The wait is over and we can finally announce the details of our 2013 Coach tour. We apologise that this has taken a few weeks longer than we would have wanted but this has been a difficult tour to arrange with several different venues to negotiate with, some of which didn't work out in terms of time, money and practicality. But we're really pleased with the Game of Thrones filming locations we have lined up and a fantastic venue for our medieval feast. For those that preferred the atmosphere inside the great hall at Castle Ward to last year's marquee at Shane's Castle, we are pleased to say we have found a beautiful hall at Clandeboye Estate big enough to seat 150 people and we also offer spectacular entertainment with a fire dancing show by Ignition.
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Screenshots from Game of Thrones © HBO 2011-2013
|9:45 am||Depart Wellington Park Hotel, Belfast|
|11:00 am||Arrive Inch Abbey|
|11:45 pm||Depart Inch Abbey|
|12:15 pm||Arrive River Quoile|
|12:45 pm||Depart River Quoile|
|1:15 pm||Arrive Audley's Castle|
|2:00 pm||Depart Audley's Castle|
|3:00 pm||Arrive Whitespots Country Park|
|3:45 pm||Depart Whitespots Country Park|
|4:00 pm||Arrive Clandeboye Estate|
|Fire Dancing entertainment by Ignition|
|8:30 pm||Depart Clandeboye Estate|
|8:45 pm||Drop off at Belfast City Airport|
|8:50 pm||Drop off at Europa Bus Station|
|9:00 pm||Arrive Wellington Park Hotel, Belfast|
Please note that the itinerary times are rough estimates and are subject to alteration.
Lunch is not included in this tour and therefore we recommend bringing your own packed lunch and a bottle of water with you. There is a newsagents just opposite the Wellington Park Hotel where you can buy supplies in the morning. Eating on the bus is allowed but please make sure you take all rubbish [US translation: trash] with you afterwards.
Please make sure you bring appropriate clothing and footwear for the weather conditions.
New for this year we will be running a Game of Thrones Quiz during the drives between each stop on the tour. We won't be revealing details about the format of the quiz until you get on board on the day. We can say that we'll have fantastic prizes for the winners and it should be a lot of fun for everyone!
The first stop on our 2013 Coach Tour is a return visit to Inch Abbey which was a stop on our 2011 Tour. We sincerely hope it doesn't rain like it did on that particular day. It was wet enough to force many people to remain on the bus so we wanted to return and give people the chance to see this incredible place. Inch Abbey was the location of Robb Stark's camp in season one. It was here that Robb was proclaimed the King in the North, where Catelyn and Robb first learned of Ned's death (with Robb hacking angrily at that tree) and was also the location where Catelyn first interrogated Jaime Lannister including that unforgettable line "There are no men like me, there's only me."
Following the heartbreaking events of the Red Wedding in season three I think it only appropriate that we hold a memorial service for the King in the North in the beautiful Inch Abbey where it all began for him. The North Remembers and will never forget.
Next up we'll be visiting the wooden quay specially constructed by HBO for the funeral of Hoster Tully in season three. The Tully trout ornamentation is no longer there but the quay itself has been left in place and has become popular with local fisherman. There is some controversy about whether the quay should stay in place on the banks of the beautiful River Quoile so it's a good thing we are visiting this year because we would hate to have missed out if the local council decide to remove it.
No promises, but maybe we'll try to get a bow out there to recreate the scene where Edmure kept missing the shot to set light to his father's funeral boat. Any volunteers to play the Blackfish?
Audley's Castle is another location that was on the itinerary for our 2011 Coach Tour. However, the weather was against us that day and we never actually made it out there. Audley's Castle was used in several scenes. Firstly as the location of Robb's camp in season one, the scene where Catelyn and Rodrik Cassell meet up with Robb and his army. It was also the location of the Lannister camp in season one before the Battle of the Green Fork. And most recognisably this was the exterior location of The Twins in seasons one and three. The castle itself was of course digitally painted onto the landscape but the hill right by the ruin of Audley's Castle was where Robb waited for Catelyn to return with details of the fateful deal she made with Walder Frey.
Some of you may realise that returning to Audley's Castle means we are going to be just a mile or so away from Castle Ward, which was used as the original Winterfell courtyard in season one (before it was rebuilt elsewhere for season two), but the reason we're not returning to Castle Ward this year is because it would add an extra £6.00 per head for us to visit and it would also take a couple of hours to see all of the locations on site. Apologies to anyone that hasn't visited Castle Ward before but it didn't make practical sense to include it this year.
One of the most recognisable locations from season three is the windmill that Ygritte was so impressed with and where Bran and company were taking shelter and came close to meeting up with Jon Snow (I know it was so frustrating that they didn't get to say hello) as he fought the wildlings outside.
The windmill was part of the Conlig Lead Mines, though the broken windmill sail is of course not the original. It was added as set dressing for the show.
CORRECTION: We previously stated that this structure was on the Clandeboye Estate. This was an error on our part and we apologise for any confusion caused. The windmill is part of Whitespots Country Park.
From the windmill it is a short drive to Clandeboye Estate to the courtyard and hall where we'll be spending the rest of the afternoon and evening.
At the last two years we have had entertainment in the form of combat demonstrations from Clan Ulaidh, but this year we offer the chance to try your own hand with a selection of combat workshops run by trained professionals. Here is what we have to offer:
Or if you'd rather put your feet up and relax the bar will be open.
After the workshops have run their course we'll be holding a Circle of Treachery with our trained fighters battling it out for victory. You'll have the opportunity beforehand to buy a coloured ribbon (£1.00) for your chosen warrior and all those that backed the winner will be first in the queue for the Medieval Feast.
The beautiful banquet hall at Clandeboye Estate will create a very special atmosphere for this year's feast. The hall will be adorned with banners with seating for 150 people and additional space available in the adjacent bar area. Our caterer, Andy Mulholland of The Plough, Hilsborough, will be cooking up another delicious Hog Roast with all the trimmings for us to enjoy. Drinks are available from the bar.
After dinner, just as the sun goes down we'll move back out to the courtyard area for a spectacular fire dancing performance by Ignition.
Ignition have over 10 years’ experience of Fire Dancing, Circus Skills and making dreams come true. Specialising in Fire Fans, Body Burning, Fire Eating, Fire Poi Twirling, Fire Manipulation and Stilt Walking.
Ignition have performed all over Europe at many different events including The London Olympics 2012, The Princes' Trust Million Makers Awards, The Excel Centre London, Circus Rosa and The Levi Roots Festival.
All performers are fully covered by Public Liability Insurance and are proud to say they have a 100% successful safety record. They have never had an accident or incident.
This will be a spectacular finish to our day. Just make sure you pray to the Old Gods and the New that the weather stays dry and sunny...
We will be passing right past Belfast City Airport on the way back from Clandeboye Estate so we can offer the option of a drop off at around 8.45 pm for anyone that has a late evening flight to catch. There will be an option on the Coach Tour booking form for drop off at the airport. Please remember to bring all your luggage with you in the morning for storage on the bus.
For those that need to take a train or bus home after the Coach Tour we can offer drop off outside the Europa Bus Station and Great Victoria Street Railway Station. Please select this option on the Coach Tour booking form if you want to be dropped off at the Europa.
Once we're back at the Wellington Park Hotel the party doesn't have to end there. We've arranged for the upstairs bar to be open for the remainder of the evening. Also we have a Dead Dog Party (because that's what you feel like after a convention) in the Wellington Park Hotel bar on Monday 9 September from about 12.00 midday right through till the evening. So if you're in Belfast on Monday feel free to drop by and join us.
We are only able to accept online payments via Paypal. Please use the buttons to the right to take you to the correct payment page. PLEASE REMEMBER TO ALSO COMPLETE THE FORM (one per person) so that we can verify your details and match them up with your payment.
For those outside the UK please note that your payment will be converted into your local currency by Paypal.
Please note that you must also have a membership to TitanCon 2013 (ie: attendance on the Saturday) in order to hold a Coach Tour ticket. If you do not have a membership then please also visit our membership page, send payment of £25 (+ £1.20 Paypal transaction fee) and fill in the form on that page. But send your coach tour payment first otherwise you may miss out!
We do expect the Coach Tour tickets to sell out fairly quickly so please purchase as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.