Glamping with Tolkien

Hidden in the midst of the Ribble Valley, overlooking the river is Hobbit Hill Glamping, a new site with five log cabins which sleep two to five people.

We arrived mid-afternoon in late April, dodging showers all the way up but arriving to clear skies and beautiful views across the River Ribble and the stunning countryside beyond. The site is just off the B6243 which borders the Forest of Bowland AONB and is an ideal spot for exploring the entire area, from the River Ribble right up to the Yorkshire Dales. 

The Valley is still relatively off the tourist map, which is wonderful for those who are visiting as it’s filled with “locals” who are there for the weekend from the neighbouring cities and towns and usually have a great knowledge of what's on and where. It’s also popular with walkers and cyclists due to the winding country roads and plentiful public footpaths.

Our first port of call was Clitheroe where we picked up milk and a few bits for breakfast. It’s only three miles away from Hobbit Hill so is handy for bigger shops but there’s a local shop in the next village that sells essentials (and serves a cracking breakfast, so we were told).

Instead of tempting the British weather, we opted for an early dinner at a local pub, The Aspinall Arms which is a mile away, serves a daily menu and has about six ales on tap. It was a busy Saturday afternoon so we were impressed with the quality of the service.

With full tummies, we headed back to Hobbit Hill and were greeted by owner, John, who recommended we walk off our meal along the River. He pointed out a route, which is visible from the site, and said if we follow it up to Hurst Green, we’d end up at The Shireburn pub. So off we went.

It was a half mile walk to the River Ribble and the evening broke into a beautiful Spring sunset as we followed the river to an arched bridge, through woodlands carpeted in wild garlic, bluebells and wood anemones and then up to the village through fields of skipping lambs. It sounds cheesy but it really was idyllic and we could understand why Tolkien based his fictional village, The Shire, on the landscape as we jumped babbling brooks and sauntered up to The Shireburn. A coincidence? We think not and we’re pretty sure there was dancing on the tables later that evening as the pub was hosting a wedding. 

After our pit-stop, we followed the footpath along the main road back to the site and joined our neighbours around the fire pit for a drink and some music as the full moon rose over the Valley. John had been to pick them up a Chinese takeaway but there are cooking facilities on site.

Our cabin had two bunk beds and was warm, dry and very clean. It had cups, plates, a fridge, toaster and microwave as well as a towel rail. The toilet and shower block was right next door so after a cosy night we had hot showers and ate breakfast in the sunshine before packing up and heading on our way. 

If you’re looking for an outdoorsy glamping experience with home comforts and everything you need within walking distance (so no need for a car), Hobbit Hill is perfect and with national parks and heritage sites within a few miles, there’s plenty to see and do. 

Stays start from £45 per night if you take advantage of their brilliant special offers. Book online at www.hobbithill.co.uk

Megan is the owner of Rural Roots PR & Journalism, specialising in rural tourism, where her passion for travel, heritage and a great visitor experience inspired her to start 'The Rural Travel Guide'.

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