My lot are Hobbit nuts. The Lord of the Rings has been watched more times than I can count.
We’ve been known to dress up as Hobbits and Dwarfs before breakfast, acting out favourite scenes and we have a serious battle of Hobbit Trivial Pursuit every Christmas.
It’s safe to say we were pretty excited to be having a private tour of Hobbiton during our New Zealand Trip.
The enchantment began well before we even got started. The ‘Shire’ is set in a stunning area of bumpy emerald hills covered in lazy sheep.
In fact Hobbiton is now owned by the sheep farming family who own this exceptional piece of land..
You meet the tour guide at The Shire’s Rest, where you can buy gifts, eat and gaze over the beautiful Kaimai Ranges.
This little roasted vegetable frittata was fantastic.
Finally, we are driven through the gates (and the dozy sheep) and are handed our precious Hobbiton maps.
You enter where Bilbo runs enthusiastically crying ‘I’m going on an adventure!’.
It’s also where Gandalf arrives in his cart with the fireworks in the wagon, hence it’s called Gandalf’s Cutting. It’s only narrow but that had the effect of making Gandalf seem much bigger.
Our first stop was in the garden
One of my favourite spots and we had it all to ourselves.
Vegetables of all shapes and colours are growing here.
I loved this cheerful chap. He was doing a sound job looking after the beetroot.
We got our first look at a Hobbit hole. Incredibly cute with it’s chimney popping out from the grass above.
It’s Autumn here in New Zealand and some leaves are turning red, matching some of the wooden doors perfectly.
It’s thrilling, you can actually imagine a little Hobbit sitting on the bench, smoking an enormous pipe of some kind.
Charlotte can’t resist!
There are 39 in all so we enjoyed picking our favourites, like a fantasy house move.
Every Hobbit Hole is unique. Some doors are smaller than others. It’s so the Hobbits and Dwarfs looked small relative to Gandalf.
We wound our way around Hobbiton, enjoying every stop, every view and fact that was given to us.
There are clues to the trade of the Hobbit that lives in each hole.
This one is the fishmonger.
This one, however, just looks like a lovely family home. Can you guess who’s?
My favourite one so far.
The frog pond is literally a haven for local frogs. This became a problem once shooting began as the frog chorus was so loud they had to move each one to a pond off set and out of earshot!
This one is home to the bee keeper.
Yes, I decide, I would love to be a Hobbit and move in here somewhere.
So, it’s time to commit to a bit of fancy dress. We all picked one item to squeeze into our suitcase.
James is the Dwarf King,
and rocks it.
Charlotte is Frodo,
before the ring becomes his precious.
Can you guess who Andy is?
Gandalf (because he’s worth it..)
I’m Bofur (it’s his hat!). Not sure I’m doing a good job of characterising him, I still look like ‘mum’ with a winter hat on.
Playing the part brilliantly Charlotte!
Gandalf has all the latest mod cons.
The view over The Water is rather wonderful and a great chance for a family shot.
Here it is – Frodo’s Hobbit Hole!
Our Tour Guide was very happy to grab a camera and take pictures at all the key places,
and one has to be by Frodo’s No Admittance sign.
Sadly because we had no party business we couldn’t visit him that day.
We were having a ball. Our guide was entertaining us with fun facts and the sun was getting hotter by the minute.
So, we peeled off the fancy dress (it’s hot work being a Hobbit or Dwarf!)
This enchanting hole was surrounded by beautiful flowers. Pots of them.
I think Charlotte liked this one best.
Andy took a liking to the Cheesemonger’s Hole.
How cute is the little jacket…
Some are so nestled in you only see them when you get to them. Then lots of ‘Ahhh’ and ‘cuuuute!’ are expressed.
We reached the colourful Party field.
No party today but we did spot the pumpkin competition.
These were actually real. Some were huge, some weird and a few wonderful. All rather pongy!
The view of the Watermill and The Green Dragon across The Water is stunning from the Party Field.
We are nearly ready for a tumbler of ale, just a few more questions from the insatiable Andy.
And a few more pretty Hobbit homes.
And we make our way around.
This is an area for lots of cool photos.
You can sit on the wagon.
Or have a group shot by the bridge.
We could leap for joy.
Finally we actually cross the bridge, giggling like children and bellies rumbling.
We head straight for The Green Dragon.
Inside is dark, cool and rather moody (in a good kind of way – after all it was in The Lord of the Rings).
Another family shot under the dragon (peaking at the scones).
We heartily except a refreshing tumbler of ale (exclusively crafted Southfarthing™ range and very tasty)
We decided to enjoy our drinks outside and looked for the perfect spot.
And we found it. By The Water side. A perfect slice of Middle Earth.
Our wonderful Tour Guide took us a little further to the right and Wow look at the scene.
Some little Hobbit has been fishing.
Time to eat and we are led to a bright tent decorated with flowers, ribbons and bunting.
Where you can eat like a Hobbit, sure, but you Dwarfs, please mind your manners.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time for an adventure…!