A weekend in Birmingham on the Tolkien Trail

With the latest addition to The Hobbit trilogy being recently released on DVD, and the next instalment ready to grace our cinema screens in a few months, now would be a perfect time to delve a little deeper into the life of the author, JRR Tolkien. While he may have been born in South Africa in 1892, he had an affinity with the city of Birmingham since moving there at four years old and, as such, literary fans will love to explore the sights that have been linked to the writer’s Midland adventures.

The Tolkein Trilogy

The Tolkein Trilogy

It’s often believed that Middle Earth was based on the Midlands, so it’s only natural to want to see where Tolkien gained his inspiration. If you’re after a weekend break in the city so that you can see more, book with Travelodge and you won’t have to worry about spending more than your budget can allow on accommodation. The Tolkien Trail is the perfect way of exploring parts of Tolkien’s childhood, with highlights including:

Sareholl Mill in Birmingham Photo: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Sareholl Mill in Birmingham on the Tolkein Trail

  • Sarehole Mill, situated in the village of Sarehole (which is often considered to be the inspiration for Hobbiton and The Shire), is a fantastic museum that pays homage to Tolkien. It’s believed that he, and his brother, used to play for hours near the mill. It’s only open for part of the year though, so make sure you check that it’s open before you visit to avoid disappointment.
Moseley Bog in Birmingham Photo: Peter Lewis on Flickr

Moseley Bog in Birmingham

  • Moseley Bog was once a mill pool and was the site of many an adventure for Tolkien when he was a lad. Nowadays, it’s a Local Nature Reserve and a perfect addition to your Tolkien itinerary if you’re a lover of the great outdoors. You can access it via Yardley Wood Road or the Wake Green Playing Fields.
  • St Anne’s Church on Alcester Street is where Tolkien and his family used to worship. Pop by during service hours and you can enjoy the interior beauty as well as the outside.
  • Perrott’s Folly stands near to the Edgbaston Waterworks, alongside a Victorian tower that, together, are believed to be the inspiration behind the Two Towers of Gondor – which, as any Tolkien fan will know, is the name of the second book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Perrotts Folly in Brirmingham Photo: Tony Hidgett on Flickr

Perrotts Folly in Birmingham on the Tolkein trail

Whether you wish to head off on your own adventure, discovering these places and more, or you prefer to embark upon a Middle Earth tour with the help of a tour guide, the Tolkien trail is a must for any fan of this fantasy writer. These tours operate at various times during the year, so keep an eye on the Midlands Discovery Tours site if you fancy being part of the next one – you can sign up to receive email notification of when tickets for the next tour go on sale, and it’s recommended you do so, because they sell fast!

If you can’t wait for the next tour, there’s no reason why you can’t venture out on your own to see where the inspiration for Tolkien’s amazing literary works evolved. Incorporate it into your visit to Birmingham and learn more about Tolkien’s roots in The Midlands.

This article was brought to you in partnership with Travelodge.

Photo Credits: Sarehole Mill by Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Moseley Bog by Peter Lewis, Perrott’s Folly by Tony Hisgett, Tolkein Trilogy from TheHobbit.com

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

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  • Reply
    Tim Stratton
    April 9, 2014 at 2:04 am

    You might also like to check out the Lickey Hills Country Park. Tolkien lived nearby in Rednal with his Mother and some suggest that this area was the inspiration for the Shire.
    I was at school nearby and can understand why that is possible.

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      April 9, 2014 at 8:45 pm

      @Tim Thanks for the tip of Lickey Hills Country Park to add to the Tolkein haunts

  • Reply
    April 12, 2014 at 7:48 am

    The mind can take the simplest inspiration and turn it into something grand … I’ll keep this in mind when I end up in England!

  • Reply
    April 12, 2014 at 7:49 am

    The mind can take the simplest inspiration and turn it into something wonderful … I’ll keep this in mind when I end up in England!

  • Reply
    Hamish Healys
    April 14, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    It sounds and looks very interesting … the Tolkien Trail in Birmingham. It sort of gives me a look-see into the kind of inspiration that worked for the man.

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      April 15, 2014 at 9:57 pm

      @Hamish – yes, fascinating to see where people get their inspiration all around us

  • Reply
    April 16, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    What a fascinating weekend! I didn’t know this side of Birmingham.

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      April 17, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      @Renuka Sometimes the places we visit can have the most unexpected connections!

  • Reply
    April 19, 2014 at 5:03 am

    Very interesting Heather. I too am a huge Tolkien fan. I had no idea about his connection to Birmingham though. I’ve lived a bit in the south of England. Time to pay a visit to the north! (I’m not a snob, I promise).
    Andy´s last blog post ..Chasing the Shadow of Jack The Ripper

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      April 19, 2014 at 8:39 am

      @Andy it’s a lot closer to get to Birmingham than New Zealand – worth checking out if you’re a fan

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