The Tolkien Trail: Touring the real life inspiration behind Middle Earth

Although the classic Lord of the Rings Trilogy was shot in New Zealand, the real life inspiration behind some of Tolkien’s most fantastic landscapes came from Birmingham, England.

This is where Tolkien grew up and spent his childhood exploring mysterious places like Moseley Bog which, according to the local Birmingham website, “is recalled in The Lord of the Rings as the ‘Old Forest’, last of the primeval woods in which Tom Bombadil lived.”

Just down the road from the bog is the Sarehole Mill (above) where Tolkien played as a young child and also where Bilbo Baggins did the same.

As you might imagine, the local community has latched on to their favorite son and now promote the “Tolkien Trail” where enthusiasts can check out landmarks that inspired Middle Earth and also visit Tolkien’s home, church, and other prominent locations from his childhood.

Personally, I’d rather check out New Zealand to get my Tolkien fix. But I would imagine Birmingham would be pretty cool as well.