I have to admit being a latecomer to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. It wasn't until my kids came along, both being avid readers and love this fantasy sort of stuff, that I took any notice. In fact I only saw the movies when they came on the TV recently and I sat down and watched them with my son.
Anyway, during a quick trip to New Zealand to visit my daughter, who is currently living/working there, it was brought to my attention that a visit to Hobbiton was near the top of their must see list. I'm glad I took their advice as I actually really enjoyed it.
The place looks amazing and the tour guide provided lots of behind the scene stories about building the site and making the movies. Even the drive to the car park opened up scenery of rolling green hills and valleys and massive, gnarly old trees sitting in the landscape that left you in no doubt that you were traveling through the Shire.
Hobbiton is only accessible through a guided tour, and although I can understand why it is necessary to control the numbers and not allow people to traipse over what is essentially a fragile movie set, the only downside was that it all felt a bit rushed, especially at the end. The tour ended with a complimentary drink at the Green Dragon, and after skolling our drink we were herded back on to the bus and taken back to the gift shop/cafe at the entrance. It would have been nice to able to sit a little longer and take it all in.
Funnily enough about half our group "mysteriously" disappeared when it was time to leave and didn't make their allotted bus back. I must remember that next time.
Canon 5D Mkiii, Canon 16-35, Sigma 70-200.