Plans for Game of Thrones bus tour

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A GAME of Thrones bus tour of the fantasy epic’s filming locations in Northern Ireland – including parts of the Larne borough – could be on the cards, it has emerged.

The blockbuster US cable television series has been wildly successful on both sides of the Atlantic, and local fans of the show may recall that part of the first season was shot right on Larne’s doorstep.

Magheramorne Quarry was used as the setting for the daunting Castle Black, home to the Night’s Watch and The Wall, which protects the northern border of Westeros. Cairncastle was also used for exterior shots of Winterfell, the home of Sean Bean’s character, Eddard Stark.

The bus tour could be operational by next year, according to the organisation that promotes the Province’s film industry.

A spokeswoman for Northern Ireland Screen said: “We have been working with the various tourism bodies for over a year, we got in touch about setting up this tour. We are keen on the overall film tourism thing, not just Game Of Thrones.”

Meanwhile, the third season of the show is currently being shot at Titanic Studios and at various outdoor locations throughout Northern Ireland.

East Antrim MLA Alastair Ross recently visited the set of Game of Thrones and said: “The show has been a massive success for HBO, and has an incredible fan base throughout the world. The fact that such a huge TV show is being filmed in Northern Ireland is incredible for our local economy and gets our Province the type of global exposure that money can’t buy.

“It is reported that some £43 million in direct spend was put in to the NI economy through the show, providing employment in construction of sets and props, cast, crew, transport and of course there are spin off benefits in hotels, restaurants and in post-production jobs.

“East Antrim has a particular interest in the continued success of the HBO show as many of the scenes are filmed on location in places such as Cairncastle and Magheramorne, and busloads of tourists have already visited the constituency as they visit many of the locations in Northern Ireland that the show is shot.

“Northern Ireland has a real opportunity to embrace the creative industries, and will undoubtedly benefit from the employment and tourism opportunities that flow from the continued success of shows such as Game of Thrones,” Mr Ross concluded.