Sunday, June 03, 2007

Out and About on the Trail of Tolkien

Despite living near Birmingham for nearly 7 years, I've never actually been touristy and done the Tolkien Trail.

Anyway, on Saturday, the lovely Stuart Williams arranged a great walk for my Writers Circle, round the Tolkien haunts at Sarehole (where he lived for a while when he was a boy). We visited the mill, which features quite heavily in LOTR -

Stuart has an exhibition of his photographs in the new tearoom here. Then we walked down the River Cole and past the house where Tolkien lived, and into Moseley Bog, which is a wonderfully atmospheric bit of swamp with lots of trees - just the sort of place a young boy with a vivid imagination would really love!

Stuart gave relevant readings at various points along the walk - he really knows his stuff. Here he is waxing lyrical about the Lady Galadriel in a suitably wooded spot.

Then we walked up to Joy's Wood which is more open and higher than the bog, where we found some very entish trees.

It was a lovely day (I got a little bit of sunburn!) and very interesting. Stuart knows all the local connections and theories concerning Tolkien and his influences in the area. I'd recommend the tour to anyone interested in LOTR, and if you're not then it's still an interesting walk, though it helps if you have an authority along with you to point things out.

Knitting and book stuff tomorrow - it's too sunny to spend much time in front of the computer today.

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