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Watch Now, Travel to Northern Ireland Later - Top 8 Irish TV recommendations

Posted on: 2020-07-01 14:26:50Belfast  |  Northern Ireland

It’s no wonder so many famous films and TV programmes are written about Ireland. Whether they capture its rich history, magical landscape or undeniable sense of community, there’s plenty to talk about. Throughout lockdown we’ve had plenty of time to kick back and enjoy more screen time – so why not let it help you inspire your next domestic trip or staycation once restrictions are lifted? At Hastings Hotels, we’ve put together our list of films and TV programmes inspired by, written about, or, set in Ireland to capture your imagination.
Television –
The Fall (2013-) – Watch The Trailer Here
No. of Seasons: 3
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 95%
Whether you’re a fan of Gillian Anderson or Jamie Dorman, these two stars collaboratively pull off the ultimate British-Irish crime drama filmed and set in Northern Ireland. The psychological thriller delves into the lives of two hunters – one is a serial killer who preys on victims around Belfast (Jamie Dorman) and the other is a detective drafted from the London Metropolitan Police to catch him (Gillian Anderson). Interestingly Dorman originally auditioned for the part of the police officer.
Line of Duty (2012-) – Watch The Trailer Here
No. of Seasons: 5
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 97%
This BBC hit crime series has had fans flocking to visit the filming locations since the release in 2012. The plot follows an unauthorised firearms officer transferred to the anti-corruption unit after refusing to agree to cover-up an unlawful shooting by his own team. Onto an impressive season 6, the filming was underway just before lockdown so the anticipation amongst fans continues…
Derry Girls – Watch The Trailer Here
No. of Seasons: 2
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 98%
With season 3 of smash hit Channel 4 show, Derry Girls, on the horizon and predicted to land on our screens by May, now is the perfect time to squeeze in this new series – that you can visit the set of later this year. Hastings Hotels has unleashed a brand new tour package experience devoted to the show, where fans and to-be fans can watch now, travel later. The show follows the personal exploits of a 16-year-old girl and her family and friends during the Troubles in the early 1990s – and there are plenty of crackin’ lines and unforgettable moments.
Game of Thrones – Watch The Trailer Here
No. of Seasons: 8
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 98%
Everyone has heard of Game of Thrones and whether you’ve watched it or not, you’re aware of its fantasy storyline and spectacular cinematography – but did you know that much of the series was filmed in Northern Ireland? So much so that, like for Derry Girls, Hastings Hotels has its very own guided tour of the key locations. With more time on our hands, work your way through all eight seasons (you will not regret it) and you can visit the rugged coastlines and historic castles for yourself.
Films –
Cal (1984)  – Watch The Trailer Here
Run Time: 1h 42m
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 91%
A film of two star-crossed lovers, this Irish classic tells the story of Cal (John Lynch) a young man on the fringes of the I.R.A who falls in love with Marcella (Dame Helen Mirren), a Catholic woman whose husband, a Protestant policeman, was killed one year earlier by the I.R.A. Their mutual feelings of confusion and distress bring them together, but their relationship faces obstacles. The two main filming locations are Drogheda, one of the oldest towns in Ireland and Navan, the fifth largest town in Ireland both worth visiting for rich history and Irish culture.
The Magdalene Sisters (2003) – Watch The Trailer Here
Run Time: 2 hours
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 91%
This extraordinary film written and directed by Peter Mullan appeared on several US critics’ top ten lists of the best films of 2003. It delves into the lives of three teenage Irish girls in 1964 that are sent to a Magdalene asylum… Though their crimes aren’t criminal – one character is pregnant, another caught flirting, and another sentenced for being raped by a family member. This black comedy deals with many controversial issues surrounding mental and physical abuse of women at a Catholic Convent in Ireland. Notably, it won the best movie award at the Venice Film Festival and is based on true stories.
Brooklyn (2015) – Watch The Trailer Here
Run Time: 1h 51m
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 97%
A profoundly moving story follows the life of a young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Tempted by the promise land, America, the protagonist, Ellis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) leaves Ireland and the rest of her home comforts for the streets of New York City. Throughout this film Ellis faces multiple conflicts ultimately coming down to her final choice between two countries and the lives that exist within. Interestingly, for budgeting reasons, only two days of production were spent in Brooklyn with the rest shot in Montreal.
Good Vibrations (2013) – Watch The Trailer Here
Run Time: 97 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 94%
In 1970s Belfast, Terri Hooley, an idealistic rocker, finds himself caught in the middle of Northern Ireland’s bitter Troubles. What does he do? Opens a record shop, “Good Vibrations” introducing reggae music to the city to help encourage harmony. Distracted by punk rock, he soon becomes an important record producer instrumental in creating an alternative Irish community that would soon bridge his land’s religious and social rivalries with an art no one expected. 


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