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Old 08-31-2004, 07:30 PM   #1
Tuor of Gondolin
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1420! In Search Of...Hobbit-like walking paths

I’ve started the Walk to Rivendell hiking and therefore have been looking for
interesting, and somewhat Middle-earthish paths in the Southeastern Pa. and
southern New Jersey area. Many of them seem to be either very remote, and
barely existent, or almost “industrial strength” walkways made to accomodate
large numbers of joggers, walkers, and bicyclists, with partially cindered
walkways (one example being Forbidden Drive in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia.
BUT I’ve come across one place in Montgomery County:

http://www.libertynet.org/pert/trails.htm

which has a real hobbity feel. The paths tend to curve and loop back,
are partially covered in wood chips- comfy to walk on, there are some
(wooden) benches scattered about, and there’s even a nature preserve area
with a path through it somewhat reminiscent of Farmer Maggot’s area of
the Shire. You’re almost surprised the park headquarters doesn’t have round
doors and the Green Dragon isn’t at the end of one of the paths.
Are there any other such walking path surprises anyone has found, especially in the U.K. (or elsewhere), since I occasionally get there and the only fairly serious walking I’ve done is a bit in the Cotswolds? For that matter, in New
New Zealand, what of the areas shown in FOTR when Frodo and Sam are leaving
the Shire, are they on any walking tours, maps?

P.S. Since (again) starting (somewhat) serious walking I’ve gained new
respect for hobbits, and particularly out-of–condition Frodo, for their hiking prowess right from the beginning.
P.P.S. Hope this is the right forum for this.
P.P.P.S. Is there a way to get longer lines of type across lines. I've tried, but
when a message is posted it seems to break into varied long and short lines, like
above.
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Old 09-01-2004, 01:17 AM   #2
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1420!

Here's a nice Shire-like place for those Hobbits living in the southern Willamette Valley of Oregon:

Mt. Pisgah Arboretum

From the top of Mount Pisgah you can appreciate this scene in LotR - Book One - Chapter 11 - Knife in the Dark:

Quote:
Standing upon the rim of the ruined circle, they saw all round below them a wide prospect, for the most part of lands empty and featureless, except for patches of woodland away to the south, beyond which they caught here & there the glint of distant water. Beneath them on this southern side there ran like a ribbon the Old Road, coming out of the West & winding up & down, until it faded behind a ridge of dark land to the east. Nothing was moving on it. Following its line eastward with their eyes they saw the mountains: the nearer foothills were brown & sombre; behind them stood taller shapes of grey; and behind those again were high white peaks glimmering among the clouds.
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Old 09-01-2004, 06:09 AM   #3
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In Rhode Island, nothing beats Arcadia . There are roads broad and paths slender, trickling brooks and mossy streams, withywindle rivers, pine ridges, beech groves, deep woods, hills, and plenty of rocks for Trolls to hide in.
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Old 09-01-2004, 01:38 PM   #4
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I've never been to the US but from what I've read Appalachia sounds fantastic and unearthly. Someone's going to shatter my illusions now, I can just see it!

In the UK, there's a lot of strange walks you can take. Boggle Hole in North Yorkshire is a fairy glen leading straight down to the sea, which I think of as very elven. You can read descriptions of it in AS Byatt's Possession. Or you could visit the real Green Dragon Inn at Hardraw Force in North Yorkshire. I can always recommend walking around Malham, too, as long as you don't go at weekend!

Cornwall provides some very 'hobbity' walking. The little lanes are very narrow and edged with steep stone banks, covered in vegetation - lethal for cars, but wonderful for walkers as you see so many plant species, and occasionally lizards. Speaking of lizards, you are guaranteed to see these on the Goonhilly Downs in Cornwall, with the added bonus of feeling you are on the Barrow Downs. Unfortunately, you do have to look away from the huge radar station (unless you like that kind of thing).

I also like Stanton Moor in Derbyshire, which has an ancient feel. Here you find the Nine Ladies stone circle, hidden among the trees. This place has just been saved from quarrying, thankfully.

Lancashire has a lot of hobbity places, well away from the towns, and it is said that Tolkien may have drawn his inspiration for The Shire from around the Ribble Valley. There are a few hidden away places well worth a visit, including the tiny village of Slaidburn which is hidden in a steep valley and has a pub called The Hark to Bounty. Going West from here you'll also come across Dunsop Bridge, and then the Trough of Bowland, where you could spend all day walking round and imagining yourself in Middle Earth. Move on from here and you should come to Quernmoor, where you can go up a castellated tower and survey the view for miles.
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Old 09-01-2004, 07:17 PM   #5
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Tuor, I know of many good trails in southwestern PA. I don't know any off hand, but if you feel like driving several hours west I can find some names for you. I do know of a beautiful trail out by the state college that reminds me of the hobbit's path out of Bree. I think my dad knows the name. I can ask him if your
interested.

For anyone who is looking for a nice vacation you should head to Gatlinburg, Ten. The town is very touristy but it is extremely close to the Great Smoky Mts. If you haven't guessed, it is the Misty Mts. in the United States.
Another place out of Middle Earth is the Bad Lands National Park, South Dakota. My brother and I agree it looks strikingly like Enym Muil.
Many happy trails!
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Old 09-02-2004, 12:33 PM   #6
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Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods is a great book if you like walking - he sets out on the Appalachian Trail and his adventures are funny and informative - for a Brit anyway. This book should give you plenty of ideas for good Hobbity and Entish walks.
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Old 09-03-2004, 06:21 PM   #7
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Eye

ah well living in the city I dont have much choice, but we do have some parks that I can take a walk in. Well good luck in your endeavor.
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Old 09-03-2004, 06:35 PM   #8
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Shield

In Wisconsin, we have 14 state trails (I just learned this yesterday). I'm not sure how many are "hobbity", exactly, as I haven't been on any except on that runs from my town 15 miles to a larger town, mostly in the city. Not exactly hobbity. Anyway, there is a nice walking trail in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan that's by the Menominee River (I think). If you have an odd imagination, it's kind of hobbity, maybe... Thinking back on it, it strikes me as such, but my memory tends to fool me. And maybe the Kettle Moraine area has some. Driving through, it seemed to be a place hobbits would enjoy.
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Old 09-06-2004, 08:47 PM   #9
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I think the Shire parts of Middle-Earth could have been easily shot in PA. Living in a very rural area I know of many places that are very hobbit like. Alot of over grown paths and little rivers and fields everywhere. It wouldn't have been difficult at all really. Just take your pick. However our grass isn't really THAT green, so that wouldn't work. Maybe in some rich soiled areas it would. There's an area near Pittsburgh called Novelt that is VERY Shire like. It has so many foothills and little rivers running everywhere. It's very beautiful.
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Old 09-07-2004, 11:19 AM   #10
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Pipe

"I think the Shire parts of Middle-Earth could have been easily shot in PA."
----------------------

And if you've been along Route 6 in northern Pa. near Wellsboro is "The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania", (Pine Creek Gorge).
Of course, it's thickly forested, but from the west side looking to
the headquarters buildings and lookout veranda it rather
reminds you of Rivendell, especially since it's a little tricky
getting to the park headquarters.

(A few pictures)
http://postcards.route-6.com/tioga.html
http://www.visittiogapa.com/grandcanyon.html
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Old 09-07-2004, 07:34 PM   #11
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Right here on my farm of course Well, it's part farm & part woodland, all 156 acres of it. There are many different paths in the woods and fields that the deer have made ... looks like something right out of a Hobbit's world. It's especially enchanting during a rain storm. Many huge trees, wildflowers, rocks, a couple of caves, etc .... Mountains & hills surround us from every angle, complete with a creek that runs through our backyard, gently rolling over rocks, shaping it's way. It's quite nice here, wouldn't wanna live anywhere else.

Plus we live at the foot of a mountain that is said to have gold buried on it from the civil war times. The Appalacian trail runs through it too ... another old trail that would be wonderful for a scenic view. All of this is here in southern WV.
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Old 11-23-2008, 06:36 AM   #12
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I've pulled this old thread up because I was just looking at some Alfred Wainwright fellwalking books and they made me think just how 'Hobbity' they are. All 'handwritten' with sketches and fantastic maps drawn by Wainwright himself, together with dry little observations on things you might see on your hikes.

Has anyone else ever been struck by this? You can almost imagine an Alfred Wainwright guide to walking the Ettenmoors or bagging peaks on the Misty Mountains, together with little notes about where to avoid Goblins

Obviously we can't go for any proper walks right now because I don't think a buggy would cope! But as soon as he can walk I'm itching to drag ye childe off to Longshaws - a great 'Hobbity' type walking spot for anyone thinking of visiting the Peak District http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main...ongshawestate/

That's one of our favourites. Plenty of 'triple-trunked' Beeches and a magical moorland stream, plus the jaw dropping view down towards Hathersage, Mam Tor and 'Orthanc'.

This one on Stanage Edge is good too:
http://www.walkingbritain.co.uk/walk...s/walk_a/1090/
You can pretened to be Keira Knightley or just look for snakes. It's a bit like you imagine the walk from Rivendell to have been. Awesome views.
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Old 11-23-2008, 08:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendë View Post
This one on Stanage Edge is good too:
http://www.walkingbritain.co.uk/walk...s/walk_a/1090/
You can pretened to be Keira Knightley or just look for snakes. It's a bit like you imagine the walk from Rivendell to have been. Awesome views.
I don't know, Lal. I think we all imagine Middle earth based on the land we know and for me those English "peaks" just don't say "Misty Mountains."

I've always imagined Rivendell, hidden as it was in the foothills of the Misty Mountains, to be overhung by the mountain range. Part of its hiddenness lies in its inaccessibility. Tolkien's original postcard of Gandalf, the old man hiking in Swiss mountains, probably has something to do with my non-English sense of Rivendell. (I've always imagined Rivendell having hot springs too, for their healing quality, although I know that "baths" aren't particularly English, except for, of course, Bath, which in my experience of Austen has nothing to do with healing. )

Anyhow, here's a peak at my Rivendell walking terrain (which of course has nothing to do with this thread's topic, Hobbity walks): Kootenay Rookies and this one, as the town of Jasper is huddled at the foot of some very tall peaks: Jasper
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Old 11-23-2008, 05:05 PM   #14
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Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
To me, who thinks the Lake District fells are the ultimate in sublime (especially those around Buttermere), those are what I'd call MOUNTAINS! and are so eye-bleedingly awesome they look like Roger Garland dreamt them up. I'm a bit scared to think that such technicolor marvels even exist How do you scramble up one without the use of a rope?

Though the Lakes can be quite unpleasant and dangerous, don't be fooled by the small-ness of English mountains

Hot springs are all over the place - there's also Harrogate (very un-mountain-y) and Buxton, nestled in the midst of some quite creepy peaks - there are some hills near Earl Sterndale that look uncannily like green dragons asleep. Take a look at Chrome Hill, it freaks me out whenever I go past it: http://choose-film.com/wp-profiles/2...-District..jpg
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:15 PM   #15
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Well, see, I suppose such places are powerful enough not to need dressing up in dragon-imagination to make them awesome.

And, really, they can simply be climbed and hiked, although this one, Whistlers Mountain, does have a tram for part of the way for those unwilling to take a real hike. You can imagine Bethberry at the top here, as I've hiked it twice, and the glue in my photoalbum won't let go so I can't scan my own pictures and post them.



In fact, you can just about hike the whole chain of the Rocky Mountains, from Jasper to Banff, from Whistlers, ( Jasper Hiking) pretending you're on your way to Rohan, including tramping through a snow storm and imagining those dark shadows of clouds on the distant ground are massing groups of orcs.
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Old 11-24-2008, 04:16 PM   #16
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Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Tch. You would be impressed if you saw a hill that looked like a sleeping dragon, you cannot tell me otherwise Plus there's a pub nearby called The Quiet Woman that bears the sign of a headless lady, which is amusing in a sinister kind of League Of Gentlemen way (with the bonus it's frequented by folk musicians and general beardy types)

And for anyone who fancies it, I've found walk details which include both ale house and dragon-like hill:
http://www.derbyshire-peakdistrict.c...rndalewalk.htm
I may even sample that one myself...

Trams up mountains are a good idea - though strangely, more for going down again than going up. Going up just makes you tired and out of breath, but going down gives you vertigo and makes you scared you're going to break your neck. There's some true Lalwende-logic for you
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:04 PM   #17
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If it's mountains we want, I must cast my 'vote' for the Olympics, as seen from Hurricane Ridge.

Hurricane Ridge is both bare enough (and hikable enough) to be hobbity, but, the views of the rest of the Olympics are majestic enough. Misty Mountains indeed.

And the lakes are jewels, Durin.
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Old 11-25-2008, 02:35 PM   #18
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Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Actually, that second link makes me think of one thing only - the Firienfeld in Rohan! It's a dead ringer for what's inside my head.

If you want to see something that always makes me think of maybe the approach to Moria, then a walk to Gordale Scar is a good one:
http://www.walkingenglishman.com/dales17.htm

That's probably one of the most walked routes in the UK - I was taken on this one when I was a child and we ended up under a wall with the sheep, sheltering from a sudden thunderstorm. And here's a Romantic painting of said landscape beast:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:James_Ward_001.jpg

Though it's just like a garden feature to you Americans :P
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:01 PM   #19
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I think the issue, Lal, might be that us North Americans don't have the likes of The Quiet Woman pub to start us off on our hikes.

Those are great pictures, Helen, much more suitable than Mount Baker, which I first hiked as a young lass of eight, when my four year old brother climbed three feet up a tree and then couldn't get down.

By the by, Canada apparently has more lakes than the entire rest of the world combined, so I must find me some lake pictures that don't look like muskeg or moose meadow. Surely there are some.
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:55 PM   #20
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I think the issue, Lal, might be that us North Americans don't have the likes of The Quiet Woman pub to start us off on our hikes.
Are you suggesting that beer consumption may have something to do with seeing sleeping dragons in the fields?
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Old 12-16-2008, 01:10 AM   #21
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I have hiked on a trail on the Oregon coast that is actually called "The Hobbit Trail".

It is mossy and the bushes arch over the trail and form a "tunnel". It reminds me of the trails to the Withywindle.

Hobbit Trail
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Old 12-16-2008, 07:48 AM   #22
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I have hiked on a trail on the Oregon coast that is actually called "The Hobbit Trail".

It is mossy and the bushes arch over the trail and form a "tunnel". It reminds me of the trails to the Withywindle.

Hobbit Trail
That beach is beautiful!

It reminded me of another cool Hobbity place to have a walk - around Robin Hood's Bay and Boggle Hole - the latter is in fact named after hobgoblins who live in the area (along with the very scary Barguest ). Most appropriate.

Here's a decent walk I found:

http://www.dalesman.co.uk/walks/robinhoods.htm

Alternatively you could just walk down the beach (at low tide only), looking in the rockpools on the way, and have a shorter walk but more time in the pub later and then you are guaranteed to see Hobgoblins.
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Old 12-16-2008, 10:01 AM   #23
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Wow! Very Beautiful. Perhaps some day Helen and I will come and visit you there. We do love to hike together. Singing required, of course!
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Old 12-16-2008, 01:19 PM   #24
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...singing required...

Upon the hearth the fire is red,
beneath the roof there is a bed,
but not yet weary are our feet--
Still round the corner we may meet
A sudden tree or standing stone
that none have seen but we alone.
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:05 PM   #25
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I tried to find pics of the Deer Lake Trail we hiked to but there's nothing out there.

That was the most fun of all! Even the rain didn't stop us!
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:19 PM   #26
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Much of central and upper Michigan bears a resemblance to Nimbrethil.







Like Bilbo, I love white birch trees.
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Old 12-16-2008, 05:47 PM   #27
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Oh wow! That's beautiful! We don't have forests like that here in Washington.
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Old 03-01-2009, 08:15 PM   #28
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Silmaril

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark12_30 View Post
If it's mountains we want, I must cast my 'vote' for the Olympics, as seen from Hurricane Ridge.

Hurricane Ridge is both bare enough (and hikable enough) to be hobbity, but, the views of the rest of the Olympics are majestic enough. Misty Mountains indeed.

And the lakes are jewels, Durin.

Oooh, yes. I went out to Olympic National Park when visiting my aunt in summer 2006. It really was amazing. The landscape out there that the pictures capture is so very different and beautiful; untamed and so much wilder and fresher than the eastern part of the States, where I'm from.

Along the same thought, on the same trip, we encountered the Hoh rainforest, which I must say reminds me a bit of Fangorn, perhaps: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ho...Rainforest.jpg
http://3dparks.wr.usgs.gov/olympic/images/oly494.jpg

It really does look like that. Fantastic. I kept expecting to find an Ent around the next turn in the trail. I want to go back there someday.
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:45 AM   #29
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New Zealand

Oh come to New Zealand. There are wicked tracks to walk!! Beech forest lies low and is accessable off most roads.

I've recently moved to the South Island have seen some spectacular landscapes...Rohan, where there's huge rocks poking out from ground, and in the background towering hills. Walking through the forest and river beds reminds me of Arwen's race to Rivendell.


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Old 03-02-2009, 06:24 PM   #30
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Oooh, yes. I went out to Olympic National Park when visiting my aunt in summer 2006. It really was amazing. The landscape out there that the pictures capture is so very different and beautiful; untamed and so much wilder and fresher than the eastern part of the States, where I'm from.

Along the same thought, on the same trip, we encountered the Hoh rainforest, which I must say reminds me a bit of Fangorn, perhaps: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ho...Rainforest.jpg
http://3dparks.wr.usgs.gov/olympic/images/oly494.jpg

It really does look like that. Fantastic. I kept expecting to find an Ent around the next turn in the trail. I want to go back there someday.
Actually, Azaelia, The Hoh Rainforest is part of the Olympic National Park. It is unique in all the world because it has 3 different climate zones in one park: The Mountains, the Temperate Rainforests and the Beaches.

I do enjoy the hiking in the the rainforest, but I have to say that the Mountains are by far, my favorite.
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:05 PM   #31
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I want to see mountains again, Gandalf. Mountains! And find someplace where I can finish my book!
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Old 03-03-2009, 11:16 AM   #32
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I want to see mountains again, Gandalf. Mountains! And find someplace where I can finish my book!
My Teen-aged Elfling is anxious to hike with us again.
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:33 AM   #33
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Exmoor

IMO, Exmoor, a national park in the SW of the UK, (and where I live) is as Shire-like as can be. There are areas on this planet that receive more than their fair share of beauty, and Exmoor is one of them.

Gentle rolling fields and woodlands. Higher up, you come to open moorland covered in heather. Pretty streams, little villages with old cottages, very unspoilt countryside. And an extremely good network of public footpaths that go for miles and miles. Very untouristy, I can walk for hours and not see another soul. Plus, we have barrows - real honest to goodness barrows (if you fancy imagining yourself on the Downs). Not yet seen a barrow wight, but I keep hoping.

Exmoor is a walker's paradise, and because of the distance from larger cities, with no major roads spoiling it, it does not attract the hoardes of tourists that areas like the Cotswolds or New Forest do. Long may it stay that way. The countryside is very much as it looked a 100 years ago, even 200 years ago. As it is a National Park, it will stay that way. I love it here, and have yet to see a part of the UK I like more.

In fact, it so Shire-like, I always find myself thinking of the hobbits when I walk, I just can't help it!
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:48 PM   #34
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It sounds wonderful! I'd so love to see it Melilot!
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:19 AM   #35
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Anyone in the UK might have found some ideas from last night's Railway walks on BBC2 which was about the Monsal Trail. I've been along some of this and it's ace - loads of old tunnels, lime kiln workings, trout, and it includes the valley far below Monsal Head, the old mill villages of Litton and Cresswell and a weird bit where there is no actual path, but you have to go along stepping stones in the Wye at the foot of a gorge!
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Old 03-12-2009, 11:54 AM   #36
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IMO, Exmoor, a national park in the SW of the UK, (and where I live) is as Shire-like as can be. There are areas on this planet that receive more than their fair share of beauty, and Exmoor is one of them.
while I love the West Country, and find very Middleearth-ish parts of my native New Forest (less happy about that being made a National Park though since we have been managing our own affairs nicely for centuries now). I have to admit that Tolkien's own Warwickshire does (unsuprisingly) out do anywhere else for Shireness. I conceded defeat on a summer visit a few years ago. Nevertheless I know a bluebell wood or two locally that would fit nicely and beechwoods that would make even an elvish heart sing....
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:59 PM   #37
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while I love the West Country, and find very Middleearth-ish parts of my native New Forest (less happy about that being made a National Park though since we have been managing our own affairs nicely for centuries now). I have to admit that Tolkien's own Warwickshire does (unsuprisingly) out do anywhere else for Shireness. I conceded defeat on a summer visit a few years ago. Nevertheless I know a bluebell wood or two locally that would fit nicely and beechwoods that would make even an elvish heart sing....
What about that terrible 'Christmas Land' theme park complete with mud and fist fights that opened in Ringwood last year? Surely that would be more like something out of Mordor? Very atypical for the New Forest - I remember going there and finding it a lovely place, apart from the pubs which were...odd...
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:05 PM   #38
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There is a park by my house (in Anchorage, AK), that reminds me much of the Shire, although I do not live in the UK (wish I did), it is still a nice place to walk, my little brother and I went on a walk there barefoot.
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:16 PM   #39
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I agree with Mithalwen. The New Forest is very Middle-Earthish. Or at least seemed to be so at the times when I have been there.
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