, it is not known if some of Seville’s famous sites, like the Coto de las Canteras, have been included. But if you visit Osuna then make sure you check out Casa Curro, offering GoT-themed montaditos for fans who want to feast like a Stark or Targaryen.

Sand, sea, sun and sangria! From natural to naturist, we take a tour of the 10 most beautiful, brilliant beaches in Spain.

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3. The Roman bridge in Cordoba, Andalusia (Long Bridge of Volantis)

Cordoba, Spain at the Roman Bridge and Mosque-Cathedral

The magnificent Roman bridge in Cordoba will become, by the grace of Game of Thrones, the Long Bridge of Volantis. Scenes featuring the beautiful bridge were shot with several cameras and a drone, making it look even longer.

The Roman Bridge in Cordoba was built by imperial troops in the first century BC to replace a wooden one. After reconstruction it had 16 arches, one less than the original, and is 247 metres long.

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Morocco

4. Aït-Ben-Haddou (Yunkai and Pentos)

The ksar of Aït-Ben-Haddou, Morocco

Follow Daenerys Targaryen’s tracks through Slaver‘s Bay and the Free Cities at real-life Aït-Ben-Haddou, a ksar (fortified city) around 100km southeast of Marrakech. Sitting majestically on a hill overlooking a desert, its ancient appearance attracts both tourists and filmmakers.

In the fictional world of Essos in Game of Thrones, Aït-Ben-Haddou is turned into Yunkai, the smallest of the three cities in Slaver’s Bay, and Pentos, the biggest of the Free Cities. However, Aït-Ben-Haddou is far from being a new film location. Since the 1960s it has played a role in many Hollywood films and TV series, such as Lawrence of Arabia, Jesus of Nazareth, The Mummy, Gladiator, Alexander, Babel and Prince of Persia to just name a few.

The ksar of Aït-Ben-Haddou in Morocco's desert
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5. Essaouira (Astapor)

Traditional blue fishing boats in Essaouira, Morocco

While the Game of Thrones city of Astapor lies south of Yunkai, Essaouira is to the west of Aït-Ben-Haddou, and around 100km west of Marrakech, on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. One of the city’s landmarks is its fortified wall which makes the fictional Astapor so memorable on screen.

Unlike Astapor, Essaouira is known for a more relaxed atmosphere. In the 1960s it was a hippie hangout graced by rock stars such as Cat Stevens and Jimi Hendrix. It’s also a fishing port, where you can feast on awesome fresh seafood.

Seagulls fly over Essaouira's fortified wall, Morocco
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6. Atlas Corporation Studios, Ouarzazate

Atlas Studios, Ouarzazate, Morocco

The Atlas Studios, located in the Moroccan desert just outside of the city of Ouarzazate, are the world’s largest film studios in terms of size. Apart from being an amazing filming location, the studios are also a popular tourist attraction, as many of the film sets are still intact. Apart from scenes of Game of Thrones, many films such as Babel, Gladiator and Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra were filmed here.

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Iceland

7. Grjótagjá (Thermal Spring or ‘Jon and Ygritte’s love nest’)

Grjótagja, Iceland

In the final season of Game of Thrones we probably won’t see too much of this lovely spring cave anymore, but it’s definitely worth visiting in the real world. Grjótagjá is a small lava cave near Lake Mývatn in north-east Iceland. While outside is snow and ice, the water in the spring can get up to 50°C (which explains why Jon and Ygritte were so hot…). Why not re-enact a particular scene there with your special someone?

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8. Dimmuborgir (Wildling Camp)

Dimmuborgir, Iceland

Close to Grjótagjá and Lake Mývatn is Dimmuborgir, a lava field with rocks in many unusual shapes. This area has several meanings for Icelandic folklore. It is said that Dimmuborgir is somehow connected to hell, and at the same time the home of homicidal trolls.

However, the children of the evil troll family are apparently not as bad as their parents. At Christmas they even get to play at being Santa Claus. Meanwhile in Westeros: Dimmuborgir was the place where Mance Rayder set up his camp.

Waterfall in Lake Mývatn, Iceland

Iceland comes complete with some of the world’s most dramatic and natural wonders. Let’s explore Iceland’s weather and when it’s the best time to visit!

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9. Vatnajökull (North of the Wall)

Vatnajokull iceberg, Iceland

The vast mountainous area of south-east Iceland forms Europe‘s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, located in the largest national park of Europe at 13.600km².

In Westeros, Vatnajökull is the mysterious land Beyond the Wall, home to mythical creatures.

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10. Höfðabrekka (Frostfangs Mountains)

Click on the image to find out what other cool things to do in Iceland.

Höfðabrekka is located near Vík, the southernmost city of Iceland. It lies at the foot of the glacier Mýrdalsjökull, which sits on the volcano of Katla.

In Game of Thrones the area was used to film the scenes in the treacherous Frostfangs.

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11. Thingvellir National Park

Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

A prime filming location for season four of Game of Thrones, Thingvellir National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s where the Alþingi – the national parliament of Iceland – was established in 930. It continued to meet until 1798, but was moved to Reykjavík later on.

SPOILER ALERT Season 4/Book 3 Thingvellir National Park will be seen in its summer beauty, as it will show Arya’s and Sandor Clegane’s journey from village to village in mid-Westeros.

The Northern Lights over Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

By the way, in Iceland you also find the rare ‘Dragonglass’. Obsidian, a piece of cooled lava, is used in the series to mimic the precious resource.

Iceland also offers great locations to revel in the beauty of Aurora Borealis. Here’s our guide to the best places to see the Northern Lights in 2019.

Croatia

12. Dubrovnik (King’s Landing)

Dubrovnik © Dubrovnik Tourism Board

Here it is, the official seat of the kings of Westeros: King’s Landing, aka Dubrovnik. It’s no wonder that this monumental city was chosen to pose as one of Westeros’ main landmarks. Dubrovnik’s old town is surrounded by thick stone walls and is located on a peninsula surrounded by a dramatic stone cliff.

In Game of Thrones world, King’s Landing is an important location, featuring in most episodes and where many characters’ storylines meet. It is also the place to be if you like intrigues, secrets, hidden agendas and dastardly plots.

Red roofs dot the historic town of Dubrovnik, Croatia

Discover the 10 best things to do in Croatia with Skyscanner – from historic cities to unusual cinemas.

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13. Minceta Tower (House of the Undying)

Minceta Tower © I. Brautovic / Dubrovnik Tourist Board

The mysterious House of the Undying is actually the Minceta Tower, located along the above mentioned walls of Dubrovnik. It was an important defence tower facing towards the land. It is also a symbol of how ‘unconquerable’ the city is.

SPOILER ALERT Season 1/Book 1 At the end of the book A Clash of Kings, Daenerys has to face unexpected visions in the House of the Undying to gain insight into her future. In the series, however, Daenerys is forced to go in to rescue her dragons – one of the very few plot changes the series has made.

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14. Lovrijenac Fortress (The Red Keep)

Lovrijenac Fortress © I. Brautovic / Dubrovnik Tourist Board

The Red Keep – the heart of King’s Landing – is, in the real world, Lovijenac Fortress. It is located outside Dubrovnik on a 37m-high rock right on the shore.

Fun fact: at the entrance is an ancient inscription which apparently translates as ‘Liberty is not sold for all the gold in the world’. Is this a secret hint from the film crew, maybe? Well, the Lannister approach might not pay off after all.

Dubrovnik old city from Lovrijenac Fortress, Croatia

To not get confused later on, the scenes of the Red Keep in season one were shot in Malta. But from season two onward the film crew moved the set to Croatia to be able to shoot more exterior shots of Dubrovnik and Lovrijenac Fortress. The bay right in front of the fortress was used for the scene of the Battle of Blackwater.

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15. Lokrum (Quarth)

Lokrum, Dubrovnik

Only a few hundred meters off the coast of Dubrovnik lies the green and lush island Lokrum, 10 minutes by boat from the old port. The fortress is on the highest point of the island with an amazing view over the protected national park. Lokrum boasts a naturist beach, but, like most of Croatia’s Dalmatian coastline, not much sand.

In Game of Thrones, Lokrum is turned into Quarth, the ‘Queen of Cities’, which is located on the continent Essos. As well as Daenerys’ magical experiences, the above-mentioned House of the Undying is located in Quarth.

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16. Trsteno Arboretum

Trsteno Arboretum

If you want to wonder around the green gardens of King’s Landing, visit Trsteno Arboretum located in Trsteno, a small village right next to the sea around 10km north of Dubrovnik. The lush garden has an aqueduct leading up to a fountain with a Neptune statue, vine-covered pergolas, a belvedere, pavilions and rich flora.

The many scenes in which Varys and Tyrion wonder through the outdoor parts of the palace to plot and exchange secrets were filmed in Trsteno Arboretum.

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17. Sibenik (Braavos)

Sibenik, Croatia seen from the sea

The medieval town of Sibenik hits the small screen in the fifth season, located in sunny Croatia, as Braavos, one of the Free Cities across the narrow sea. The Braavosis are a race of sailors and adventurers, and this city is home to the famous Iron Bank, as well as sheltering Arya Stark in her flight from Poniente.

With its walls and its ancient architecture, Sibenik is protected by four fortresses and is where you may even come across the House of Black and White, the temple of the God of Many Faces.

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18. Split (King’s Landing)

Diocletian Palace Split Croatia

Some scenes from the fifth season of Game of Thrones were filmed inside Diocletian’s Palace in Split. We know that Cersei Lannister was spotted at this UNESCO World Heritage site, but on what business we cannot say! The great palace complex of the Roman emperor Diocletian holds many historic and TV mysteries.

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19. Klis Fortress

The medieval Klis Fortress sits atop a hill near Spilt, Croatia

The medieval Klis Fortress, atop a hill overlooking a village of the same name near Spilt, is one of the places where Daenerys plans her return to power. It’s not on screen for long, but the once royal castle is still worth a look-see.

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20. Krka National Park (landscapes of the West)

People swimming in Krka National Park, Croatia

This lush green nature reserve has been used several times during filming. With turquoise waters and the constant sound of gurgling streans and gushing waterfalls, Krka National Park is a place of peace and tranquility.

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21. Ston (King’s Landing)

Located in southern Croatia, the famous Walls of Ston have featured as the fortifications surrounding the western King’s Landing. You’ll see more clambering tourists than men of the royal guard here, as fans of the show flock here to traipse across Ston’s stones on ‘the Great Wall of Europe’.

Northern Ireland

22. Tollymore Forest Park (Forests in the North)

Cascades in Tollymore Forest Park, Northern Ireland

Tollymore Forest Park, covering over 600 hectares at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, is a great area for outdoor activities such as hiking with stunning seaviews.

It features several times in Game of Thrones. It is here that a member of the Night’s Watch sees a family of Wildlings dead on the snow and then encounters a White Walker. Also, this is where Ned Stark and his sons find the direwolf pups and the dead stag. Later on in the series, Theon Greyjoy is chased on horseback by Ramsay Snow, the Bastard of Bolton.

Tollymore Forest Park features in our guide to top 10 free things to do in Ireland 2019. Discover what else made the cut!

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23. Castle Ward (Winterfell)

Winterfell © Castle Ward / National Trust for Northern Ireland

The sumptuous Castle Ward overlooks Strangford Lough and with its 820 acres of land was used as the courtyard of Winterfell. The house features Gothic and classical styles of architecture. It also has an exotic sunken garden, paths and peaceful woodlands that will definitely make you think you are in The North.

Meanwhile in Game of Thrones, the grounds were featured in season 1 and here is where King Robert Baratheon and his court arrive at Winderfell, and also where he and Ned Stark talk during some hunting. The castle is always featured as Winterfell’s courtyard.

Castle Ward, Strangford, Northern Ireland
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24. Mussenden Temple and Downhill beach ( Dragonstone Beach)

Green hill overlooking Downhill Beach, Northern Ireland

This beautiful 11km stretch of golden sand and turf is best known for being the location of Mussenden Temple. This classical round temple was built to be a summer library, while today it stands dramatically on top of a cliff, with views of the Northern Irish coast.

Both the Mussenden Temple and Downhill Beach were used in Game of Thrones as the location for the Dragonstone exterior. Remember the burning of the old gods by Melisandre on the beach? Well, that was here. And also where Stannis Baratheon draws a flaming sword from the flames, ‘Lightbringer’. It’s a gorgeous place, but better not burn anything and try to discover if you are Azhor Ahai.

View of Mussenden Temple from Downhill Beach, Northern Ireland

Planning a staycation in 2019? Discover 10 of the best beaches in Ireland, from Sligo to Cork.

25. The Dark Hedges (The Road from King’s Landing)

The avenue of beech trees, The Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland

The Dark Hedges might possibly be the most beautiful avenue of beech trees in the world. It was planted by the Stuart family in the 18th century to impress their visitors as they approached the entrance to their Georgian mansion (Gracehill House) and it does the job very well. It is one of the most photographed sites in the country.

Back in Westeros, the Dark Hedges are the Kingsroad, north of King’s Landing. Disguised as a boy, Arya escapes from the city with Yoren, Gendry, Hot Pie and all the other people who are to join the Night’s Watch.

Get behind the wheel and explore Ireland with our pick of the country’s most scenic drives. These are the 5 best road trips in Ireland for 2019.

26. Ballintoy Harbour (Lordsport)

Panoramic view of Ballintoy Harbour, Northern Ireland

Ballintoy Bay is the real-world location of Lordsport (the port of Pyke in the Iron Islands). This picturesque little fishing village and its harbour are one of the most beautiful parts of the coast of Antrim.

The production team of the series chose this wonderful place to be the port of Pyke, where Theon Greyjoy sets foot back on the Iron Islands, admires his ship and has some trouble with his crew.

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27. Cushendun Caves (The Stormlands)

Cushedun, Northern Ireland

The stunning Cushendun Caves were formed over a period of 400 million of years of extreme weather conditions.

This is where Davos Seaworth (following orders from Stannis Baratheon) lands the red priestess Melisandre ashore, to later on see her giving birth to the shadow creature that in the end kills Renly.

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28. Larrybane (The Stormlands)

Larrybane sea, Northern Ireland

Along the beautiful Northern Irish coast, the Larrybane area is also part of The Stormlands in Game of Thrones. The whole place is stunning and is connected to Sheep Island by one of the most famous rope bridges in the world: Carrick-a-Rede.

The Stormlands is where King Renly sets camp and where the tournament is in which Brienne of Tarth beats Ser Loras Tyrell. It’s also where he meets his brother Stannis. Why not try to mimic them and become a knight?

Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, Northern Ireland
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29. Murlough Bay (The Iron Islands)

Murlough Bay, Northern Ireland

Murlough Bay is a very remote and beautiful part of the Northern Irish coast, with views across the sea to Rathlin Island and the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland.

In season 3 Murlough Bay was used as a setting for the Iron Islands. This is where Theon rides on a horse with his sister Yara, and also where Davos Seaworth is shipwrecked after the Battle of Blackwater Bay (which is not in the Iron Islands).

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30. Magheramorne Quarry (Castle Black and HardHome)

You get two for the price of one with this quarry in Northern Ireland, which has hosted two different film sets. First, it was used to recreate Castle Black, the house in which Jon Snow lives as part of the Guard at night. But another location, near the lake, has served as the set for HardHome, where one of the highlights of the fifth season occurs. What that is exactly, you’ll have to tune in to find out!

Looking for more hidden gems in Ireland? Check out our guide to 10 lesser-known attractions in Ireland 2019.

Malta

31. Mdina Gate (King’s Landing Gate)

Mdina Gate © Mario Galea / Viewingmalta.com

The 4000 year-old ancient capital of Malta, Mdina is a medieval walled town on a hill in the centre of the island. It is commonly called the Silent City.

In Game of Thrones, Catelyn and Ser Rodrik Cassel ride into King’s landing through the gorgeous Mdina Gate to investigate the attack on Bran.

32. Fort Ricasoli (Red Keep Gate in King’s Landing)

Fort Ricasoli, Malta

Fort Ricasoli is a large 17th century fortification built by the Knights of Malta on the promontory known as Gallows Point. It is one of the first things you see if you visit the picturesque village of Kalkara, since it dominates the Grand Harbour. It was a military installation for centuries and played an active part in the defence of Malta during World War Two, when it was badly damaged. Due to its state it can’t be visited, but it has been used as a location for films and TV series like Agora, Troy, Gladiator, Helen of Troy and Julius Caesar.

Back in Westeros, Fort Ricasoli has been used to represent the Red Keep in King’s Landing.

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33. Azure Window (Daenerys and Drogo’s Wedding)

The Azure Window in Malta before its collapse

The 28-metre high limestone rock natural arch known as the Azure Window was the backdrop for Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo’s Wedding. Located on the Maltese island of Gozo, it used to be very popular with tourists and scuba divers alike, until it collapsed after a storm in 2017. There are now plans for the construction of a modern museum that will take the shape of the famous archway!

Apart from Game of Thrones, it had also apparead in films such as Clash of the Titans and The Count of Monte Cristo, as well as the television mini-series The Odyssey.

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34. Verdala Palace Grounds (Illyrio Mopatis House)

Verdala Palace, Malta from a distance

Since 1987 Verdala Palace has been the official summer residence of the president of Malta, but its origins date back to the 16th century, when it was built on the site of a hunting lodge. The elegant palace is surrounded by Buskett Gardens, which were used by the Knights of Malta to hunt game, while in the 18th century it was used as a military prison by Napoleon. Abandoned for a while, it was restored and became a sumptuous residence for powerful people in Malta. It is closed to the public, but you can walk through the nearby gardens and imagine you’re spying on the house of Illyrio Mopatis.

The place was the set for Illyrio Mopatis’ mansion. This is where Daenerys and Viserys live and meet Khal Drogo and his khalassar before the wedding.

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35. San Anton Palace (The Red Keep)

San Anton Palace, Malta

This 16th century palace located in Attard is the official residence of the President of Malta and is surrounded by private and public gardens. The Knight Antoine de Paule founded it as a generous villa for himself and his guests.

San Anton Palace becomes parts of the Red Keep in Game of Thrones. In the first series the Starks arrive there and use their stables, and later on a number of their attendants are murdered by Lannister soldiers while unloading some cargo. It is also the Red Keep’s Hallway, where Ned walks and Varys and Littlefinger inform him that the Goldcloaks are under his control.

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36. Fort St Angelo (The Red Keep Dungeon)

Fort St Angelo, Malta © Mario Galea / ViewingMalta.com

Fort St Angelo is a large fortification in the walled town of Birgu, right at the centre of the Grand Harbour. Its origins are unknown, but some prehistoric and classic remains have been found here. It was an official residence and garrison for centuries and when the Knights of Malta arrived on the island Fort St. Angelo became the seat of the Grand Master. Later on, in the 18th century the British used it as a military installation and was severely damaged during World War Two.

Its underground tunnels were used in Game of Thrones as the Red Keep Dungeon, where Arya chases a cat on assignment from Syrio Forel and overhears a key conversation.

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37. Fort Manoel (Great Sept of Baelor)

Fort Manoel, Malta © Mike Watson / Viewingmalta.com

This is another of the great fortifications of Malta. Fort Manoel stands on Manoel Island in Marsamxett Harbour, north-west of Valletta. Built by the Knights of Malta between 1723 and 1755, it was an active military fortification. It was passed to British control in the 18th century and also played an important role during World War Two.

Part of King’s Landing in Game of Thrones, Fort Manoel is the Great Sept of Baelor, the infamous place where Joffrey gets Ned Stark to admit to being a traitor and then has him executed in front of everyone.

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Scotland

38. Doune Castle (Winterfell)

Doune Castle in Scotland

This medieval stronghold in Doune near Stirling was originally built in the 13th century and rebuilt in the late 14th century by the Duke of Albany, Robert Stewart. The castle has survived quite unchanged and complete until today. It sits on an impressive strategic site at the crossroads of Scotland. Doune Castle can be seen in several films and series, such as Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and the classical adaptation of Ivanhoe with Elizabeth Taylor. It was also the set for Winterfell in the pilot episode for Game of Thrones.

We ‘ve rounded up the top attractions and things to do in Edinburgh, only an hour’s drive from Doune Castle.

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*Updated March 2019. Prices correct at time of publication and subject to change and/or availability.

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