Disclaimer: I may have been financially compensated or be gifted products from the companies mentioned in this post, unless otherwise stated. All opinions and thoughts are genuinely my own. If you wish to find out more, please see my DISCLAIMER page for more information.
If you love fantasy novels and sagas, you’ve probably spent many hours as a teenager reading through The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, wondering how someone could create such a vibrant and magical world. Tolkien was a man of many talents. First of all, he was a qualified philologist – or a linguist as we call it, today –, and used his knowledge to create functional, fictional language. You can even find online tutorials to learn to speak Elvish – Quenya and Sindarin, versions – as invented by Tolkien.
But what you might not realise, though, is that Tolkien’s imaginative world comes from the most surprising source. In fact, the West Midlands region offers a diverse exploration that follows the steps of one of our most beloved authors. Are you ready for your very own Tolkien’s tour through Lord of the Rings?
Coventry is your first destination
It’s hard to imagine that Coventry should be on the list of places to visit when it comes to Tolkien’s inspiration. However, you might want to look for hotels in Coventry to take the full measure of this extraordinary town. You have to understand that while Coventry was dramatically destroyed during the Blitz, Tolkien knew the historic city in its full splendour. Many enthusiastic critics believe that one of the town’s legends, Lady Godiva, inspired Tolkien the strong temperament of Galadriel, the elf queen. Indeed, Galadriel was not only highly praised for her beauty and her hair – just as Lady Godiva riding covered by her hair through Coventry – but her wisdom also makes her a valuable ally in the saga.
Frodo’s companion hides in Birmingham
You will need to head to Birmingham to meet one of the next characters in Lord of the Rings. Tolkien served as a soldier during World War I and was sent back to the University of Birmingham, which served as a military hospital, to rest and treat his trench fever. Pay close attention to a plaque next to the Library of Birmingham, which mentions Dr J. Sampson Gamgee. Doesn’t the name sound familiar? It’s where Sam Gamgee, Frodo’s loyal companion, comes from. You can also get the first taste of Mordor if you visit the Black Country Museum, which in Tolkien’s time was an active maze of mines, ironworks and steel mills.
The Hobbit actually takes place in Malvern
You can visit the village of Hobbiton in New Zealand, as the movie set has been left untouched after filming. But you may not need to travel that far to experience the Hobbit as Tolkien imagined it. Indeed, the inspiration for the novel is said to come from a visit to the Malvern Hills, next to Worcester. Tolkien immediately compared the hills to his own creation, the White Mountains of Gondor. It’s fair to say that his visit helps him to edit his manuscript and make it more appealing to publishers. Remember to dress warmly if you’re following Tolkien’s footsteps. The Malvern Hills can be very windy.
Exploring the West Midlands can give you a feel for what Tolkien’s world was when he began to work on the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Birmingham and Coventry, especially, are some of the most surprising destinations once you start to see things the way Tolkien did!
Disclaimer: I may have been financially compensated or be gifted products from the companies mentioned throughout my blog, unless otherwise stated. Posts on LouiseRoseRailton.com may contain items which have been gifted from a company, are a PR sample or paid for with a gift voucher. LouiseRoseRailton.com also contains sponsored posts, in which I have received paid compensation. All opinions and thoughts are genuinely my own. If you wish to find out more, please see my DISCLAIMER page for more information.
I'm Louise, a 28 year old blogger living in York. I'm a freelance blogger and Teaching Assistant. This is my corner of the internet, in which I cover topics such as mental health, travel, fashion, lifestyle and so much more!
February 2019 – Leeds
March 2019 – Manchester
April 2019 – Harrogate & Hull
May 2019 – Yorkshire Spa Break
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