Visiting the Shire

Visiting the Shire was a real dream come true. I’ve been a Hobbit and Lord of the Rings fan ever since I first read the books. I didn’t care very much for the Hobbit movie (okay I loathed it with a fiery passion) but the idea of seeing the Shire brought to life was brilliant for a Tolkien geek like me.

You cannot just go park and wander around Hobbiton by yourself (because how else would they make money on it?). You need to sign up for a tour at the Matamata Visitor Center, get taken there by a tour bus, where a guide walks you around and talks you through the making of the set. It was interesting but not a $75 value. They know they can charge that much because which Tolkein fan who has spent a bunch of money flying to New Zealand would not pay that to see the Shire?


The Shire!

It was a great day for it and the Shire looked lovely. I’m really glad they didn’t tear down this movie set. It would have been extra cool if the hobbit holes were actually furnished, even if they just did Bilbo’s house. The only furnished place was the Green Dragon Inn where we got a complimentary drink at the end.


Bilbo’s house is right at the top.



The party tree!



One of the many hobbit holes in the Shire.


After the tour, I rode over to Eric’s place. We had made contact on Facebook and he and his wife invited me to come stay the night, which worked out perfectly. He took me on one of his favorite hikes to go see a waterfall. It was great to get a bit of exercise. To top it off, we saw the last bits of the sunset when we came back down.


45 minute hike up!


Eric takes me on his favorite hike.


I slept really well. It was luxurious to sleep in a nice big bed in my own room. I’ve done this so little since I left Seattle.