With House of the Dragon launching on August 22, on Sky and NOW, Game of Thrones fever is about to grip again. We’ve seen the opening episode and it’s every bit as enthralling and exciting as the original series.
Set some 200 years before the events that unfolded in Game of Thrones, it follows the shocking, turbulent story of the House of Targaryen.
But why just watch House of the Dragon, when you can live it, taking a Targaryen pilgrimage to one of the many spectacular locations used in the show.
The 10-part fantasy series may have been filmed at Warner Bros Leavesden Studios in Watford, England – but there’s plenty of spectacular location cinematography in the show.
Here’s a guide to key locations used and places to stay (sorry, no dragons allowed)…
Holywell Bay, Newquay
Secluded and shrouded, Holywell Bay, Newquay’s quieter sister beach, is one of the backdrops used in the prequel series, and featured in one of the first images released by HBO for the series.
Offering sweeping coastal shots and cinematographic landscapes, the region has become a popular location for TV and film crews – it’s also known locally as Poldark’s Beach, given how often it was featured in the popular BBC period drama.
To immerse yourself in the sandy ambiance of House of the Dragon, book a stay at Cornwall’s luxurious Headland Hotel. Take time out in the spa or enjoy the Terrace restaurant with floor to ceiling windows, just a short walk from the white sands of Fistral Beach. Prices start from £150 per room per night.
Trujillo, Extremadura, Spain
The mediaeval Spanish town of Trujillo is a featured location for the Game of Thrones prequel. Castles adorn the hilltops surrounding Trujillo, where you half expect to see a dragon squadron coming home to roost. Still relatively undiscovered, stay at the historic Parador de Trujillo in the centre of the Old Town, surrounded by narrow cobbled streets and beautiful townhouses.
This peaceful paradise has a relaxing, calm atmosphere, packed with 50 characterful bedrooms, a restaurant serving local produce, an outdoor pool, and a chapel with vaulted ceilings.
A seven-night stay can be had from £744 pp (based on two sharing), including B&B accommodation. Also well worth visiting is nearby Cáceres, which doubles as Kings Landing, a role it performed in the original series.
St Michael’s Mount, West Cornwall
St Michael’s Mount in west Cornwall, already a popular tourist attraction, stars in House of the Dragon as Driftmark, seat of the House Velaryon. There’s also been filming in Kynance Cove, west of the Lizard, so that’s well worth a visit as well.
Couples should consider Chy Lowenna Barn, a self catering barn conversion that offers sweeping views over the countryside, towards the sea and St Michael’s Mount. There’s also easy access to Penzance, Land’s End, St Ives, the outdoor Minack Theatre and the South West Coast Path. A week costs from £290pp (£579 total).
The Peak District, Central England
Matt Smith, who plays Prince Daemon Targaryen, was spotted by locals in the Peak District village of Castleton, during filming for House of the Dragon last year, confirming the National Park’s selection as one of the locations for this series. Social media reported filming in Cave Dale, Eldon Hill Quarry and the Market Place.
Local specialist Peak Cottages, just a five-minute drive from Castleton, in the village of Hope, offers Bobbin Cottage, a characterful self-catering property which sleeps four. Expect exposed beams, stone fireplace and cosy nooks ideal for catching up with the show. A week’s stay costs from £170 pp (£678 total).
Monsanto in central Portugal is known as the city of stone, because of the giant boulders that surround the town, and even build into the 18th-century houses themselves. Perfect Dragon perches? Atop a hill, the famous mountain top Castelo Castelo de Monsanto is a huge ruined fortress, originally constructed in 1171 and with links to the Knights Templar.
Tourism options are limited here, as the Portuguese government is keen to preserve the town’s unique heritage, but you can still visit this historic village.
One option for Thrones fans is to hire a motorhome. Nori is a two-berth Volkswagen transporter that’s low in fuel consumption with assisted steering, and has a fully fitted kitchenette with cooker, fridge/freezer. It’s priced at £333 for a five-day hire from Yescapa. Not a dragon, admittedly, but it’ll do.
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