A “game-changing” Game of Thrones visitor attraction has opened in Co Down.

Parts of sets, costumes, weapons and behind the scenes video clips are included in the exhibition at Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge, which was used during the filming of the HBO fantasy series.

The programme, watched by millions around the world, was principally filmed on location and in studios across Northern Ireland, showcasing the region internationally.

Two years after the show’s finale was aired in 2019, it has become a significant source of tourism.

Stormont Economy Minister, Gordon Lyons, described the opening of the world’s first and only officially-licensed Game of Thrones studio tour attraction as “game-changing” .

Mr Lyons described the show as a “television and cultural phenomenon” and paid tribute to local talent and crafts people who brought the story to the small screen.

“That Northern Ireland was the principal filming location is testament both to the quality of the places we have here, and to the highly skilled, screen industry, talent base available,” he said.

“I am delighted, therefore, that Linen Mill Studios, where a significant proportion of Northern Ireland-based scenes were filmed, has become the world’s first and only officially-licensed Game of Thrones studio tour attraction, and a tangible symbol of the show’s legacy in Northern Ireland.

Left to right, cast members Ian Beattie, Daniel Portman, Natalia Tena and Ian McElhinney pose for photos during a preview day of the Game Of Thrones Studio Tour at the Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge, Northern Ireland Left to right, cast members Ian Beattie, Daniel Portman, Natalia Tena and Ian McElhinney pose for photos during a preview day of the Game Of Thrones Studio Tour at the Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge, Northern Ireland (Niall Carson/PA)

“This is the only place on the planet where you can see first-hand some of the stunning sets, intricate costumes, imaginative props, breath-taking concept sketches and many more authentic items related to the show.”

Visiting the attraction on Wednesday morning before it opens to the public on Friday, Mr Lyons said the timing, coming after the coronavirus pandemic, “could not be more opportune”.

“As international travel opens up once more, Northern Ireland has added this world class attraction to its already dynamic tourism offering,” he said.

“I congratulate studio owners on bringing the project to fruition and look forward to seeing the positive impact the Game of Thrones Studio Tour has on the local tourism landscape for many years to come.”