With a rugged landscape, historic sites and quirky village and towns, Ireland has been the location for many Hollywood blockbusters, standing in for Scotland and New Bedford, Massachusetts and doubling as legendary lands and otherworldly planets.
Fans of Star Wars will immediately recognise the UNESCO listed island of Skellig Michael as planet Ahch from the last two Star Wars films, The Last Jedi and The Force Awakens. A few other locations also made some guest appearances in The Force Awakens including the amphitheatre at Loop Head and Ireland’s most northerly point, Malin Head.
While we’re talking about other worlds… The stunning cliffs of Moher featured as the Cliffs of Insanity in the Princess Bride and also had an outing in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Some film buffs may also recognise them from the Irish films Ryan’s Daughter and Into The West.
The largest Norman Castle in the Irish republic, Trim Castle in County Meath, doubled as the city of York in the film Braveheart while the nearby Bective Abbey also enjoyed its moment on the big screen in a scene from the Princess Bride.
In County Wicklow the Powerscourt Estate started its career in film back in 1944 when it featured in Henry V. The scenes from the 1970s version of Black Beauty were also filmed here and more recently, Clive Owen and Keira Knightley had a stint here when filming King Arthur. It has also been seen on TV in the series The Tudors.
The stars of Hollywood
Parts of Angela’s Ashes were actually filmed in Cork City and the 1981 Oscar-nominated Excalibur was entirely filmed in Ireland.
Its been over 60 years since the classic film Moby Dick, (1954) starring Hollywood heartthrob Gregory Peck was filmed in Youghal, this historic wall-port town is still proud of its Hollywood connection; there’s the Moby Dick pub and even a Moby Dick festival!
But it was probably The Quiet Man (1952) which introduced Ireland to the silver screen. This absolute classic starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, which showcased some of County Mayo’s stunning scenery earned John Ford an Oscar for Best Director.
Pedal your way through this legendary country with Max’s self-guided cycling tour of Ireland, or if you’re after something a little less energetic, we’ve a self-drive alternative.
Max knows Ireland really well, so if you’re after something more bespoke, give him a ring on 017687 21040 and start planning your holiday in Ireland now.
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