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Where was Normal People filmed? Take a virtual road trip around Ireland

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Hollie Richardson
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A still from Normal People on BBC Three.

Obsessed with Normal People? Take a look at the real life filming locations, from Ireland to Italy and back again.

Normal People is already one of 2020’s most praised TV series. Pretty much everyone is talking and tweeting about the adaptation of Sally Rooney’s hit second novel. And no, it’s not just because we’re all stuck indoors at the moment. It truly is a brilliant retelling of Marianne and Connell’s story.

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Part of its allure is down to the aesthetics of the series. The story takes us around Ireland, from the rural Sligo coastline to Dublin’s thriving and historical centre. We also see the characters take a scenic trip to Marianne’s villa in beautiful Italy.

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Although it might be a while before we start making holiday plans again, the show has given us some serious inspiration for future weekend trips – and we won’t need to travel far. Let’s take a look at the filming locations for some of Normal People’s most memorable scenes. 

Normal People: the beach is in Sligo, Ireland
Normal People: the beach is in Sligo, Ireland

Sligo, Ireland

Marianne and Connell live in County Sligo on Ireland’s northwestern coast. The real town of Tubbercurry was used as the set of the fictional town of Carricklea. The beautiful beach scenes were shot on  Streedagh Beach, with the mountainous Ben Bulben providing the backdrop. 

The New Year’s Eve scene was filmed at Brennan’s Pub. Speaking about the importance of using local sets, director Lenny Abrahamson told Tourism Ireland: “We shot in this absolutely gorgeous pub, run by a brother and sister, really unchanged, I would say for decades. That was very magical. It’s a particularly special experience to go to a genuine Irish pub, and I’m glad we got to put that one on film.”

Normal People filming locations.
Normal People: Dublin Trinity College is a huge part of the story.

Dublin, Ireland

Trinity College Dublin plays a huge part in Normal People, driving the narrative about class divides, character development and new relationships. In fact, Abrahamson has even described the college as being a character in itself. Many of the Trinity scenes were filmed in and around the real building, which you can book tours around when visiting Dublin.  The front square area, the Robert Emmet Theatre, the cricket pitches and the library were all used for filming.

Normal People: Marianne and Connell visit Italy.
Normal People: Marianne and Connell visit Italy.

Trieste, Italy

Halfway through the story, Connell and his flatmate visit Marianne and her friends at her villa in Trieste, northeastern Italy. Away from the gorgeous (and huge!) villa, the pair go on a cycle around the town. However, according to travel website Lonely Planet, it’s not actually confirmed if they filmed in Trieste or elsewhere in Italy. Either way, we’ll be happy to visit a beautiful rural Italian village once it’s safe to travel again. 

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Images: BBC

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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