Hello travelers! As I mentioned the other day, I was hoping to go out for a tour at Hobbiton before my official start date, and I did! I went out yesterday for a morning tour. The weather was perfect. A few clouds dotted across the sky, sun shinning, and the slightest of breezes keeping the day cool.
It was a bit of an odd feeling going on the tour as not quite a tourist and not quite a guide. I got to walk along the paths and take in all the tiny bits of detail and set dressing that cover every inch of the hobbit town. But I wasn’t bothered to take a picture of every little thing. I knew that, in the coming weeks, I would be seeing these things day after day, and discovering new things.
I still feel a bit of anxiety and nerves about starting and being able to remember everything, the right paths to take, the bits of information to cover. But I also trust in my inner nerd to save me from experiencing the worst of my fears. I’ve lived and breathed this stuff for so long. How could I mess it up?
But enough about that. I know all you really want is to see the pictures I took (yes, I did take some). So, here you are.
Just like Gandalf and Frodo, you enter Hobbiton through what is known as Gandalf’s Cutting. You come around the bend and before you is the whole of Hobbiton, with Bag End sitting high on the hill.
Besides the many hobbit holes, one of the first sites you see is the vegetable garden. One of them anyway. There area a total of three scattered amongst the hills but this one, by far, is the largest. It is tended by 30 gardeners, every day of the week.
The 44 hobbit holes come in all different sizes and colors, with various prop dressings out front to indicate what the hobbit-in-residence profession is. The sizes vary so as to help the various characters appear the correct size.
For example, this hobbit hole is small, so if you were to place a character like Gandalf in front of it, he would look bigger, and the thus appropriately sized next to hobbit sized dwelling.
As you make your way up the hill towards Bag End, the Green Dragon pub comes into better view across the water. You can just barely see it in this picture but the Mill House at the end of the bridge is currently under construction to become a fully functioning conference room and party venue, complete with an underwater kitchen.
Here we’ve made it to Bag End. The oak tree that grows from the top of the hill was in the middle of being re-leafed when we arrived. This is a necessary task as Peter Jackson had a tree a la Frankenstein’s monster constructed so that it would always been in leaf.
From the doorstep of Bag End you have a lovely view of the Party Field and the Party Tree. It was this tree and its placement next to the water that ended up sealing Peter Jackson’s decision to build Hobbiton here.
The Party Field, this time around, had more adornments than when I had visited last. One of the party tents was up, as well as a string of lanterns and a very colorful maypole.
The Green Dragon. So close now!
This table was picture-worthy because it was the table where my mother and I shared our first pint at the pub.
For those of you savvy LOTR fans, you’ll notice “Old Brown” was caught by Bilbo Baggins’ great-great-great-great uncle Bullroarer Took.
When I finished my tour, I enjoyed a nice bowl of chips at the cafe and did a bit of reading before heading home.
It was a very enjoyable day, and a good way to wet my feet before diving right into training. I will be starting with a few other guides as well when the first rolls around, which is also a comfort. At least then we can all be nervous together.