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blown away Game of Thrones actor Ian Beattie says the show was 'was the biggest gift ever given' to Northern Ireland

Game of Thrones fans will be 'blown away' by the newly opened interactive experience in Banbridge where visitors can now experience the smash hit series' sets and costumes

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Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant

Game of Thrones "was the biggest gift ever given" to Northern Ireland, actor Ian Beattie said ahead of the world's first and only Game of Thrones Studio Tour's big opening weekend.

Located at Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge, Co Down - about a half hour's drive from Belfast - the £40m (€48m) visitor attraction brings Westeros to life and is a must-visit for fans of the HBO series.

The new 110,000-square-foot interactive experience will allow fans to explore an array of original sets, costumes, props and set pieces, with the aim of bringing visitors closer to the Seven Kingdoms than ever before.

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Ian Beattie played Ser Meryn Trant in the series

Ian Beattie played Ser Meryn Trant in the series

Ian Beattie played Ser Meryn Trant in the series

And Belfast native Beattie, who starred as Ser Meryn Trant in the show, thinks the highly anticipated tourist attraction will "blow the fans away."

Speaking at the tour's launch, he said: "Everything that people will see during this studio tour - these are the outfits that we used, those were the swords, those were the props, that was the set we walked on.

"Also, fans will get an extraordinary glimpse into the behind the-scenes process of Game of Thrones; the prosthetics, the costume design, the set design, the building of the sets.

"What particularly captured me this morning walking through was once again being reminded of the incredible attention to detail that every aspect of this show presented. Sometimes when you were watching the show, you didn't get to see that detail. You can do so here.

"For me, it brought back some stunning memories," he added.

Fans can now experience the magic of Game of Thrones for themselves at the Studio Tour and step inside original sets used in the show.

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Prosthetics Department

Prosthetics Department

Prosthetics Department

The tour takes visitors on a journey through the Seven Kingdoms, beginning in the sub-arctic unknown that lies Beyond the Wall and travelling to the iconic Great Hall at Winterfell, Daenerys Targaryen's Dragonstone throne, and so much more.

Beginning with a bang, visitors step through the Eastwatch Gate and are immediately transported to north of the Wall as temperatures drop and giants' grunts echo throughout.

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Weapons master Tommy Dunne

Weapons master Tommy Dunne

Weapons master Tommy Dunne

After coming face-to-face with both Wildlings and White Walkers, fans get the opportunity to learn how the Game of Thrones sets were brought to life through blueprints and 3D models before visiting Castle Black to see the exact spot where Jon Snow was resurrected by Melisandre in Season 6.

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One of the impressive sets

One of the impressive sets

One of the impressive sets

Costumes are on display, such as Sansa's gown from her dramatic wedding to Joffrey Baratheon and suits of armour worn by The Hound and The Mountain.

There is also an armoury bursting with hundreds of swords and daggers, as well as some giant dragon skulls sculpted from polystyrene foam that stand at 11ft tall.

By far the most impressive set in Linen Mills Studios is the Red Keep in King's Landing with its 28.6 by 34.4ft Map Courtyard and, of course, the iconic Iron Throne Room.

While many of the King's Landing scenes were filmed on location in Spain, Croatia and Malta, the inside of the royal castle was constructed at home in Banbridge.

The red stone walls, ceilings, and pillars combined with decorative vines and suits of armour make you feel like a Lannister overlooking Blackwater Bay.

But the tour doesn't stop there - visitors will have their own unique Game of Thrones experience as there are dozens of interactive exhibits peppered throughout.

You'll get the chance to kill some Wights using a bow and arrow, design your own family sigil, and try on some of the prosthetics and make-up used in the series.

And while ticket prices begin at £39.50/€47.35 for adults, making it one of the most expensive visitor attractions ever to open in Ireland, the Game of Thrones Studio Tour is sure to keep tourists flocking to Northern Ireland for years to come.

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