I'm lucky enough to live a couple of hours from the Hobbiton film set, but had never been there until recently. And let me tell you, it's worth a visit! It's hard to explain, but the Shire occupies an entire landscape in a way that we don't often get to see - particularly when we talk about fantasy storyworlds. The hills and little vales are crammed with Hobbit holes - doors, windows and chimneys - plus vegetable gardens, laundry lines and everything you would expect a thriving community to have.
One of many, many hobbit holes. Lots of detail - laundry, tools, etc.
There are a bunch of gardeners whose job it is to tend the vegetable and flower beds.
Their uniform is rather hobbit-like, with straw hats and all!
The baker's house - check out the bread stall there on the left.
The one I got to go into!
It's all real, folks.
Well, real at face value, anyway. Sadly the hobbit holes are only doors, with just a little space hollowed into the dirt beyond. All the interior shots were filmed at Weta in Wellington.
For a whole lot more pictures, including the Green Dragon Inn and the Hobbit-themed shops in the nearby town of Matamata, you can go here to my Facebook album.
So, if you could visit a storybook world, which one could it be? And what other ones are out there for real? I'm just waiting for Doctor Who World, myself!