top of page

Explore Tolkien's Ribble Valley legacy

As you know J.R.R. Tolkien was a ground-breaking English writer famous for his classic fantasy fiction works, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. To this day, his books and subsequent movie adaptations are enjoyed the world over.

But did you know Tolkien was renowned for his love of nature and wooded landscapes in particular here in the Ribble Valley? It was whilst J R R Tolkien spent time at Stonyhurst College in the Ribble Valley that he penned the long awaited follow up to The Hobbit. During WW2 Tolkien visited his eldest son, John, who was studying for the priesthood. John had been evacuated with the English College in Rome, to the Jesuit seminary at St Mary's Hall, which is now Stonyhurst College.

"Some of the most dramatic and vivid chapters were written during the war years - from Gandalf's fall into darkness in Moria, written in 1941, to the long, painful journey of Frodo and Sam into Moria , which occupied much of 1944."

His relationship with the area doesn’t end there. Tolkien's son Michael, taught Classics at Stonyhurst College in the late 1960's to the early 1970's. Tolkien's love of trees continued throughout his life and he persuaded his son, Michael, to plant a copse in the garden, evidence of which can still be seen today.

The Tolkien Trail

Hurst Green marks the starting point for the famous Tolkien Trail. It is a circular 9km walking route along the mostly flat terrain, so it’s great for walkers of all abilities and all ages.

On the trail, you will enter into a world of pastoral scenery and scattered woodlands; a truly glorious part of the English countryside. You will pass Stonyhurst College, the famed boarding school from Tolkien's history. (Did you know? Fellow English writer, Sir Author Conan Doyle, author of The Sherlock Holmes novels, also spent a lot of time at this college.)

Getting there

Hurst Green is 8km / 5miles west of Clitheroe and 15km/91/2 miles northeast of Preston on the B6243. There is limited car parking in the village.

Buses run between Clitheroe, Whalley and Preston serve Hurst Green.

Are you visiting the Ribble Valley?

Why not try something a bit different.

Check out our Glamping Retreat here

619 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page