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With the ‘The Magic of Middle Earth’ Exhibition landing in the County this summer, we took a look at the history of Tolkien in Worcestershire. From Hobbit doors, to the rolling Malvern Hills, why not check out our 24 hour Tolkien Itinerary. Perfect for any Tolkienite!
‘Middle Earth’ represents the genius of the late Tolkien’s imagination, with a variety of breath-taking terrains which come together to form an imaginary world that fans of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ books and films have so often found themselves lost in. But did you know, the Malvern Hills is said to be the inspiration for this creative landscape?
Tolkien was a frequent visitor to Malvern, with his good friend CS Lewis in the 1930s, spending the day walking the Malvern’s before enjoying a local ale in the Unicorn Pub. These trips are thought to be the inspiration for the Ered Nimrais mountain range of Middle Earth, or as they’re widely known, the White Mountains.
Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum are this summer playing host to a stunning display of memorabilia from collector Matt Fox. The ‘Magic of Middle-Earth’, is a magical treasure trove of over 200 rare books, objects, and artworks to explore, providing family fun for all ages, from little halflings to wizened wizards!
The free exhibition is now open and on throughout the summer holidays.
The official J.R.R Tolkien Walking Story starts at Wyche Cutting and is a circular route that takes you along to British Camp, taking in the Giants Cave, you walk along Shire Ditch – a location of struggle between historic landowners and through an old quarry, which to the introspective eye would have influenced where dwarves used to mine for gold and gems.
Of course you can walk through the forests on the lower slopes where the Elves and ‘Ents’ may have once lived in Tolkien’s literary creations.
Finishing back at Wyche Cutting Car Park. The walk is strenuous in places and takes around 5 hours to complete (approx. 9/10 miles)
For those looking to stay overnight, the Cottage in the Woods Hotel and Restaurant is a small walk from the above route, saving you 30 mins on the return leg – why not pop in for a lunch and take in the stunning views across the County from their Award-Winning Restaurant, 1919 which offers seasonable alcarte and tasting menus in the evening as well as a fantastic breakfast.
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If that wasn’t enough Tolkiening for one day, why not head into Great Malvern, which is a five-minute drive from the hotel. There you will find an array of shops, local cafes, restaurants, and attractions.
Here you will find the Unicorn Inn which is the local drinking ‘hot spot’ for Tolkien and CS Lewis as well as the ‘Hobbit Door’ painted by a local artist on Belle View Island.
For dinner, the Cottage in the Woods offers a set Worcestershire tasting menu in there 1919 restaurant, but other popular location choices include:
• The Terrace on the Hill
• Mulberry Tree
After a pastry at Faun, its time to head to Great Malvern Train station or hit the road towards Worcester City. Trains leave every 15/30 minutes between Malvern and Worcester Foregate Street and takes less then 15 minutes.
As you arrive at Foregate, head right and walk towards Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum.
The Gallery is open for FREE Monday – Saturday 10:30 – 4:30pm and between the 9th July and 17th September is playing host to the ‘Magic of Middle Earth’ collection.
On display for the first time in the West Midlands, over 200 items are on display, with dress up activities and hobbit chair on display for fans to capture selfies.
After a good mooch around, why not stop at the Museum Café run by one of our Visit Worcestershire Award Winners, Little Al’s for a coffee and a cake.
Or head back into Worcester City to take a look around the variety of independent shops, a walk around the river, take in our stunning cathedral and enjoy some food and drink in any number of the amazing local cafes, pubs and restaurants.
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