With its stunning scenery, imposing architecture and picturesque towns and villages, the island of Ireland has played a starring role in many great movies.
The West of Ireland has been a favourite haunt of movie makers as far back as 1952 when The Quiet Man introduced the world to the spectacular landscape of Connemara.
More recently the 2020 film Wild Mountain Thyme was shot in the County Mayo village of Crossmolina and the town of Ballina. The exquisite scenery of patchwork fields nestled under Mayo’s Nephin Mountains is integral to the story of the couple’s romance and their connection to the land.
Ireland’s famous Wild Atlantic Way is also a regular supporting actor in movies. The Cliffs of Moher stood for the Cliffs of Insanity in the popular movie The Princess Bride, while the Oscar-winning romance Ryan’s Daughter was shot on the beautiful Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry.
Ireland’s Ancient East is also a favourite spot for film makers and most recently provided the fairy-tale background for the Disney movie Disenchanted. The heart-warming story tells how the lovable maiden from the fairy-tale world of Andalasia finally finds her Prince Charming in the kingdom of New York City.
County Wicklow has many stunning locations and also provides a picture-perfect setting for two other romantic movies, PS I Love You and Love Rosie.
In PS I Love You, the spectacular scenery of the Wicklow Mountains National Park is the setting for the first meeting of the lovers. Ireland’s largest national park stretches over 23,000 hectares of wooded valleys, heathered hills and shimmering lakes.
Love Rosie, based on Irish author Cecilia Ahern’s best-selling book, features a variety of County Wicklow locations including Powerscourt House and Gardens, the seaside resort of Bray and the beautiful village of Howth in Dublin Bay.
Meanwhile, the stunning golden expanse of Curracloe Beach in County Wexford makes a memorable setting for a key scene in the movie Brooklyn, which also features the village of Enniscorthy.
Many have said ‘I do’ at the stately Castle Coole in County Fermanagh. This glorious National Trust property is widely recognised as one of Ireland’s finest neo-classical houses. The period drama Miss Julie, starring Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell, was filmed here.
Dublin city makes many appearances on-screen, of course. It is the setting for the critically acclaimed romantic musical drama Once, in which many of the city’s most popular spots play cameo roles. These include Grafton Street, St Stephen’s Green and the elegant Georgian Mountjoy Square East.
Don’t forget that Northern Ireland is awash with locations from Game of Thrones®. Some, like Castle Ward in County Down and the magnificent Benone Strand in County Londonderry, are well known, while others, such as the beautiful Tollymore Forest Park and Inch Abbey in County Down, are more under the radar. Locations such County Antrim’s Dark Hedges, which featured as the iconic King’s Road in the HBO drama, are known to make great spots for a memorable proposal. And it’s always a big, fat YES, to truly breathtaking sights such as Binevenagh Mountain in County Londonderry or the quaint little harbour outside the village of Ballintoy in County Antrim which doubled as Lordsport Harbour in Game of Thrones®.