Where were we? Ah yes, the best day of my life, courtesy of J.R.R. Tolkien and Peter Jackson. Our tour group was rounded up to make the short walk over to the Green Dragon pub. The inside scenes in the films were shot on a set, but the current pub was built to mirror it exactly. Turning the bend, I was again struck but just how familiar everything looked. The hobbits must have been hiding just out of sight. They probably shy away from tourists with selfie sticks, because I know I do. The attention to detail found throughout Hobbiton was just as evident here. There was even a bulletin board with various hobbit notices. The mill building was perfect. The little hobbit boat was unsurprisingly not in use, seeing as most hobbits hate boating. They do like feasts, though… Personally, I can’t think of a better spot for a picnic. We then headed to the Green Dragon for our free brew, an exclusively crafted Southfarthing range. I chose the hard cider option, and it was delicious. Cheers from Middle Earth! Sadly, the bartenders were merely human. No hobbits in sight. The pub felt like it had been around for a long time, rather than built in recent years. I especially loved the round doorways and small details. Even the bar was incredible. They serve food, too, but we didn’t have a whole lot of time. You can arrange an evening tour and a “hobbit feast” at the Green Dragon, but they’re booked out for months. Maybe I’ll just have to go back. I could easily picture Merry and Pippin dancing on a table and singing. Steve and I noticed that the sun had reemerged, so we headed outside to get pictures without other people in them. We reluctantly headed back to the buses, knowing the real world awaited, but grateful for the little slice of Middle Earth we were lucky enough to briefly inhabit.
What an extraordinary place. I can’t think of a better way to spend part of a day, and only wished the tour could’ve lasted longer. Everyone visiting truly seemed elated to be sharing in this experience, and it’s thrilling to be surrounded by that overwhelming joy. J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic tales already had a huge following, but Peter Jackson’s films helped a new generation fall in love with the timeless stories of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. They speak to people in a way many tales these days fail to. Visiting Hobbiton was like stepping into a home you never knew you’d been longing for.
“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” – J.R.R. Tolkien