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The House of the Dragon TV series is the latest in the HBO Game of Thrones franchise and is a prequel that takes place 172 years before Daenerys Targaryen’s Battle for King’s Landing.
Many people wonder where Driftmark was filmed in House of the Dragon with the scenes featuring High Tide castle.
Well, you may be surprised to know that these scenes were all filmed in Cornwall on the ancient tidal island of St Michael’s Mount!
They filmed scenes that featured two episodes here and fans will love the fact that you can visit for yourself.
Here are all the St Michael’s Mount House of the Dragon filming locations & how to visit Driftmark in real life.
Where in Cornwall was House of the Dragon filmed?
The highly anticipated Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, was filmed in many dramatic locations across the UK including Surrey, Hampshire, and the Peak District.
Beady-eyed fans will also recognise some of the prettiest beaches in Cornwall were used as filming locations as well.
You’ll find scenes from Holywell Bay and Kynance Cove but the most recognisable by far is St Michael’s Mount in West Cornwall!
Where was Driftmark filmed in House of the Dragon?
That’s right, the ancient tidal island of St Michael’s Mount was where they filmed the scenes for Driftmark in the House of the Dragon.
This includes High Tide castle, where King Viserys and Princess Rhaenrya visit to join forces with the Velaryon family.
In Westeros, Driftmark is located in Blackwater Bay. It is the seat of the Lord of the Tides and Master of Ships and in the series is ruled by Lord Corlys Velaryon.
St Michael’s Mount House of the Dragon filming locations
So, if you’re curious as to where the House of the Dragon was filmed on St Michael’s Mount, keep reading!
I have included all of the locations in this guide including the causeway, castle, gardens, and the area surrounding the mount too.
Here is a list of all the St Michael’s Mount House of the Dragon filming locations in Cornwall.
Warning: If you haven’t watched series 1 of House Of The Dragon yet then there may be some major spoilers below…
1. St Michael’s Mount Causeway / Targaryen Caravan
We first see St Michael’s Mount causeway in House of the Dragon episode 5 ‘We Light The Way’.
This is when King Viserys Targaryen travels with the younger Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in a caravan toward High Tide castle.
This visit to Driftmark was to create a treaty between the Targaryens and the Velaryons with Rhaenyra’s hand in marriage to Laenor Velaryon.
Later, we see an incredible birds-eye view of High Tide castle where the younger Laenor is sparring with his lover Ser Joffrey Lonmouth.
2. St Michael’s Mount Castle / High Tide Castle
Once the Targaryen party arrives at High Tide castle they are met with a rather icy welcome at the gates.
Lord Corlys does not greet and receive King Viserys as he has just returned from a long journey and instead his children are there to greet him.
We only see the front of St Michael’s Mount castle as High Tide. The rest of the indoor scenes were filmed in a studio. But, it’s still very cool to have seen it in the show!
You can climb the very same steps as the Tagaryens to explore High Tide castle but it will look very different from the show inside.
3. The Boiling Cauldron / Funeral of Lady Laena Velaryon
The third time we see St Michael’s Mount in House of the Dragon is in episode 7 ‘Driftmark’.
These scenes follow the tragic death of Prince Daemon’s wife, Laena Velaryon. After nearly dying in childbirth she commands Vhagar to incinerate her.
The Targaryen and Velaryon family are gathered on the rocks surrounding High Tide Castle / St Michael’s Mount in an area known as ‘The Boiling Cauldron’.
This is where they throw Laena’s coffin into the sea to lay her to rest as is the tradition of the Velaryon house.
This part of the mount isn’t normally accessible to the public but you can get a really good view of the rocks from above at the cannon battlements in front of St Michael’s Mount castle.
Also, there are scenic boat trips that make a trip around the island planned for the summer so you can take a closer peek.
4. St Michael’s Mount Gardens / Family funeral gathering
After the burial at sea, we then see a view of St Michael’s Mount castle from the gardens in the same episode ‘Driftmark’.
We see some of the dragons flying over the castle and then a family gathering around a Velaryon temple. This temple wasn’t CGI – it was specifically built here as a set for the show!
The Targaryens and Velaryons gather here in a wake and lots of family drama occurs like Aegon getting too drunk, Laenor crying in the sea and fights breaking out everywhere.
Although the temple was taken down straight after filming, you can still see this epic view of the castle and sea from St Michael’s Mount gardens.
5. St Michael’s Mount Harbour / Market Place
Along St Michael’s Mount Harbour, there were market stalls set up for filming House of the Dragon.
You can find this location as soon as you enter the mount and pass by the houses on the opposite side.
The area beside it is where the film crew set up the production vans, food tents, makeup, and break areas between filming scenes!
How to visit House of the Dragon’s Driftmark aka St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall
If you wanted to visit High Tide & Driftmark from House of the Dragon for yourself then you will need to head to the very south of England to Cornwall (Kernow).
This is a stunning county filled with white-sand beaches, hidden coves, historic mines, and smugglers’ tunnels! The scenery is so dramatic you could easily imagine you were in Westeros.
St Michael’s Mount is located in the ancient market town of Marazion and you will need to park here to access the causeway that allows you to walk over to St Michael’s Mount.
You can only walk over to the island at low tide so make sure you check tide timings before you go! In summer, when the water is high enough, they provide a boat service at a small charge.
St Michael’s Mount address is Marazion TR17 0HS. Click here for a Google Pin!
Click here to read my complete guide on how to visit St Michael’s Mount
St Michael’s Mount parking
If you’re arriving in Marazion by car, there are large car parks provided right beside the beach next to the mount. These are clearly signposted on your arrival to the town.
There is a Short Stay car park (max 3 hours) and a Long Stay car park. I would personally recommend the Long Stay as you will need lots of time to cross the causeway and explore the mount!
Parking in the Long Stay car park is 1 hour £1, 2 hours £2.50, 3 hours £4, 5 hours £5, and up to 10 hours £7.50. All-day parking is £12.
Note: although St Michael’s Mount attractions are free for National Trust members, parking is not included with your membership. Everyone pays for parking to visit the mount.
St Michael’s Mount castle & garden opening times and prices
As St Michael’s Mount is a tidal island with a causeway, you can pop over anytime that the tide is low. However, the mount is always closed on Saturdays to give the island residents a rest!
If you wanted to visit High Tide Castle or the St Michael’s Mount gardens you will need to be here for their opening times.
The Harbour Village and St Michael’s Mount Castle are open all year but the gardens are only open Monday to Friday throughout May and August.
When both the castle and gardens are open during the summer months, the opening times are 9.30 am – 5 pm every day of the week except Saturdays.
The harbour and village are free to visit from October to March. But, the castle and gardens require a ticket.
Although you can buy castle and garden tickets separately, it’s much more cost-efficient to purchase a combination ticket these are £26 an adult and £14 a child. A ticket is required to access the island from May to the end of September.
If you’re a National Trust member you get to enter the castle and gardens for free. But, you must book tickets online beforehand.
Click here for more details on prices and opening times on the St Michael’s Mount website
Facilities on St Michael’s Mount
Beyond St Michael’s Mount Castle and Gardens, there are plenty of facilities on St Michael’s Mount if you just wanted to visit the island.
As soon as you reach the mount over the causeway, you’ll find a lovely gift shop that sells some fabulous Cornish souvenirs that you can take home or shop for loved ones.
There is also the Island Café that serves up coffee, tea, cold drinks, light lunches, and homemade treats throughout the day.
They have a mix of outdoor and indoor seating depending on the weather and you get panoramic views of the causeway and ocean from there.
For those looking for something a little bit special, the newly refurbished Harbour Loft serves delicious Afternoon Teas for visitors to enjoy with a Cornish and Mount-inspired theme. They use fresh local ingredients and some have even been foraged from the island’s garden.
There are also some toilets, a ferry boat service when the tide is high, and a Harbourside area to explore as well.
Related post – secrets, myths, and legends of St Michael’s Mount
Other House of the Dragon filming locations in Cornwall & UK
If you were looking to visit other UK House of the Dragon filming locations you’ll find some close by in Cornwall.
Kynance Cove was the beach they used for The Stepstones. This is where Daemon Targaryen, Corlis Velaryon, and the Triarchy battle it out in the War of the Stepstones.
Holywell Bay is another beach that was featured where Daemon Targaryen and Rhaenyra Targaryen decide to join forces against the Greens.
Also, there are many more filming locations across the UK including Hampshire, Surrey, and the Peak District with Cave Dale and Eldon Hill Quarry.
Where to stay near St Michael’s Mount?
If you’re looking for truly unique and spectacular cottages in Cornwall, then look no further than St Aubyn Estates Cottages.
They have renovated many historic properties on the ‘wild west’ Cornish coastline and they are perfect for exploring this part of the county.
I stayed at their new property Pendower Cottage which is located in Porthgwarra Cove and overlooked the bay! Click here to read my complete review.
It was so cosy and had underfloor heating, duo rainfall showers, a log fire burner, high-tech kitchen, and comfy king-size bed.
It was the perfect secluded spot and was in touching distance of the South West Coast Path. From here, you can explore hidden gems like Nanjizal Beach and Gwenapp Head.
Click here to book your stay with St Aubyn Estates Cottages
Read more of my Cornwall guides
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The Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle
How to visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan
Things to do at the Jamaica Inn
How to visit Golitha Falls in Cornwall
A complete guide for the Cheesewring Hike
How to visit Tregothnan Estate in Cornwall
Things to do in Mousehole Cornwall
A complete guide to Porthgwarra Cove
Why you must visit Minack Theatre
Secrets of the Admiral Benbow Inn