Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010

The Shire

Location: The Lake District, U.K.

J.R.R. Tolkien's Shire — home of the diminutive Bilbo Baggins and his nephew Frodo, as well as the rest of Hobbit-kind — is a place of pastoral simplicity and beauty. Its hills and fields and woodlands are neither vast nor daunting, but retain the sort of cozy charm Tolkien must have encountered in his own frequent rambles through the English countryside. The rugged Lake District in the country's northwest has for centuries drawn visitors in search of a rural idyll, notably inspiring 19th century Romantic poets like William Wordsworth. Regardless of what New Zealand's protesters say, it would be a fitting home for Hobbiton.