House of the Dragon filming locations: From Cornwall to Cáceres - your guide to where the Game of Thrones prequel was filmed

Ahead of the release of the Game of Thrones spin-off, discover the filming locations for the epic fantasy series - including medieval European towns and sweeping Cornish beaches.

By Sophia Moir Updated: 20 September 2022 - 10.47am
House of the Dragon filming locations

Stream House of the Dragon weekly on Sky Atlantic with NOW from Monday 22 August.

Among all the plotting, bloodshed and flying dragons, one of the most stunning aspects of House of the Dragon is the show's stunning filming locations.

From Northern Ireland and Iceland to Malta and Croatia, the incredible filming locations that brought to life the Seven Kingdoms in Game of Thrones became tourist hot spots.

So it’s fair to say that fantasy fans are eager to discover which epic backdrops are being used in the prequel series, House of the Dragon - airing on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW in the UK, and HBO in the States.

All House of the Dragon filming locations

HBO previously confirmed that the main production HQ for the 10-part series was Warner Bros Leavesden Studios in Watford, England, where the interior sets were constructed and filmed.

In fact, in what’s been described as a ‘game-changing’ piece of technology, an LED video stage was constructed to add real-time backgrounds to scenes. 

But fans needn’t worry about not seeing otherworldly locations on the show, as filming locations for House of the Dragon include historic and medieval towns in Spain and Portugal, as well as various places in England such as sweeping beaches in Cornwall and villages in the Peak District in Derbyshire. 

Discover our complete guide to the House of the Dragon filming locations... 

Cáceres and Trujillo, Spain

HBO returned to Cáceres in Spain to film scenes for House of The Dragon, after the filming location was previously used in Game of Thrones (it stood in for the Lannister stronghold, King's Landing, in season 7, according to Yahoo UK). 

The Old Town of Cáceres in the western region of Extremadura is a Unesco World Heritage Site described by Unesco as featuring a blend of Roman, Islamic, Northern Gothic and Italian Renaissance styles.

Various locations in the historic city were used extensively to represent the streets of King's Landing in House of the Dragon. 

The medieval town of Trujillo, 45km east of Cáceres, was also used for filming, according to the Spanish newspaper Hoy. It was also previously used in Game of Thrones season 7. Photos shared on a House of the Dragons fan account on Twitter showed Targaryen soldiers in the background, while the set was being constructed.

Monsanto and Penha Garcia, Portugal 

Filming took place at the unique, historical village of Monsanto in Portugal. Nicknamed the City of Stones, Monsanto was voted the 'most Portuguese village in Portugal'. The hilltop location features gigantic boulders and a medieval castle, now in ruins.

A nearby castle at Penha Garcia, which has amazing views as well as a picturesque village below, was also used for filming, according to the Portugal Film Commission

Cornwall, Surrey and Derbyshire, England

Filming took place throughout Cornwall in south west England, including Holywell Bay Beach, a classic north Cornish beach and National Trust site, which was used for sweeping exterior shots.

Cornwall Live reports that Holywell Bay is “a peaceful beach that oversees amazing views, such as the famous Gull Rocks”. The area is known as Poldark's Beach as it featured so heavily in the BBC period drama.

In 2021, Actor Matt Smith, who plays Prince Daemon Targaryen, and Emma D’Arcy, who plays Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, were both spotted filming there. In the first look images to promote House of the Dragon (featured at the top of this page) the scenic, sandy beach is shown as the shot’s epic backdrop. 

Other Cornish filming locations included St Michael's Mount, which is being used to depict Driftmark, the ancestral seat of House Velaryon.

In episode 5, We Light The Way, we saw the stunning island and its beaches. It is open to National Trust visitors, as Princess Rhaenyra and King Viserys visited the Velaryon family to strike a deal.

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According to Hampshire Live, filming also took place at Caesar's Camp, a hill fort straddling the border of the counties of Surrey and Hampshire. In September 2021, a large set was put up at the site in Aldershot built within the trees featuring a range of tents. One image shared on social media of the filming showed the Targaryen sigil banner outside one of the tents.

That same month, the BBC reported that Matt Smith was spotted filming the series in the Peak District village of Castleton, Derbyshire. Filming locations are reported to include Cave Dale, Eldon Hill Quarry and the Market Place.

Where was the War for the Stepstones filmed?

The War for the Stepstones

Season one, episide three, Second of His Name, featured House of the Dragon's first big battle sequence - The War for the Stepstones..

The war between Prince Daemon Targaryen, Coryls Velaryon and the Triarchy - led by the dreaded Crab Feeder - featured dramatic and violent scenes alongside the caves and coast.

The Stepstones scenes were filmed in Kynance Cove, a National Trust beach.

House of the Dragon key art

Where was Game of Thrones filmed?

Locations used for filming Game of Thrones have become popular tourist spots for fans of the show and Northern Ireland has made tours of famous landmarks from the series to bring in tourism.

A lot of recurring sets were filmed in Paint Hall studios in Belfast, but other locations used across Europe included Iceland for those frosty scenes in the North and Croatia, Spain and Malta for some of the show's stunning exterior shots.

Dubrovnik and Split, in Croatia, were used for King's Landing, Lokrum, an island in the Adriatic Sea, was used for Qarth, the home of House Martell was in Alcázar de Sevilla, Spain and the Dothraki Sea was actually the Glens of Antrim in Northern Ireland.

Other memorable locations included Castle Ward in Northern Ireland, which acted as Winterfell, Ballintoy Harbour in Northern Ireland which was used for the Iron Islands, and  Iceland's Myrdalsjokull glacier, the Hverfjall volcano, and the Vatnajökull glacier, which were used for the chilling scenes Beyond the Wall.

Stream House of the Dragon weekly on Sky Atlantic with NOW from Monday 22 August.

 

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