Want to visit Winterfell? Well, soon you may be able to. Unlike Monty Python’s Camelot, it is not “only a model,” but one of several Northern Ireland filming locations that HBO is looking to turn into tourist attractions now that Game of Thrones is coming to a close. Settings such as Winterfell (Castle Ward in County Down), Castle Black (in a disused quarry in Magheramorne), and Kings Landing (near Armoy) — alongside a studio tour of Linen Mill Studios, which houses even more memorabilia from over the years — could all be included in a tour that could open as early as 2019. It wouldn’t be HBO’s first foray into making the Game of Thrones sets, costumes, and more available to the public, as they’ve also done a including the Touring Exhibition, and extended the brand even further with the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience.
In a press release, Jeff Peters, HBO’s VP Licensing and Retail, said:
“HBO is thrilled to celebrate the work of the Game of Thrones creative team and crew by preserving these locations and inviting fans to visit Northern Ireland and explore Westeros in person. We look forward to opening the gates and sharing the excitement of stepping inside these amazing sets with Game of Thrones fans from around the world. The opportunity to celebrate Northern Ireland’s pivotal role in the life and legacy of the show and share its culture, beauty and warmth is also a huge inspiration behind these legacy projects.”
John McGrillen, CEO of Tourism NI, added:
“We couldn’t be more excited about the Game of Thrones Legacy project coming to Northern Ireland. While fans have seen the stunning landscapes, coastlines and mountains in the series, we are thrilled they will now have the opportunity to fully experience the charm of Northern Ireland and immerse themselves in to the world of Westeros. The Game of Thrones Legacy project will be a game changer for Northern Ireland on a global tourism level. We very much welcome this exciting announcement by HBO and look forward to attracting many more visitors to our beautiful country as a result.”
Take my money and sign me up, to be honest.