Have you ever dreamed of visiting Hobbiton? Did you watch The Lord of the Rings and imagine yourself as one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s little hobbits heading off on their own adventure through Middle Earth?
“I think I’m quite ready for another adventure”. (Bilbo Baggins)
Perhaps surprisingly, a little slice of Hobbiton heaven has been created in the heart of the Suffolk countryside where those seeking out Middle Earth legendarium can head.
The owners of West Stow Pods in Bury St Edmunds are such Tolkienites that when they decided to build their very own hobbit hole they spoke at lengths with the Tolkien Society and listened to a specialist that had visited the Hobbiton film set in New Zealand many times in order to achieve an authentic Hobbit house that any fan will love. It really wouldn’t surprise me to see Tolkienists sitting around in the surrounding garden practicing their Elvish languages convinced that they really were about to head out on a quest to fight the Orcs.
West Stow Pods: Luxury Glamping in Suffolk
When I first saw West Stow Pods on the internet I did wonder whether their Halfling-inspired dwelling would live up to expectations. It has always been my dream to visit Hobbiton and embrace all of my Tolkien geekiness for a few days and so finding this luxury glamping experience so close to home instantly won me over.
West Stow Pods is located close to Bury St Edmunds, a historic market town, in the heart of Suffolk, previously favoured by Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, and Ruth Rendell. It is also home to one of the largest breweries in the UK, Greene King, which is open to tours daily as well as having their own cafe and brewhouse on site where you can try their latest beers as soon as they are created.
Heading towards the village of West Stow, close to the Anglo Saxon Village, you will find a selection of luxury glamping pods secreted away in a rural landscape. With a selection of Mega Pods, a Woodland Lodge and Pod Hollow to choose from, it is easy to see why this is already a popular location for families looking for a relaxing break somewhere slightly different.
For me, however, I was obsessed with Pod Hollow, which is nestled away into the side of a verdant hillock and is almost completely hidden from view.
Pod Hollow: An Authentic Hobbit Hole
I literally tripped over the exposed tree roots trying to get to Pod Hollow as quickly as possible; my excitement was bubbling over. Just glimpsing at the dwelling I was transported into my own little Hobbiton scene where I hoped that either Bilbo Baggins or Gandalf would shortly open the heavy, round door and welcome me in.
Every detail has been considered at length, with nothing being overlooked. Walking down the pathway I could see that even the ‘No Admittance Except on Party Business’ sign had been included.
And then we opened the extremely heavy, round door and bent our heads to wander inside.
“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.” (The Hobbit)
From the chandelier hanging over the dining table to the circular opening leading into the enormous kitchen, complete with everything you require for a comfortable stay, Ed and Jan have turned this labour of love into a spectacular home – and trust me when I say you really could live in this hobbit house.
Even the detail in the two double bedrooms has not be overlooked, with their circular stained glassed windows – a feature that spreads throughout – and the painted green vines that replicate the hobbit holes of New Zealand.
For those wanting to take Tolkien fandom to the next level, you will find all of the Lord of the Rings DVD’s to binge watch, a selection of Tolkien books either written by the man himself or about him, and one of the most comprehensive games corner I have seen in any holiday home, but all focusing on the Tolkien theme.
Pod Hollow is an all-encompassing stay for Hobbit fans. In fact, you can even take advantage of the hobbit feet slippers or Gandalf’s cloak, hat and pipe should you really wish to transform into your very own The Lord of the Rings character.
“There are no safe paths in this part of the world. Remember you are over the Edge of the Wild now, and in for all sorts of fun wherever you go.” (The Hobbit)
In fact, Pod Hollow is one of the most authentic hobbit houses I have ever seen. Even the surrounding woodlands remind me of Puzzlewood, believed to be one of the inspirations for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth.
If you fancy staying in a hobbit house and visiting the area around Bury St Edmunds, there really is no other choice. For those not wishing to live out their hobbit fantasies (I am sure there may be some out there) you can also choose from one of Ed and Jan’s snug pods.
West Stow Pods is a glamping site in East Anglia that should not be overlooked. In fact, everyone should consider a visit to Suffolk just so they can stay here.
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We would like to thank both Ed and Jan for their amazing hospitality during our recent visit. We did receive a complimentary stay but as always, all views and opinions are our own and we would never recommend anywhere we would not be prepared to return to as paying guests.