Ireland is a bit of a film and TV hotspot. With just a little bit of digging you’ll find a plethora of films and tv shows that have shot in Ireland and Northern Ireland. To be fair, as a filmmaker, there’s a lot of appeal to filming on an island such as Ireland. There you can find mountain ranges, beautiful rolling hills and fields, forests, rocky and sandy shores, and old-world architecture and infrastructure that rivals that of any other. So to be fair, with all those options all within driving distance from each other, it’s a bit of a filmmakers paradise. Also worth noting, you can find Titanic Studios in Belfast; so if you need a traditional film set, you’re covered.
One of the most notable pieces of modern TV shot in Ireland is the show Game of Thrones (if you are not yet acquainted with it, I highly suggest becoming so). Why this show shoots so much in Ireland should be a no-brainer for you, it’s about ancient times with dragons and castles and that’s what a whole lot of Ireland looks like (minus the dragons).
In the ranks with GoT you’ll find some other films and shows that seem pretty obvious such as Harry Potter, Vikings, The Tudors, and Braveheart (even though that is about a Scotsman part of the film was shot in Ireland). What might be more surprising is that films such as The Italian Job, Saving Private Ryan, and Star Wars: Episode VII were shot partially in Ireland. The latter two aren’t actually too much of a surprise, Saving Private Ryan filmed much of the beach scene on the shores of the Republic of Ireland, and Star Wars filmed the Luke island scenes on Skellig Michael. The real surprise is in The Italian Job, you’d think “Hey there…isn’t that an action heist movie? What are they doing in a land of dragons and large other-worldly mountain expanses?”. But that’s where Ireland excels as a filming location! Not only can you cover your fantasy-style pictures, but with its large cities like Dublin and Belfast in Northern Ireland, you can cover your more modern based locations as well. The part of The Italian Job that was filmed in Ireland was filmed in Dublin in their Kilmainham Gaol prison, an important piece of Irish history that also can also fit perfectly for a prison scene in a heist film!
There have also been several films shot in Scotland. Of course, you’ll find Harry Potter and Braveheart, but you’ll also find that films such as Prometheus (a sci-fi action thriller based as a prequel to the Alien films) was shot in Scotland due to it’s rolling beautiful other-worldly landscapes!