A hobbit house embodies the simple pleasures of life. A cozy chair in front of a wood-burning fireplace; perfectly manicured paths amidst rolling hills; surprisingly spacious larders and of course, the iconic round door—quintessential features of hobbit homes everywhere.
Let’s check out a few examples with these 17 Shire-inspired hobbit homes from around the world.View in gallery
Do Hobbit Houses Exist?
“In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit…”
Thanks to the machinations of director Peter Jackson, millions of fans fell in love with J.R.R. Tolkien’s Shire. Even casual “Tolkienites” may find themselves wishing for a tiny hobbit house to call their own after completing The Lord of the Rings.
Yet, without the One Ring to rule them all, it’ll be a little hard to bring the Shire to life.
Lucky for you, hobbit homes are already real.
Film buffs and book fans can visit the real-life “town” of Hobbiton in New Zealand. If that’s a little too out of the way for you, don’t fret. There are other hobbit houses just waiting for you to visit—starting with our list.
Top 17 Real-Life Hobbit Homes You Can Visit
As so imaginatively described within The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and Unfinished Tales, the Shire is a dream destination for many.
Sadly, as with other Middle-Earth wonders, most of the Shire will likely never be actualized. Even so, these 17 real-life hobbit houses do an incredible job at capturing the idyllic aesthetic portrayed in both the movies and books.
Most of them even allow visitors! Others deny solicitors, but may still be admired from afar. Let’s check them out below.
1. Simon Dale’s Hobbit Home
One of the most famous hobbit holes ever made was created by Simon Dale.
Resting on a rented property in Wales, Dale’s creation is a sustainable underground dwelling that he dug out and crafted by hand. Unfortunately, issues with the landlord prompted Dale and his family to leave this beautiful abode. (Perhaps aiming to recreate the Scouring of the Shire?)
He’s since made (loose) construction plans available on his website for anyone interested in the subterranean lifestyle.
2. The Undercroft Hobbit House
The current dwelling of Simon Dale, the Undercroft is a slight variation of his original hobbit design.
Staying true to the same Tolkienesque design cues, he learned from past mistakes to devise an even more impressive house. As per his previous creation, he employed sustainable ideas throughout. This includes an immense front window for passive solar, a nearby tree garden, and an in-house conservatory.
Although this is a private hobbit home, visitors to his website can still appreciate Mr. Dale’s innovation.
3. Hobbiton New Zealand
Yes, it’s real! Sort of.
Most of the hobbit homes in Hobbiton (located in Matamata, New Zealand) are merely facades, though you can enter a few of them. Don’t let that spoil the experience, though! Hobbiton is a sight to behold, one which draws millions of visitors every year.
Note that the famous interior of Bag End as seen in the movies was shot on a set in Wellington. However, you may still pass by the exterior of Bilbo Baggins’ home and even grab pints by the flagon at the Green Dragon Inn.
Just a short stroll away from the Hobbiton and you’ll end up wandering into flocks of sheep—lots of sheep. The rolling hills of Hobbiton are actually grazing fields for local flocks. You’ll find more than a couple wandering about the exterior so be sure to stop by the nearby petting zoo!
4. Wooden Wonders Hobbit House
What if you could have your own mini hobbit home?
Family-owned Wooden Wonders lets you do just that. They provide chicken coops, sheds, and playhouses in the style of a hobbit hole. They also offer custom orders for larger constructions, including home offices, guest cottages, and craft rooms.
Assembly is usually done by the buyer, though you can also pay extra for the labor. Depending on your specifications, assembly services can install your mini hobbit house above or below ground.
Each design brings a touch of fantasy to your property. Mark it down as another great addition to your backyard bucket list!
5. The Shire of Montana
For a price, this Shire reproduction can be all yours.
Crafted by Steve and Christine Michaels, the Montana-based couple went above and beyond to make this mini Shire feel as fanciful as possible.
In addition to the basic amenities, the couple decorated the landscape with a special, movie set-esque flair. You’ll find fairy homes, a wishing well, and even a troll mine!
Set in the already-idyllic Trout Creek, Montana area, this hobbit house rental is truly one of a kind.
6. Earth House Estate Lättenstrasse
Located in Dietikon, Switzerland, the plain white exterior pictured above is deceptive.
Created by the Vetsch Architektur firm, Earth Houses aren’t exclusive to one area. The firm has created more than 90 eco-friendly hobbit homes across Switzerland and abroad.
7. The Dune House
This one isn’t your standard tiny hobbit house.
Developed in 1975 by William Morgan, the Dune House makes no direct allusions to Tolkien, much less Frank Herbert’s Dune saga. In fact, Morgan was inspired by sand dunes created by the 1964 Hurricane Dora.
Even so, his creation conjures up images of Middle-Earth and the lively though gentle residents of the Shire.
The Dune House is also two homes, not one. Measuring 750-square-feet each, this duplex lands somewhere between science fiction and fantasy for more contemporary-minded hobbits.
8. Green Magic Homes
Through the power of modular construction and green tech, Green Magic Homes‘ innovative designs bring budding hobbits into the 21st century.
Buyers choose their floor plan from a predefined catalog (which they may customize). After the necessary steps, Green Magic Homes will deploy to the site and craft your very own hobbit house from scratch.
From tiny to immense, each design prioritizes eco-living while never skimping on contemporary luxury. Although primarily based in the US, Green Magic Homes develops homes and rentals across the globe.
9. Peter Archer’s JRR Tolkien HomageView in gallery
Probably one of the most impressive sites on this list, Peter Archer created his own life-sized tribute to Tolkien in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
Though it might not slink under the turf like in Hobbiton, Archer’s creation effortlessly captures the cozy side of Middle-Earth. From the stonework to the carefully selected furniture, this home would be the toast of either Buckland or Bree.
10. Santa Fe Hobbit House
Let’s take check out a new hobbit-y perspective with this tiny home.
The location can’t be beaten either. The property is just a short trip from the Santa Fe plaza, making it far more urban than the traditional bucolic hobbit hole. Not your typical hobbit vacation getaway, but one worth checking out nonetheless.
11. Villa Vals
Bag End isn’t right for everyone—and that’s okay.
More akin to a dwarven dwelling than a hobbit house, the Villa Vals in Switzerland is proof that the future doesn’t lie in skyscrapers but beneath the surface.
Designed by Bjarne Mastenbroek and Christian Müller, Villa Vals is almost entirely subterranean. In addition to its fantastic mountain views, the house also gained international attention after it was featured on the Netflix series “The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes.”
While we can’t speak for its current residents, we have no doubt that Durin the Deathless would dwell within this mountain home.
12. The Hobbit House in the Cotswolds
In need of TLC and indoor plumbing, the Cotswolds’ hobbit home is lovely as it is dangerous.
Actually, it’s not even a house. It’s a sheep shed! A local artist began and eventually abandoned the site sometime in the 90s, leaving behind the most unusual hobbit hole on this list.
While it may not be a home, 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
Iceland is a cold land largely devoid of trees. The inhabitants had to improvise and eventually developed turf houses, a crossbreed between Viking living and hobbit homes.
Although native to Iceland, these structures represent a growing trend of more economical, subterranean sustainable homes. Should you reside where extreme weather is the norm, the grassy roofs save money on insulation (with an added bonus of an ultra-rustic facade).
14. Orcas Island Hobbit Home
Washington state is known for its exceptional greenery. Orcas Island takes legendary foliage to the extreme with lush forests, whimsical shorelines, and wild flower-speckled mountain trails.
Rather than dipping below the landscape, the Orcas Island hobbit home is more like a hobbit cathedral set amongst the trees. It has all the amenities for hobbit comfort but with the charm and elegance of Lothlórien.
Located beneath a mound in the UK lies this post-modern take on subterranean living.
Malator is owned by retired barrister Bob Marshall-Andrew. Thus, it’s not open to the public. What lies within is a spacious, futuristic abode that virtually sinks into the earth like a trapdoor spider.
(One imagines this is where Saruman may have lived if he had taken up residence in the Shire.)
16. Mount Hartman Bay Estate
Built on a private peninsula overlooking the Mount Hartman Nature Reserve, this rental is as much a luxury hacienda as it is a fantasy villa for hobbits.
It may not be humble, but it’s still worth checking out for your next vacation.
17. Washington Hobbit Hole
The Orcas Island home isn’t the only dream location in Washington.
Built by dress designer Kristie Wolfe, the Hobbit Inn is one of our favorite hobbit homes. It’s nestled in the small town of Orondo, near the Columbia River Gorge.
Between the handcrafted wood arches and whimsical fireplace, Wolfe’s painstaking artistry is evident in every last square foot.
Guests can wait over a year to visit so be sure to book early!
Want a Hobbit House? The Road Goes Ever On and On
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 house of your very own!
While few people need an excuse to travel, these hobbit homes provide tantalizing destinations replete with Shire-like accouterments 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? Better yet, know of any must-see hobbit holes not featured on our list? Leave us a comment below!