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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Antrim coast hotel transformed for new Netflix series from writer of Derry Girls

Updated: Jul 1

The scene of the Netflix production on the County Antrim coast.

The scene of the Netflix production on the County Antrim coast. (Credit: John Mallon)


A landmark hotel on the famous Antrim coast road has been undergoing a transformation over the last few days as filming get ready to roll for a brand new Netflix series from the talented creator of critically-acclaimed and multi-award-winning Derry Girls, Lisa McGee.


Locals watched this week as the Londonderry Arms Hotel in Carnlough received a paint job makeover and was revealed as the ‘Knockdara Hotel’. It is understood filming will take place over the coming days for ‘How To Get To Heaven From Belfast’ - anticipated to be the next hit series for the Northern Irish writer.



Built in 1848, the 35-bedroom hotel has a rich history hosting many artists, writers and musicians and featuring in both film and literature, including HBO’s Game of Thrones.


The lead cast for the new series will include Roísín Gallagher, Sinéad Keenan and Caoilfhionn Dunne as three childhood friends, now in their late 30s, who come together over news of a fourth friend’s death, "leading them on a dark, dangerous and hilarious odyssey through Ireland and beyond as they try to piece together the truth of the past".


Creator, writer and executive producer Lisa McGee 

Creator, writer and executive producer Lisa McGee 

The lead cast for the new series will include Roísín Gallagher, Sinéad Keenan and Caoilfhionn Dunne

The lead cast for the new series will include Roísín Gallagher, Sinéad Keenan and Caoilfhionn Dunne


Creator, writer and executive producer Lisa McGee said:


“I couldn’t be more excited to start production on How To Get To Heaven From Belfast. I’ve loved writing Saoirse, Robyn and Dara – three flawed, funny women who are about to embark on the most thrilling and terrifying adventure of their lives.


“A mystery full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing and make you laugh out loud. Let’s go girls.”


The Londonderry Arms Hotel in Carnlough.

The Londonderry Arms Hotel in Carnlough. (Credit: Kathleen McCormick)


The eight-part comedy-thriller series set in Northern Ireland, follows three friends (Saoirse, Robyn and Dara) who begin to investigate the mysterious death of a former classmate they were once close, with the series set to take viewers on an 'enthralling and hilarious journey'.


According to Channel 4 who originally commissioned the series, before it was acquired by Netflix, the three friends, “now in their late thirties, they lead very different lives. Saoirse a successful writer with a compulsion to hit the self-destruct button, Robyn, a sweary, stressed out mother of three young boys, and Dara, a full-time carer of an elderly parent, who hasn't managed to move out of her teenage bedroom.



“When the women each receive an email informing them of the death of Greta, an old classmate they were once very close with, there's clearly some unspoken, unfinished business.


“When the women each receive an email informing them of the death of Greta, an old classmate they were once very close with, there's clearly some unspoken, unfinished business.


The Londonderry Arms Hotel in Carnlough. (Credit: John Mallon)

The Londonderry Arms Hotel in Carnlough. (Credit: John Mallon)


“The friends decide to attend Greta's wake and discover all may not be quite as it seems. They soon find themselves embroiled in a dark and twisted mystery.


“It’s absolutely terrifying. But it’s also.... utterly thrilling.



"These women are about to embark on the most exciting adventure of their lives. An adventure that will take them from their native Belfast, a city full of ghosts, the pain of the past plastered on every mural, to the mythic wildness of rural Donegal and right across Ireland, as they attempt to put the pieces of the puzzle together and uncover the truth. Even if their own complicated, chaotic and messy lives often get in the way.


“Not so much a ‘whodunit’ as a ‘what the hell happened.’


“How To Get To Heaven From Belfast takes us on an enthralling and hilarious journey, exploring the themes of friendship, memory and what happens when life doesn't turn out quite how we expected.”


The series is expected to land on Netflix in 2025.




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