Hobbit homes are emblematic of the simple things that remind us of how good life can be. Cozy chairs in front of crackling fireplaces; perfectly manicured paths amidst rolling hills; round doors and windows; well-stocked larders full of seed cakes and stout beers.
These all comprise scenes of the Shire’s pastoral way of life so vividly imagined by the genius of JRR Tolkien.
As such, who wouldn’t want to live in one of these Hobbit homes?
While it’s fairly well-known that Hobbiton is a real place you can visit in New Zealand, that’s not the only place where you can find these rustic, quaint dwellings. Today, we’re taking a look at 19 Hobbit Homes located around the world to grow your bucket list broader than Bombur’s belt.
Top 17 Real-Life Hobbit Homes
Nothing beats getting lost in the Shire as imaginatively described within the pages of the Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and Unfinished Tales. But, these real-life hobbit houses do an incredible job of capturing the idyllic aesthetic portrayed in both the movies and books. Most of them even allow visitors!
1. Simon Dale’s Hobbit Home
One of the most famous hobbit holes ever made was crafted by hand on rented property by a man named Simon Dale. This is a sustainable underground dwelling that Mr. Dale dug out, only to be forced to leave after issues with the landlord (perhaps aiming to recreate the Scouring of the Shire?) He’s since gone on to offer plans for anyone interested in the subterranean lifestyle to make a similar hobbit home all their own.
2. The Undercroft Hobbit House
The current dwelling of Simon Dale, The Undercroft is a slight variation on his original hobbit theme, where he learned from his mistakes and devised an even more impressive house using the same Tolkienesque design cues. Employing sustainable ideas throughout, including an immense front window for passive solar, The Undercroft is truly Mr. Dale’s hobbit home 2.0.
3. New Zealand Hobbit Town
Yes, it’s real–sort of. Most of the hobbit homes in Hobbiton are merely facades, though you can enter a few of them. Nevertheless, don’t let that fact spoil the experience–Hobbiton is a sight to behold and draws tons of visitors each year. Sadly, the famous interior of Bag End as seen in the movies was shot on a set in Wellington. But, you can drink your pints by the flagon at the Green Dragon!
Once you go, you’ll notice sheep–lots of sheep. The rolling hills are perfect grazing fields for the local flocks, and has been opened up for just that purpose. Classic New Zealand to make room for sheep!
4. Wooden Wonders Hobbit House
What if you could have a hobbit home on your own property? Family-owned Wooden Wonders lets you do just that, with options to build a chicken coop, shed, or even a cottage in the style of a hobbit hole. They can do it above or below ground, depending on your specifications, and each one brings a little bit of fantasy that has your personal touch all over it. Consider it another addition to your backyard bucket list!
5. The Shire of Montana
For a scant $245 a night, this Shire reproduction crafted by Steve Michaels and his wife Christine can be yours. They’ve gone for the deep cuts to make every space feel as fanciful as possible; even creating benches and environmental additions that add special Shire flair to already-idyllic Trout Creek, Montana.
6. Earth House Estate Lättenstrasse
That plain white exterior surrounding the lagoon in Dietikon, Switzerland is deceptive. Duck inside one of these Earth Houses built by the Vetsch Architektur firm and you’ll be treated to domed ceilings, wide luxurious floorplans, and space to spare littered with modern conveniences. The same firm has continued this building style and now boasts more than 90 houses in the eco-friendly hobbit style.
7. The Dune House
Made in 1975 with no direct intention of emulating Tolkien’s description of The Shire, William Morgan’s Dune House nonetheless conjures up images of the squat residents of Middle Earth. A dual room pair of domiciles measuring 750-square-feet apiece, these land somewhere in the gray area between science fiction and fantasy.
8. Green Magic Homes
For approximately $42 a square foot, you can order a Green Magic Home of your very own, which brings the joy of cave dwelling into the 21st century. Cut to your specifications and complete with wooden doors and windows, there’s no end to the ways you can build a Green Magic Home. From tiny to immense, each design works with the natural environment while never skimping on contemporary luxury.
9. Peter Archer’s JRR Tolkien Homage
Probably the most impressive piece on this list, Peter Archer loved Tolkien’s work so much, he just couldn’t help but re-create it to his own specifications. Though it might not slink under the turf like most hobbit houses, it captures the fantasy essence in every curve, carefully selected furnishing, and lovingly crafted rafter. Consider it more a taste of Buckland than Hobbiton.
10. Santa Fe Hobbit House
Partially a private rental, but also a live-in art gallery, the adobe structure works perfectly with the powerful Santa Fe heat–minimizing the need for A/C. And, the location can’t be beat; it’s just a short trip to the Santa Fe plaza, making it far more urbane than the traditionally bucolic hole-in-the-ground.
11. Villa Vals
Really more of a dwarven hold than a hobbit home, Villa Vals in Switzerland is proof that the future lies beneath the surface, not in the skyscrapers reaching into the clouds. Full of Dutch art and architecture by Bjarne Mastenbroek, this is where Durin would dwell were he to jump off the page and move to Europe.
12. The Hobbit House in the Cotswolds
An abandoned place that needs a little TLC and a lot of indoor plumbing, this stone house is as lovely as it is dangerous. It might not be a dead-ringer for a hobbit home, but it does evoke the same sense of mystery as the Barrow Downs. Just don’t expect Tom Bombadil to show up!
13. Icelandic Turf Houses
These represent a new trend among those who are tired of heating their aboveground living quarters during the brutal winters. Iceland’s Turf Houses make sustainable hobbit/viking living a vogue notion. Besides the ultra-rustic looks, these turf houses with their grassy roofs offer a practical design for saving money on insulation, should you reside where extreme weather is the norm.
14. Orcas Island Hobbit Home
Washington state is known for its indomitable greenery, and Orcas Island takes that legendary foliage to extremes. Rather than dipping under the landscape, the Orcas Island Hobbit Home is more like a Hobbit Cathedral set among the trees.
Beneath a mound in the UK, bearing a mirrored surface is this modern-art take on the suburban subterranean space. It digs greedily and deep to offer a spacious abode that virtually disappears like a trapdoor spider. One imagines this is what Saruman might have eventually built for himself had he his final residence in the Shire.
16. Mount Hartman Bay Estate
Built on a private peninsula overlooking the Mount Hartman Nature Reserve where the rare Grenanda Dove makes its nest, this is a rental to remember that is as much luxury hacienda as it is fantasy villa.
17. Hawaiian Hobbit Hole
Built by dress designer Kristie Wolfe for a pittance, this is one our favorite Hobbit homes due to the painstaking artistry that Ms. Wolfe brings to everything she does. Located in scenic Hawaii, there’s few places more mystical and serene in the world.
Want a Hobbit House? The Road Goes Ever On and On
In conclusion, there are so many options to live out your LotR fantasies. We’ve sniffed out 17 real-life hobbit homes like a Gamgee on a mushroom forage. While you can’t book a stay in all of them, many of them do indeed take reservations. Moreover, a few options even help you build a hobbit hole of your very own!
While few people need an excuse to travel, these hobbit homes provide tantalizing destinations replete with Shire-like accoutrements and architectural cues. Any one of them will make for a memorable adventure without the perils of dragon slaying.
Which is your favorite hobbit home? Have you visited one, or do you plan to build your own? Or, know of any must-see hobbit holes not featured on our list? Leave us a comment below!