So, first up in my retelling of the adventures I have had around Westeros/Northern Ireland, is Ballintoy Harbour. I had never heard of the damn place before it was scouted to be the location of Pyke, but apparently it is a tourist attraction on it’s own merit.
Good for you, Ballintoy.
Around 15 minutes from the Giant’s Causeway, hidden down a windy country lane (that is apparently too small for coaches and is not pleasant to walk up and down), the harbour is quite picturesque, if a little seaweedy for my liking.
Not to go all womanly and squeamish on the matter, but it’s definitely worth mentioning that the place stinks. I don’t mean that in some sort of childish ‘it sucks’ way – the place is literally an offense to your nostrils. Eugh. It smells like if the sea had thrown up. And then died.
Stench aside, the small harbour was actually kind of cool. While a lot of sites used in Game Of Thrones are indistinguishable (they blanket half their sets in green screens), you actually nearly feel like you are standing in Pyke when you visit the harbour. If you ignore the cafe and public toilets.
The harbour is probably most visible when Theon Greyjoy lands home in Pyke after nine years, and proceeds to hit on his sister. As you do (season two, episode two, ‘The Night Lands’).
It’s seen really clearly again as Theon prepares to leave Pyke (to betray the family that raised him in luxury so that the father that obviously despises him will be proud. Good move), in season two, episode five, ‘The Ghost Of Harrenhal’.
Any pictures I took weren’t really for bloggy purposes, but here. Have some anyway.
All in all, the place is well worth a visit, but…hold your nose, and don’t plan to take a picnic.