We all deserve a break, and while jetting off to a far-off sun-kissed location might not look like a feasible option right now, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a holiday. The near future is uncertain, and whether it’s down to quarantine concerns, local restrictions, or purely preference, most people are choosing to stick with staycations for the foreseeable future.

According to Google search trends, the word “staycation” is bigger than ever (up 10 per cent year on year). Luckily, there is a wealth of holiday options on our doorstep, and the prospect of an Irish holiday is certainly piquing peoples’ interests this year. One Irish property website, MyHome.ie, reported a surge of interest, with a 112 per cent increase in searches for “Irish holiday homes” in June 2020 compared to the same period the year before.

Yes, the lockdown has played a large role in us wanting to stay closer to home this year, but the surge in interest in Irish holidays might also have something to do with the films and TV shows we’ve been watching while stuck in the house. Ireland has a wealth of staycation options for the film-savvy traveller, and you don’t need to go as far as you might have thought to get a taste of adventure.

If you’re one of the many planning an Irish staycation for 2020, why not take inspiration from the locations of some classic films and TV shows? Here are our top tips.

County Antrim

Inspired by: Game of Thrones

Any fan of Game of Thrones will feel right at home in County Antrim. The show was filmed over an eight-year period, so there are plenty of locations in Ireland that are bound to trigger your memory – 49 of which are in County Antrim. From Winterfell and the Dark Hedges to the House of Stark, you’ll be thrilled to see some of the classic locations straight from George R. R. Martin’s fantasy world come to life. For the mega-fans out there, you could even embark upon an organised Game of Thrones tour to get all of the insider knowledge!

Wicklow Mountains National Park

Inspired by: Vikings

For another fantastical staycation option, head to the Wicklow Mountains National Park and feel transported back to the time of the Vikings. The series used many filming locations in the East of Ireland, including Blessington Lakes and Powerscourt Waterfall, so this area would be perfect for Vikings fans and nature enthusiasts alike to enjoy an Irish getaway.

Curracloe Strand

Inspired by: Saving Private Ryan

You might be surprised to know that the D-Day Landings in the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan were actually filmed in Ireland, on Ballinesker Beach, Curracloe Strand to be exact. Any history buffs looking for a close-to-home getaway location are sure to enjoy a break at Curracloe Strand. History, movies, and a beautiful beach – what more could you ask for?

Derry

Inspired by: Derry Girls

If you’re more of a sitcom person, then you probably binge-watched the beloved Northern Ireland-based show Derry Girls. Although most of the filming took place in Derry, as to be expected, many scenes were also shot in Belfast and Southern Ireland – so Derry Girls fans have their pick of locations! Of course, to get a real taste of the beloved show, a staycation in Derry is your number one option.

Whether you’re excited to throw on your walking boots for a countryside getaway, or you’re already mentally packing your dresses for a weekend in a town or city, Ireland and Northern Ireland have staycation options to suit every kind of film or TV enthusiast. Go ahead and put your lockdown-induced screen time to good use, and take a break from daily life to dive right into the location of your favourite film or show!

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