Back On The Tolkien Trail. 🧙‍♂️🥾

Although I’ve posted about The Tolkien Trail on my blog before, I walked it again recently with my sister and family, and thought it worth another look. Undoubtedly this tranquil area of Lancashire inspired J. R. R. Tolkien , he often stayed here whilst visiting his son John who attended Stonyhurst College. The Lord Of The Rings author enjoyed walking in the lovely leafy Hurst Green countryside and local place names and landmarks made it into his writings.

On this occasion we followed the route starting at The Shireburn Arms , the 17th century Inn was named after the rich land owning Shireburn family. A river Shirebourn features in The Lord Of The Rings.

Hurst Green village centre.
A Tolkien quote near The Shireburn Arms.
A glorious clump of Purple Loosestrife. ❤️

Our walk very nearly got abandoned. At this point we were meant to be following the riverside but a herd of frisky cows showed too much interest in Hugo the Labrador. We made a hasty retreat up a hill and managed to rejoin the river later.

A house called ‘ Jumbles’ named after Jumbles’ rocks, pertruding stones in the river Ribble.
River depth gage.
Hacking Hall in the background.

The heavens kept opening ( and the sun shone too! ) as we followed the trail. To be honest the walk could really benefit from a few Lord of the Rings inspired sculptures or scribbles along the route, I reckon. Anyway above is Hacking Hall from where the Hacking Ferry boat still operated in Tolkien’s time at Stonyhurst. The ferry was possibly the inspiration for his ‘ Bucklebury Ferry’ .

This old oak is mentioned in The Woodland Trusts Ancient Tree Inventory.
Winckley Hall Farm.
Tree climbers.
Cromwell’s Bridge from Lower Hodder.

Cromwell’s Bridge over the river Hodder may have been the inspiration for Tolkien’s ‘ Brandywine’ bridge. It is named after Oliver Cromwell ,who along with his troops rode over the skinny stone structure, on their way from Gisburn to The Battle of Preston. We followed the riverside up through shady woodland past Hodder court.

Corn crops a long the Holder.
Cuckoo Pint Berry Stalks.
Windey path through the woods.
Up above.
Stepping out.

Eventually we ended up in the grounds of Stonyhurst college, though I didn’t manage to get many photos. And then back to the car parked in Hurst Green. The trail covered 6 or 7 miles in total.

Stonyhurst college grounds from behind.
Alm houses in Hurst Green.

I must confess I have never read any Tolkien, though I enjoyed watching The Lord Of The Rings films. When walking the trail you probably need to research the areas connections beforehand, as there is no signage or information on the route. Nevertheless this was an enjoyable hike around a lovely area. 🥾

Here is a recent post from The Bowland Climber who was in the area too.

The Tolkien Trail can be downloaded online and can be found in numerous local walk books. I used…

Walks Around Clitheroe ~ Terry Marsh.

28 thoughts on “Back On The Tolkien Trail. 🧙‍♂️🥾”

  1. Lovely walk, the Cromwell Bridge is like something out of a fairytale. What I’m about to say is sacrilegious to Tolkien’s fans but I preferred the Lord of the Rings films to the books, though I have fond memories of reading the Hobbit and hated the films of it. ☺️

    1. The bridge is definitely like one from a fairytale. It gets photographed alot! I still haven’t seen the Hobbit films. I do have a friend called Arwen who was named after a character in Lord of the Rings , the elf princess. 😊

  2. Good walk.
    Yes, I was thereabouts the previous day in full sunshine! At least Hugo and the children looked as though they were enjoying the weather.
    I seem to have posted so many walks in that area, it is lovely. I never tire of the stretch along the Hodder, did you know about the Stonyhurst bathing huts alongside some good pools for wild swimming?
    I never enjoyed Tolkien’s books so didn’t bother with the films.

    1. I didn’t know about the Stonyhurst bathing huts. I don’t suppose they are still there? Yes it’s a lovely area. Very good for walks. 🙂

      1. The remains are to be seen just below the stone bridge, pictured in your post, above the Hodder.
        I can just imagine the pupils being marched down there for an invigorating swim in mid January.

  3. A lovely walk Sharon & glad you shared along with the photos. These posts are making life a little more meaningful at the moment with so much lockdown in place. I keep thinking of all the walks we could do if we get over there again. I love those old bridges. Thanks, take care, stay safe & huggles.

  4. Love the look of Cromwell Bridge, not seen one like that before. Looks as though the weather is the same up north as it is here. Soaking followed by sun, breeze and cloud, then soaking etc

  5. That bridge looks too delicate to handle an army!! What a lovely walk!! I love both the books and the movies—read the books as a teen and tried again several years ago but couldn’t manage them. I think technology has destroyed my attention span. But every winter, during some nasty cold spell, we do a Lord of the Rings movie marathon 😊😊

  6. Thank you for sharing this walk, it looks wonderful. I don’t usually like fantasy fiction but I loved reading The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Love that this walk has things that inspired Tolkein.

  7. Walked this route quite a few years ago dragging a reluctant 15 year old daughter behind me who was supposed to be practicing for her DofE walk. Didn’t spot any hobbits, mind.

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