Eeep! This is such an exciting post for me! As I hope you’ve already guessed/assumed/saw it mentioned in the 2015 yearly round up, a few weeks ago some friends and I headed down to Matamata for the Hobbiton Tour! Oh.My.Goodness. It was amazing.
I have to just say that this isn’t the normal tour that you would do if you came to Hobbiton. We did a slightly different tour, in that it was an evening one, followed by an insane dinner in the Green Dragon Inn. Yes, it was super expensive, but yes, it was so totally worth every single cent.
You start the tour at the main centre, where there’s a gift shop and café type place, and we jumped on our Dwalin bus (all the buses had Dwarf names, and I saw a van called Arwin), and headed to Hobbiton through the hills.
When we got there, Ethan, the best tour guide ever (*waves at Ethan*), took us around Hobbiton, where we stopped and looked and things every few meters. He reminded us scenes that took place in certain areas, fun facts about the making of the set, and mentioned bits and pieces of what the actors got up to, and the filming itself.
All around the little town were vegetable gardens and fruit trees, the majority of which are actually real. The had over a dozen full time gardeners for Hobbiton, and the produce goes to various places. As well as the gardens and scenery looking like it was alive and actually inhabited by Hobbits, there were little Hobbit vests hanging from trees and fences, and things like fish outside the fish monger’s, cheese outside the cheese makers, and baskets of vegetables that a Hobbit could yell have been in the middle of collecting when we showed up. Obvisouly all these last things are fake, but there’s so much nature and real growing vegetation that it doesn’t matter at all. You can barely tell.
I try to not tell you too much about more of Hobbiton, because I don’t want to ruin the surprise and excitement levels (not that I think I could) for you if you one day get to Hobbiton. But below at the top (yellow house) is 3 Bagshot Row, and if you geeks who know your Lord of the Rings really well, will know that that is Samwise Gamgee’s house.
Halfway around Hobbiton itself, up on the hill, is Bagend. And yes, it’s as magical as you think it would be. The ‘No admittance’ sign is permanently posted on the gate, in that great Hobbit writing, and the door to the green Hobbit hole is ajar, like Bilbo or Frodo might just pop out at any moment and catch us taking pictures of their home.
At the end of Bagshot Row is the Party Field, where, if you can recall, Bilbo’s elevnty-first birthday takes place. We had a little look around there, and then went back there in the evening, when it was darker.
Here are just a few more pictures around Hobbiton: