Oh! The "Tourist Farm" eh? All right...
We arrived, paid a moderately outrageous price, and got on the bus to the set.
Our tickets look super duper cool and nerdy.
And there it was, our first sighting of this magical little place. I mean this magical 15 acre place. It's pretty extensive, and there is an incredible amount of detail down to like seriously everything--If I didn't know better, I would have guessed it was all real and running, and a Hobbit would appear. The cool thing was most of the plants and gardens are real and there is a team of gardeners who work to make it perfect all the time, all the way from when it was initially completed for hobbit movie one.
(This is not the shire set for lotr, because that wasn't meant to last, and was ripped down right after filming the original trilogy.)
This is the path known as Gandalf's cuts a think? I have to re-look that up. Anyway, it's the path Frodo and Gandalf go through initially on the wagon in Fellowship opening scenes. And also where Bilbo tears through 45 mins into hobbit movie one saying "I'm going on an adventure!"
In front of a hobbit hole. Fake honey jars. With fake honey combs inside. Actually looking back, I wonder if they were real..
And of course Bag End! I wasn't allowed in because I didn't get invited to the party. I'll have to call ahead next time.
Then we headed down Bagshot Row to Sam's house.
And I checked his mail.
The Party Tree! I think the guide said it was 180 years old, but it could have been 100...(thank you random dude for giving the picture some scale.)
Then came a little walk through the bush.
To the Green Dragon!
Had some drinks.
Looked around the fine establishment.
And noticed a cool guestbook. Look at the names closely.
And went to the gift shop to buy some stuff, and not buy these Lothlorian gloves, however tempting it was.
Fun fact. These sheep living on the farm it was filmed on were not in the movie at all. (The set is on a family's actual running farm.) Peter Jackson thought they looked too 'modern' and shipped a different kind in from England or something. These fleecy things missed their window of fame.
One last fun fact. When we arrived on the set, our guide said there was a current record for the most pictures taken during the guided tour. It is 3,400. (Individual and focused, no burst.) He said by that point though, to stay on track we would have to have been up to 400 already. I chose to enjoy the tour firsthand, and take just a few dozen pictures... :)
What a magical experience!