Skip to main content

Where Was House of the Dragon filmed? Top locations you can check out IRL

Cornwall landscape

Set a 180 years before Dani ever batted her eyes at Jason Momoa, HBOs prequel series House of the Dragon aired its debut episode in August 2022. And as the tv show continues, we expect HoTD to have all the same sex, swords, intrigue and incest as George RR Martin’s first TV adaptation (but with hopefully better writing than season 8).

But really, as always, at Contiki we’re in it for the epic travel porn (as opposed to, you know, the actual porn). Game of Thrones famously took us across Northern Ireland, Iceland and Croatia. But where is the new kid on the block filmed? Though some of the show was filmed at Warner Bro’s Leavesden Studios, there’s still plenty of beautiful backdrops you can visit yourself. So stay tuned, dear reader, for the House of the Dragon filming locations soon to be on everybody’s bucket lists.

All the Spanish Game of Thrones filming locations you need to add to your travel bucket list

All the Spanish Game of Thrones filming locations you need to add to your travel bucket list

Lianne Chin-Fook
by Lianne Chin-Fook Nov 23, 2023

Season 1 filming locations

With some familiar locations returning as well as a few new ones entering the mix, viewers of House of the Dragon are not only in for a spectacular story but also some spectacular views.

1. Cáceres, Spain

Game of Thrones famously shot most of its Kings Landing scenes in one of our fave cities, Dubrovnik in Croatia. But it also occasionally used a lesser known city: Cáceres in Spain. Well, this time around, Cáceres looks like it’s taking it’s spot in the limelight as one of the main House of the Dragon filming locations.

And it makes sense. This really is one of Spain’s most beautiful cities, with all the medieval charms that makes it perfect for GRRMs fantasy world. We’re talking cobbled streets, ancient walls, turrets flanked by creepy gargoyles. If you want to step back in time (and visit one of the prettiest Plazas in the world), look no further than Cáceres this summer.

2. Cornwall, England

For all the House of the Dragon filming locations on this list, some of the more fantastical shots will be done in Warner Bros studios, Watford (you might recognise the studios. They also hosted a little-known indie series called Harry Potter). So it makes sense HBO are also making good use of all the natural splendour England has to offer.

And if you’re looking for dramatic coastal shots, you can’t do much better than Cornwall. HBO kicked off filming here back in April 2021, using an island castle called St. Michael’s Mount, as well as Holywell beach and Kynance cove. If you’re after scenery, surfing, and delicious food (Cornish pasties and ice cream are legit), then you should check it out before fantasy-lovers across the world catch on.

3. Peak District, England

Another epic English destination. For its next House of the Dragon filming location, HBO headed northwards (not quite to the wall), to use the dramatic rolling hills of the Peak District. If any locals were taking a walk last May and thought you spotted Matt Smith (that’s Prince Daemon Targaryen to you and I), with a ridiculous blonde wig walk past, you probably weren’t going crazy. The Peak District is also home to Cave Dale, where the gruesome crab kings acolytes take shelter.

Even if you’re not Targaryen spotting, this huge National Park packs in moorlands, lush hillsides, valleys and lakes, and is a great place to get some fresh air and soak in all that natural beauty. Gets a bit windy though. Must have been a ‘mare in that wig, Matt.

4. Trujillo, Spain

Another gorgeous medieval town, Trujillo boasts some of the best Roman ruins in Spain. Tourists don’t tend to flock to these parts, but those that do will be rewarded with some seriously authentic Spanish food, from some top quality jamon monesterio, to Torta del Casar. The stunning medieval castles that adorn the hilltops make it easy to see why HBO singled it out as a House of the Dragon filming location.

5. Monsanto, Portugal

In the early 20th Century Monsanto was named the ‘most Portuguese village in Portugal.’ So that’s probably why it’s been so well protected by the government. The UNESCO Heritage Site town is set against giant boulders (that sometimes form parts of the buildings themselves) and spills down a steep hill in an impossibly charming, colourful tumble.

Potentially the spot for the ancestral seat of house Targaryen at Dragonstone, the famous mountain-top Castelo is a huge stone fortress that is said to even predate the Romans arrival, so it’s easy to see why HBO scouted it out. Expect a dragon or two swooping around its crumbled walls during House of the Dragon‘s breathtaking runtime.

6. Surrey, England

Back to the UK, this time the quaint charms of the Surrey hills. This place has history (it was where the magna carta was signed around 900 years ago), but it’s also pretty scenic, with natural woodlands, thames-side meadows and charming country houses. This is where HBO filmed the absolutely epic tourney in the first episode, so keep your eyes peeled during those bloody melees.

7. Catalonia, Spain

Making a return to Spain and hitting the northern most part of the country, House of the Dragon took their lucky, lucky cast to Catalonia! Lloret de Mar more specifically, which is a quaint seaside town with a blooming secret. Wondering where that beautiful botanical garden featured in the episode titled ‘The Rogue Prince’ was? Well, it’s none other than the regal botanical gardens of Santa Clotide.

With tall hedges and winding gravel paths, it’s no wonder the show runners chose this spot to pose as the Red Keep’s walking grounds. Stuh-ning!

Season 2 filming locations

Season 2 of House of the Dragon is finally here! Our favs, Daemon and Aemond and Aegon and Rheanyra and Rhaenys (wow these names are confusing!) and of course, their dragons, are back, and we’re all so excited to see how the drama of this very complicated family tree unfolds.

Whether you’re Team Green or Team Black (though there is a right answer), find out which House of the Dragon filming locations are returning from season 1, and which new destinations have been chosen to be part of the Realm. 

1. Gwynedd, Wales

Many noble exteriors have found their home in the quarries and valleys of Gwynedd. Filled with that fabled and wild beauty that’s so quintessential to the United Kingdom, Gwynedd makes a fantastic home for the rugged Dragonstone exteriors in volcanic Trefor Quarry,the open rolling planes of the Vale where many horsemen will be passing through, as well as the seats of Harrenhal and the Riverlands.

Of Gwynedd’s many stunning destinations, those put to use feature Ogwen Valley in Eryri National Park (also known as Snowdonia), and Dinorwig Quarry. Cavalry riders were spotted sprinting through the glacier carved Ogwen Valley, though which specific scene this pertains to, we’re not sure. Dinorwig Quarry was seen filled with tents and catapults, so it’s safe to assume that this area played the backdrop of a battle scene. 

A trip to Gwynedd is like stepping into a fairytale, and it’s also only about a 20 minute drive from our next House of the Dragon filming location. These locations are separated only by a narrow strait called Menai, which is also a beautiful site to see.

2. Anglesey, Wales

This beautiful island just off the coast of Wales boasts many stunning beaches that are just begging to be taken over by glorious CGI dragons. Alas, they’re pleas have been answered! Penmon Point, Beaumaris Beach, Llanddwyn Beach, and Porth y Cwch are all grounds for the new and returning cast to carry out the deeds of the Blacks and the Greens.

Dunes, beachgrass, and rolling frothy waves serve as the stunning backdrop for a few battle scenes – reports have shown cavalry wearing Aegon’s golden-dragon sigil,as well as some dragon riding, and perhaps even a little tragedy (or a lot, we all know Mr. Martin…), and even Steve Toussaint (who plays Corlys Velaryon) was spotted aboard a boat by eagle-eyed fans.

3. Surrey, England

Surrey returns as a House of the Dragon filming location, but they’re taking us to new and magical lands this time. Bourne Woods is alleged to be the real life location for what’s gearing up to be a fiery and epic battle scene in true Westerosi style. 

Nearby Caesar’s Camp also features in House of the Dragon season 2. This Iron Age fortress sits between Surrey and Hampshire and it is surrounded by beautiful woodlands where you can enjoy many hikes or idyllic strolls. If you’re waltzing through either of these woods, try to smell that sweet scent of pop-smoke and blood!

4. Peak District, England

If photographers existed in the Game of Thrones universe, they’d all flock to Castleton AKA The Vale of Arryn. The charming streets of this town in Derbyshire, England will have you completely captivated. Areas like Cave Dale, Eldon Hill Quarry, and Market Place in Castleton have been used to film scenes that show Prince Daemon Targaryen’s side of the story and to show the home of House Arryn. 

The Peak District is a very popular filming location in the UK, with scenes from 2005’s Pride & Prejudice and Bridgertontaking place here as well. Travel between the charming towns, the limestone valleys, and the rolling hills, while pondering which side will win. 

6 Game of Thrones filming locations you need to visit once in your life

6 Game of Thrones filming locations you need to visit once in your life

Natalie Siagian
by Natalie Siagian Jun 10, 2015

5. Granada, Spain

This gorgeous city with mediaeval architecture is home to one of the most important cities in the Game of Thrones universe, Pentos. More specifically, some scenes of Pentos were shot in Castillo de La Calahorra – a beautiful 14th-century castle, situated in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It might look plain & simple from the outside, but the interiors cannot be further from that. Let’s just say – it’s built for a royal.

Like any classic House of the Dragon episode, Season 2 is gonna be packed with drama and war. The dragons might be CGI, but you can still visit all of these filming locations IRL! Whether it’s the sun-kissed streets of Spain & Portugal, or the charming, historical alleyways of an English town – these are spots where you can make your Targaryen dreams come true (without real Fire & Blood, ofc). 

6. Conwy, Wales

If you’ve ever travelled to Wales before, then you know it’s such a lush, beautiful country, filled with some of the UK’s oldest castles and abbeys – most of which are crumbling now. It’s safe to say that House of the Dragon’s crew took advantage of this gilded history, as they headed to Conwy county, and more specifically to the Penmachno Roman Bridge.

The bridge dates back to the 17th century and it’s actually two arched stone bridges, not one! They are both covered in moss and other greenery, giving them a mystical vibe which is very apt for the world of Westeros which dabbles in the occasional magic. What this area was used for, we’ll have to wait to find out, but this is definitely one of the coolest House of the Dragon filming locations on the list!

7. Warner Bros. Leavesden Studio, Hertfordshire, England

The Warner Bros. studio was used extensively as a House of the Dragon filming location, simply because of the diversity it offers (and also the fact you don’t have to zone off as many public streets!). Many interior scenes take place here, including the dim halls of The Red Keep and Dragonstone, but some exteriors were filmed here as well! 

For example, the Driftmark docks where Corlys’ ship, the Sea Snake, is receiving some TLC (or, repairs), were all a set at the studio. The Red Keep’s courtyard was also built here, as well as the mystical godswood forest of Harrenhal. 

This studio has been used for many famous productions over the years, such as the beloved Harry Potter, which we believe is the gateway series into the Game of Thrones universe. 

Up next

Recommended by us

Stop dreaming and make sh*t happen!