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Normal People is amazing and if you haven’t had enough of the show and want to trace the steps of Marianne and Connell, then look no further.
In this article you learn everything you need to know about the Normal People Filming Locations in Ireland (and also Italy and Sweden).
But beware, this article contains some spoilers!
If you haven’t watched Normal People yet, then do it. As soon as possible! This drama series, which is largely set in Ireland, is arguably one of the best things 2020 has yet to offer.
The intimate looks, the intensity of the silent pauses, the ellipses between the episodes that reverberate the greatness of James Joyce’s Dubliners, the ordinary beauty of the sex scenes, the subtleties of gestures and a camerawork that gives you the immediacy as if you are directly involved in the lives of these vulnerable characters.
Extraordinary acting, extraordinary directing, stunning filming locations… this show is just mind-blowingly beautiful and will make you want to visit Ireland right away!
Background to the Normal People series
Normal People is a 12-part screen adaptation of Sally Rooney’s eponymous novel. This book from 2018 was loved by critics, Lena Dunham and Taylor Swift celebrated it and was justly longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. The New York Times even called Rooney “the first great millennial author.”
Now, once the drama series hit the screens of BBC and Hulu in April 2020, there are many that find the screen adaptation from Oscar-nominated directors Lenny Abrahamson and Hettie McDonald equally as convincing or even better! But judge for yourself. At least you know that you are in for a treat!
Looking for more information about visiting Ireland? Check out these posts:
- The Ultimate Ireland Guide to Harry Potter
- 6 Reasons why you should explore the Wild Atlantic Way
- Dublin 3-day itinerary – Discover Dublin’s highlights
- The best tips to see the Northern Lights in Ireland
The series follows Marianne Sheridan (played by Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell Waldron (played by Paul Mescal) from a small town in Sligo, Ireland. Marianne comes from a wealthy background (although not explicitly stated, she probably stems from an Anglo-Irish prostant family) and is a social outcast. Connell, on the other hand, is working class and popular.
The show explores their secret love and traces their struggles at school, at college and beyond to find themselves, love and some form of happiness. As Marianne and Connell weave in and of each other’s lives, the show delicately explores many pitfalls, pain and desire of young adulthood and shows us how difficult it is to find your position in life, to love and to be loved. The Guardian even said that young love never looked better.
Where is Normal People filmed in Ireland?
Normal people was largely filmed in Sligo and Dublin. In Sligo, the town Tubbercurry was the real-life stand-in for Marianne’s and Connell’s fictional hometown Carricklea. Some scenes were also shot on Streedagh Beach.
In Dublin, most of the filming took place at Trinity College Dublin. Other locations used during the filming of Normal People in Dublin include cafés and pubs in Rathmines, Marianne’s student home in Ballsbridge and the Hugh Lane Gallery.
Beyond Ireland, Normal People filming locations include Stimigliano and Sant’Oreste in Italy and Luleå in Sweden.
Where is Normal People Filmed in Sligo?
Most of the filming for Normal People in County Sligo took place in Tubbercurry in early July and early September 2019 for a week. Tubbercurry (also spelled Tobercurry) is the real-life pendant to the fictional town of Carricklea, in which Marianne and Connell grow up and go to school.
Below you find a list of the most important Normal People filming locations in Sligo.
Streedagh Beach in Sligo with Ben Bulben
The beautiful beach scenes, where Marianne and Connell go for a romantic date amidst swishy beachgrass, takes place at Streedagh Point. The wedge-shaped Ben Bulben mountain features as a dramatic backdrop for the scene and gives it also a poetic depth (the Irish national poet W. B. Yeats is buried here too).
Daisy Edgar-Jones describes her first experience of filming in this awe-inspiring Sligo scenery located on the Wild Atlantic Way to Tourism Ireland as follows: “It was just the most jaw-dropping entrance to any place I’ve ever experienced. When you see Ben Bulben in the distance it’s just immense.” In episode 11, we see Marianne gain some mental clarity by walking along the Streedagh Beach.
Nora and Nathy Brennan’s Pub on Teeling Street
Google Street View of Brennan’s Pub in Tubbercurry.
A lot of pub scenes in Normal People take place in Brennan’s Pub, for example the New Year’s eve scene in the last episode. Brennan’s is an old style traditional pub that conveys a cosy, local small town atmosphere. Here Marianne and Connell meet up with the school friends for social gatherings.
Director Lenny Abrahamson speaks about the importance of this authentic local setting: “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.”
Marianne’s family home in Carricklea – Knockmore House in Cookstown
Marianne’s grand family house is actually the Knockmore House in Cookstown in County Wicklow. The house dates back to 1850 and is located about five minutes drive from Enniskerry Village and Powerscourt House and Gardens and about half an hour south of Dublin.
In Normal People, the house features throughout the series and is intricately connected with Marianne’s past, her psyche and her outlook on life. Here Marianne and Connell kiss each other for the first time, here her brother abuses her, here she has fights with her mother.
Wolfe Tone Square in Tubbercurry
The Wolfe Tone Square is the main square of Tubbercurry, where Connell and his school friends hang out and have a smoke. This also features in other shots, for example when Connell drunkenly hooks up with his ex-teacher outside of Foleys Bar (The Crystal Lantern) in episode 7 or during Christmas time in the last episode.
Fun fact: As the scenes were shot in September 2019, the local inhabitants of Tubbercurry celebrated an early Christmas: “Locals in Tubbercurry were wishing each other happy Christmas last week as the town was lit up with Christmas lights and Christmas trees as well as window dressing of a Christmas variety.”
St. Brigid’s Hall Tubbercurry
Google Street View of St. Brigid’s Hall in Tubbercurry.
Here the nightclub scenes and probably also the Debs scene were shot. At least the website Tubbercurry.ie confirms that “a nightclub set was constructed aside St. Brigid’s Hall and filming took place late into the night on Wednesday for this particular scene. St. Brigid’s Hall provided catering and costume changes for the numerous extras being used.”
Killoran’s Traditional Restaurant & Lounge Bar on Teeling Street
Google Street View of Killoran’s in Tubbercurry.
The funeral reception after Rob’s funeral takes place at Killoran’s Traditional Lounge.
St John the Evangelist Church Tubbercurry
Google Street View of St John the Evangelist Church in Tubbercurry.
At St John the Evangelist Church, the scenes at Rob’s funeral and the memorial for Marianne’s father take place.
Other filming locations of Normal People in Tubbercurry
There are many more filming locations that feature in small scenes. These include the petrol station on the N17 road, where Connell’s sometimes works at Centra, Supervalu on Teeling Street (another of Connell’s work locations – here, in episode 7, he bumps into Marianne on a weekend that both are not in Dublin), Coens Funeral Home, Burkes Motor Works, and many other small street locations.
Looking for more information about visiting Ireland? Check out these posts:
- The Ultimate Ireland Guide to Harry Potter
- 6 Reasons why you should explore the Wild Atlantic Way
- The Ultimate Star Wars Ireland Location Guide
What I was unable to find out was where the scenes in and around the fictional school of St. Kilda (Marianne’ and Connell’s secondary school) were shot, where the dilapidated house (the so-called ghost house) in episode 2 is and where Connell’s house (Nr. 136) in Carricklea is located (the executive producer Ed Guiney told Condé Nast Traveler that it was shot in a 1970s housing estate in Shankill, south of Dublin, but I could not find out more about it). Any info on that would be greatly appreciated.
Where did the cast stay during the filming of Normal People in Sligo?
Most of the cast stayed at the Sligo Park Hotel, which is located about 2 km outside of Sligo Town and a half an hour north-east of Tubbercurry.
Where is Normal People Filmed in Dublin?
In Dublin, Normal People Filming locations are on the campus of Trinity College Dublin, in Ballsbridge (Marianne’s student home), in cafés and bars in Rathmines and in various locations in and around the city centre.
Dublin, like Sligo, gives the setting a poetic depth that might reverberate with Marianne and Connell. According to Tourism Ireland, Daisy Edgar-Jones was mesmerised by the literary legacy that lingers in Dublin’s pub scene and nightlife: “The social side of Dublin is something you have to go and experience. We’d be walking around Dublin and someone would point out a pub and be like, ‘Jonathan Swift went there and James Joyce, and WB Yeats’. I mean, that is just incredible.”
Below you find a list of the most important Normal People filming locations in Dublin.
Where is Normal People Filmed in Trinity College Dublin?
The Normal People producer Catherine Magee says in a Normal People Behind the Scenes clip that “Trinity is a really big part of this show. It’s almost like a character.” And it is true, Trinity College Dublin takes up the majority of the set of Normal People from episodes 4 onwards.
The director Lenny Abrahamson and Normal People author Sally Rooney were both Trinity students (I was a Trinity student as well studying literature there at the same time as Sally Rooney did. Unfortunately, I can’t remember meeting her though). You definitely feel the intimacy and familiarity of this place in the show.
According to the University Times, filming took place in 2019 in the Ussher Library, the Arts Block, the Front Square, the Cricket pitch, the Graduates Memorial Building, the exterior of the Berkeley Library and the exterior of the Rubrics.
Here are the most important Normal People Filming Locations at Trinity College Dublin.
Front Square at Trinity College Dublin
The Front Square at Trinity College Dublin is always awe-inspiring. You have to go through the archway of the Regent’s House before you get to see the grandeur of the campus. Connell experiences this wow-moment in episode 4. Here Marianne and Connell also celebrate their ‘Schols’, that is their Foundation Scholarship, which is “the most prestigious undergraduate award in the country.”
Berkeley Library at Trinity College Dublin
This is where we see Connell studying. In episode 11, we get to know that Connell has taken up a student job here too. I personally felt the brutalist chic of the building always slightly too cold to study here comfortably. Connell seems to like it though.
Robert Emmet Theatre
The Robert Emmet Theatre is the lecture hall in which we see Marianne and Connell dip in and out of lectures and seminars.
Graduates Memorial Building
This neo-Gothic Victorian building houses the Historical Society (the Hist) and the Philosophical Society (the Phil). As Marianne and Connell are involved with debating society students (Sally Rooney was part of the Hist herself), they go in and out of this building a lot during the episodes.
Trinity College Public Theater
In this impressive building, we see an exam scene in season 5.
Normal People Filming Locations outside of Trinity College Dublin
Here is a collection of filming locations of Normal people outside of Trinity College Dublin.
Marianne’s student home – Wellington Road in Ballsbridge, Dublin
Marianne’s student home is on Wellington Road, in the Dublin area Ballsbridge. Cross checking with Google Street View, I believe it is number 79. Marianne’s home straight away sets her apart from the financially struggling Connell. Her family has owned this house for generations and she can use it rent-free.
Ballsbridge is a very well-off neighbourhood with many embassies and government buildings. In one scene in episode 4 we see her walking across the Grand Canal, which is close to her.
Blackbird on Rathmines Road Lower
In the popular student pub Blackbird, the game of pool in episode 5 takes place. Another few takes have been filmed here throughout the Dublin episodes as well.
Thalgo Café on Capel Street Dublin
Google Street View of Capel Street
The Thalgo Café where Marianne and Connell meet for a coffee outside and discuss the sexual relation of Marianne and Jamie in episode 7 has been filmed in front of 66 Capel Street. The café does not exist in real-life.
St. Kevin’s Park on Camden Row
Connell saunters through St. Kevin’s Park to talk to his mom on the phone in episode 6 when she tells him jokingly that he was her stupid teenage mistake.
Other filming locations of Normal People in Dublin
Some little clips in a pub were filmed in Anseo on Camden Street. Connell also walks along Camden Street and passes the Dublin Camera Club in episode 5.
Here is a list of locations that I unfortunately could not locate (any more information is very welcome!):
Connell’s student accommodation Nr. 20 (in episode 4), Connell’s work in a Dublin café (in episode 5), the location of Marianne’s birthday party (in episode 12) and where Connell receives counselling sessions (in episode 10), Sophie’s birthday party and pool party (in ep. 8 and again in 11).
Where did the cast stay during the filming of Normal People in Dublin?
According to the Belfast Telegraph, Daisy Edgar-Jones lived on Lower Baggot Street opposite O’Donoghue’s pub. There she socialised a lot in the underground Mexican party cavern Xico on 143 Lower Baggot Street, which she described as follows: “Xico‘s is the best nightclub! We were in there a lot.”
Where are Normal People filming locations outside of Ireland?
Filming of Normal People also too place in Italy and Sweden. Below you find Italy filming locations for Normal People and Sweden filming locations for Normal People.
Where is Normal People filmed in Italy?
The filming for Normal People in Italy took place in a villa and its surrounding in Sant’Oreste and in the village of Stimigliano.
Marianne’s House in Italy – La Tenuta di Verzano “Il Casale” in Sant’Oreste
In episode 8 of Normal People, Marianne spends a summer with her friends in a beautiful countryside villa in Italy. This villa is Il Casale on La Tenuta di Verzano, which is an old country house close to the town of Sant’Oreste and about 25 miles (35 km) north of Rome.
You can actually rent this incredible place (it comes with the pool and the fabulous views that we see in the series!) on Airbnb! According to Harper’s Bazaar, this location was already used in Eat, Pray, Love starring Julia Roberts.
The village of Stimigliano
Google Street View of the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele.
Connell and Marianne cycle from Il Casale to a nearby village in order to go shopping, eat ice cream and enjoy the incredible view. This was filmed in the village of Stimigliano.
When they look from the village into the beautiful valley, they are in the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. Here, they also eat ice cream in front of the church of Santi Cosma e Damiano.
The supermarket where they go shopping is the Alimentari Simoncelli on Via Giuseppe Garibaldi.
The Guggenheim Museum in Venice
Marianne, Connell and their two other friends go by train to Venice in order to visit the Guggenheim Museum. The filming inside the art museum, however, took place in the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin, which houses Francis Bacon’s studio, a large collection of impressionist paintings and other great pieces of art.
Where is Normal People filmed in Sweden?
The filming for Normal People in Sweden took place in Luleå.
Marianne’s year abroad in Sweden – Gammelstad, Luleå, Swedish Lapland
In episode 9, Marianne spends her ERASMUS student exchange in the Swedish town of Luleå, which is located in the Bay of Bothnia close to the Finnish border. The incredible scenes at the end of episode show the frozen Baltic Sea. This is a natural annual phenomenon occurring in winter, which residents use to go skating, skiing or even to visit nearby islands.
The scenes where Marianne has finally freed herself from Lukas and walks across the frozen sea was only shot at the beginning of March 2020 (the cast had waited for the snow to arrive).
In an interview with Condé Nast Traveler, Normal People’s executive producer Ed Guiney says that “the stunning final shot as the credits roll was taken as the sun set on the horizon of the vast frozen sea. It’s beautiful and serene. Everyone in that moment knew it had to be included in the episode.”
Dinner in Swedish restaurant in Luleå
The dinner scene with Lukas (played by Lancelot Ncube) is actually filmed in the Forest Avenue restaurant on Sussex Terrace in Dublin.
Coffee in a café in Luleå
The scene where Marianne drinks coffee alone in a café was filmed also in Dublin – in the Fumbally café on Fumbally Lane. The snow that you see is of course sprinkled there and is not real.
Feel free to reach out if you have any more information or spot any mistakes.
If you would like other inspiration about what to see in Dublin, check out our other posts here.
And if you are interested in more filming locations, why not visit our Harry Potter Guide to Ireland, our Ultimate Ireland Star Wars Guide or our Green Knight Ireland Guide.
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