Even the sounds of the route are the on-screen stars

Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Inisherin

There are so many sensory elements to sampling the Wild Atlantic Way — but one of the more unusual ones is the potential of the sound of the route.

In the last few years, several drama series for TV and streaming have been filmed along the west of Ireland coastline, and the constant fingerprint of that has been the sound of the Atlantic waves lashing against the rocks of Clare and Galway.

The sound, left in and amplified by the filmmakers to give a sense of place, act in the same way that US filmmakers use the sounds of the Californian coast, which is in itself, not too unlike the west of Ireland.

While the world got to see the wonders of the route in The Banshees of Inisherin, TC shows such as Smother and North sea Connection have had at their heart, an extra character, that being the Wild Atlantic Way.

From Hollywood blockbusters to captivating screen romances, and most notably a journey to a galaxy far, far away, the spectacular panoramas of Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way have provided the backdrop for some of cinema's most iconic and enduring moments.

In Banshees, the delightful vista of Achill and Aran combined to create a fictional Inisherin for one of the most captivating stories of recent movie history. In Smother, the house of the Ahern family was the wonderful Moy House at Lahinch, an 18th century dwelling that overlooks the Clare Atlantic coast.

In North Sea Connections, the Connemara coast and the delights of Roundstone were featured in the crime series.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was one of the most eagerly awaited films in recent movie history, and the Skellig Michael island off the coast of County Kerry was a key location. The strange, isolated landscape lends itself perfectly to the mind-bending galactic universe of the iconic Star Wars series. Visitors can admire its unique silhouette from land on the Ring of Kerry route or from Bray Head, and the island itself can take a small amount of visitors from passenger boats.

In Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, the towering Cliffs of Moher on the Wild Atlantic Way coastline are now Ireland's most visited natural attraction. But their impressive scale and size were also used for a pivotal scene featuring the boy wizard and Professor Dumbledore in the penultimate Harry Potter film.

Audiences loved Marley and Me, this warm and fuzzy movie about a family's relationship with their loyal dog. When the main characters, played by Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson go on a belated honeymoon, they visit the gorgeous Connemara landscape on the Wild Atlantic Way, including the scenic village of Roundstone.

The Field which was shot in Leenane was adapted from John B. Keane's acclaimed play, directed by Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In America ) and starring the legendary Richard Harris, this Oscar-nominated film is a stark and powerful portrayal of conflict and pride. The coveted land featured in the film can be found in Leenane and Ashleigh in County Galway, and is an enthralling character in itself.

Further back, Ryan's Daughter, the 1970s Oscar-winning romance was perhaps one of the first Wild Atlantic Way promoters. This David Lean-directed epic starred Robert Mitchum and was filmed on the stunning coastline of the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, including an epic opening scene on Inch Strand. Villagers from the town of Dunquin were hired as extras in the film and visitors later flocked to see where iconic scenes were shot. The same idyllic locations were also used over thirty years later for the Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman film Far and Away.

A true family favourite and fantasy comedy cult classic, The Princess Bride has delighted audiences of all ages for almost thirty years, and is regularly voted as one of the greatest films of all time. However, what fans might not know is that the film's Cliffs of Insanity, which feature in one of the film's most famous moments, were actually the Cliffs of Moher along the Wild Atlantic Way!


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