U.S. Game of Thrones fans rush to snap up land within the famous Glens of Antrim

Sunday, 6 September 2015  |  Admin

U.S. fans become legally certified landowners and can use the Irish title of ‘Squireen’

The scenic North Coast of Ireland - US-based fans of hit TV series Game of Thrones have been snapping up plots of land in the Glens of Antrim, according to a family-run business that is fighting deforestation by offering mini-chunks of the Glens’ stunning hillsides.

Owners of Emerald Heritage say the phenomenal success of the series – much of which is filmed at locations throughout The Glens where the land is located - has led to a deluge of the fans snapping up their own little slice of the area for an affordable £29.99.

As well as gaining a unique souvenir, buyers become legally certified owners of Irish land which allows them to take the ancient Irish tradition title of ‘Squireen’, or translated into English ‘Squire’ or ‘Squiress meaning ‘Irish Landowner’.

Lyn Nelson, director of Emerald Heritage - the social enterprise behind the business, said: “Many people in the United States already feel a deep connection with Ireland and we’ve seen interest in this stunning area increase dramatically as it is showcased in one of the most popular programmes in the world.   We’ve tapped into that interest in a way that allows people to claim a pocket of land nestled in the Glens Wood, but in a way that will also protect the local heritage.

“It’s very much about profit with purpose and that’s struck a chord with people who want to connect with the land and preserve it for future generations. In the last year we’ve had customers from across the United States and also from as far as Puerto Rico, Australia, Canada and across Europe. All are now proud micro-land owners with some having made the visit to plant a tree or leave a small plaque in their own plot. It’s thrilling to be with them when they view their own piece of Ireland for the first time.”

The creative concept has caught the attention of PBS Media who have filmed it for two top rated programmes - Jet Set and Travel in Style – that are broadcast to more than 60 million viewers in the United States, Russia, China and the Middle East.

As part of the shows, scenes at Ballygally Castle Hotel, the Causeway Coastal Route and locations used in Game of Thrones will also feature.

The Glens area saw off stiff competition from several luxury destinations around the world to join Monaco, Venice and Mauritius on the exclusive list of places featured in the programmes.

Ms Nelson from the business, which was only set up last year, added: “This is an exciting and rare opportunity for us and for the wider Causeway Coast and Glens area. The region boasts some of the world’s most stunning locations and while millions of travellers make their way here each year, its potential remains significant. These broadcasts will give us an invaluable boost in some of our core tourism and business areas, particularly North America where one of the shows goes out on the US Travel Channel.”

Richard Hall, managing director of PBS Media, added: “This is an area that has so much to offer producers and tourists alike, it’s not hard to see what keeps bringing them back year on year.

“Many people think they already know the Causeway Coast and Glens, but as we’re keen to show, the incredible locations, warmth of the people and the diversity of experiences mean there is always an adventure around each corner. “The area is a perfect fit for our programmes and rarely have we been challenged to condense so much potential content from one visit.

“Meeting with Lyn and hearing the story behind Emerald Heritage has been a real highlight. It’s not often tourists have a chance to legally and affordably own a part of a stunning destination and do a small bit to conserve the nearby environment.”

Both ‘Jet Set’ and ‘Travel in Style’ will air in the coming weeks.

You can purchase a piece of Irish Land here