He may have been born in South Africa in 1892, but when he was 4 years old, JRR Tolkien and his family moved to the Midlands city of Birmingham, where he remained throughout his childhood, moving between various sub-districts of the city.

With the most recent Peter Jackson film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, helping in the showcasing of the astounding literary works of this incredible writer, it’s no wonder that the love for Tolkien is continuing to flourish across people of all ages. His ability to produce such fascinating stories, about fantasy worlds and imagined languages, is truly inspiring.

Head for Birmingham if you want to explore the area that Tolkien spent his childhood years and gain insight into the regions that inspired him. Check into one of the cheap hotels in Birmingham and begin your adventure across Middle Earth.

Originally living in Hall Green, the Tolkien family moved to Edgbaston later on, just on the outskirts of the city. Birmingham and the surrounding area is often credited with holding much of the inspiration Tolkien needed for writing his literary masterpieces, including the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings.

Head for the village of Sarehole, which is said to be the basis for Hobbiton and The Shire. Apparently Tolkien and his brother spent a great deal of time playing near the mill in the village, being scolded by the miller’s son, who they nicknamed the “white ogre”. With help from the author, Sarehole Mill is now a museum that is open during the warmer months, which would be an ideal item on your itinerary – be sure to check it’s open before you go though! It’s become a place of homage within the Tolkien fanbase, who come along for the Middle Earth weekend.

The day includes dedicated marquees erected on the recreation ground behind Sarehole Mill, which provide plenty of activity and entertainment, guaranteeing fun for the whole family. Activities are usually themed, with 2013’s being “Here be Dragons” plus a plethora of demonstrations, children’s activities and re-enactments that will keep everyone happy for the whole day. The popularity of the weekend has increased substantially over recent years, so start planning your trip, today!

Alternatively, enjoy an unexpected journey of your own this February with the help of Midlands Discovery Tours, who will take you on a Middle Earth tour with the help of a qualified guide. From the childhood haunts to the inspiration behind the characters and locations in his works, Birmingham has substantial links with Tolkien, which is all revealed with this fantastic tour. Celebrate the former Birmingham resident and book your tickets to this lovely day, running on the 24th February.

With plenty of cheap hotels in Birmingham to use as a base, it’s completely up to you what you do with your Tolkien-esque weekend in the Midlands. Enjoy the great outdoors and let your imagination guide you through Tolkien’s childhood. If Tolkien can find inspiration in this fabulous city, you can too.


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