I had a lovely few hours out with friends earlier today. The sun shone, and it was just warm enough to be pleasant. We walked down to one of the entrances to The Shire Country Park and made our way to Sarehole Mill along the river Cole. I’d hoped we could carry on along the river but the path was closed off due to construction. Instead we made our way to The Hungry Hobbit, which is a rather nice little café.
After that we decided to find the entrance to Moseley Bog, which I knew was round there somewhere. After a couple of false turns, we found it and went inside.
It was fabulous. There were boardwalks to walk along, with some dirt paths and some open areas. We walked right to the entrance at the opposite end and back again. You could see why it inspired Tolkien to create Fangorn Forest and the Ents. We’ll be going back there again.
From there we went into Sarehole Mill and into the coffee shop, where we indulged, and then we paid to go into the Mill itself. I had no idea there was so much to see there. Just look at this view over the mill pool.
Jackie and Fliss kindly posed in front of it. You can just see some of the beautiful flowers in the garden too.
We then walked round the path a little and spotted a vegetable patch with this plaque on it.
Isn’t that fabulous! There was also a bed with a plaque that said “Sam Gamgee’s flower garden”. I loved it.
We walked around the mill pool a little way to a small jetty and got a stunning view of the mill.
I love reflections on water.
Inside the mill there was plenty of information to tell you what you were seeing. It was all beautifully restored and really interesting. There was a little treasure hunt with pictures of characters from The Hobbit, with a clue with each picture to tell you where to find the next one. (Ok, so it was for the kids, but we had fun too.) We found them all with Bilbo Baggins being the last one right at the top of the mill. On the way down again, we entered a room with a screen which showed a short film about Tolkien and his connection to the area. We enjoyed the film but I adored the room it was in. This was behind you as you entered the room. Isn’t it brilliant!
A Hobbit hole!
After spending quite some time exploring the mill, we made our way back with a total of 5.24 miles walked.
What a lovely way to get some exercise, eh?