J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterful work, The Hobbit, is a tale of bravery, friendship, an epic nail-biting adventure and, most importantly, a hobbit who doesn’t want to go. When Gandalf the Grey arrives at The Shire looking for a companion on his quest, he finds a Bilbo Baggins who is very eager to stay at home. And why wouldn’t he be? When it comes to accommodation, hobbit holes are about as quaint and cosy as it gets.
Here at Snaptrip, we think everyone should be as comfortable in their lodgings as old Bilbo. That’s why we’ve scoured the UK’s stunning shores to find some of the world’s only real-life Hobbit Houses. Ones so snug, Mr Baggins himself wouldn’t ever want to leave.
So, if you’re after an enchanting adventure in some of the world’s most magical dwellings, read on. As Thorin the dwarf puts it, “there’s nothing like looking if you want to find something.”
Stay in a Hobbit House
Bodiam Hobbit House
Location: Bodiam, Rother District, East Sussex
Best for: Being immersed in magic
Nestled in the heart of Rother Valley, East Sussex, a stone’s throw from Bodiam Castle, this hobbit hole sits in the most magical location, one that gives middle earth a run for its money. The historic towns of Winchelsea and Rye sit nearby, where cobbled streets and country pubs immerse you in a mystic old-world feel.
Inside, it’s a masterclass in cosy. A large open plan living area holds a vaulted ceiling and gorgeous wood-burning stove. Best of all, when the weather’s nice, you can feel just as snug outside, in the enclosed garden hot tub.
Make sure you do: While we’re sure you don’t need telling, the nearby majesty of Bodiam Castle demands a visit. If you’re visiting in autumn, you’re in for a real treat. During the fall months, the castle’s walking routes reach a new level of tranquillity, as mist rolls across the crystal moat, and a crisp freshness enters the air.
Where to eat: Sat right across from Bodiam Castle sits another local legend. The Castle Inn is the definition of a warm and welcoming country pub, where most impressively, the food lives up to the location.
Salisbury Hobbit House
Location: Salisbury, Wiltshire, South East
Best for: Quaint and cosy charm
Sat on the outskirts of West Dean in Wiltshire, our vote for the prettiest village in Hampshire, this romantic barn conversion is the epitome of charming. Every little detail, from its rustic front door to its wooden beamed ceiling, and its flower-strewn private terrace adds to its adorable appeal.
Best of all, however, is who’ll greet you when you arrive. Waiting for you on the front doorstep will be a fully-stocked welcome package, delivered by the owner. This wholesome hamper includes hand-picked flowers, homemade marmalade, a pint of milk and a small loaf of wholemeal bread. It doesn’t get more idyllic than that, does it?
Make sure you do: The medieval magnificence of Salisbury Cathedral is an unmissable attraction. As well as boasting incredible gothic architecture and the tallest spire in Britain, the cathedral is home to the Magna Carta. This text established the ideas that no-one was above the law, not even the king, and everyone had the right to a fair trial.
Where to eat: Advertised as both the oldest and the most haunted pub in Salisbury, the Haunch of Venison is a local icon. Home to great food, great drinks and some exceptional furnishings, the enormous oak beams throughout the building pre-date the pub by several hundred years, thought to have come from early sailing vessels.
Florence Spring Hobbit House
Location: St Florence, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Best for: Being one step from nature
This homely Pembrokeshire hobbit hole is best described as camping of the highest quality. Mixing real rustic living with enough modern amenities to make sure you’re still really comfortable, it’s luxury done off the grid.
You’ll get to do a lot beneath the stars, with an outdoor shower, sheltered outdoor dining and kitchen area, and an absolutely incredible wood-fired hot-tub. Grass roofed, wood-beamed and utterly charming, staying here means you’re about as close as nature as you can get, while still having access to a working fridge.
Make sure you do: The only area in the UK to have been awarded National Park status primarily for its spectacular coastline, Pembrokeshire National Park remains one of Wales’ most popular tourist spots. While relatively small, standing at a mere 620 kilometres square, its stunning views, incredible walking routes and idyllic ‘Blue Lagoon’ attracts over 4.2 million visitors a year.
Where to eat: When you’re holidaying in the cosiness of a hobbit hole, you want a meal that continues the theme of comfort and snugness. Well, for a healthy helping of warming comfort food, we recommend heading to Tafarn Sinc, a friendly Pembrokeshire pub serving traditional Welsh classics alongside an exceptional selection of beers.
Location: Alverstone Garden Village, Newchurch, Isle of White
Best for: A slice of tranquility
Nestled in the quaint village of Alverstone in Newchurch, this detached holiday home does peace and quiet better than almost anywhere else. For a moment of utter tranquillity, picture sitting back on the outdoor decking, the clear night sky of the Isle of White above you, and the cottage’s gorgeous fishing lake below. Indoors, the cosiness continues, as the wood-beamed open-plan living space surrounds a wood-burning stove.
Make sure you do: If you’re an exotic adventurer, Amazon World Zoo Park is the perfect place. Home to a vast variety of unusual and incredible animals, over 200 at last count, the park lets you delve into the quirkiest parts of nature, and even get your up close and personal with it. The park is always running new and increasingly brilliant activities, such as the current opportunity to tickle a Tapir.
Where to eat: From the traditional fireplace to the wood-beamed ceilings and the warm welcome you’ll receive when you arrive, this excellent eatery oozes traditional country pub feel. Officially named the 2013’s ‘Country Pub of the Year’, the Pointer Inn is one of the most popular social spots in Newchurch. One of the oldest, most historic pubs in the Isle of White, it serves up a heart-warming selection of traditional British food, washed down with an admirable array of real ales.