A walk through Tolkien’s Shire
JRR Tolkien (1892 – 1973) loved the Welsh language, describing Welsh as ‘…the senior language of the men of Britain.’ He gave Welsh-inspired names to many characters and places in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
The Brecon Beacons National Park has a connection, it’s thought (but not proved) that Tolkien stayed in the appealing village of Talybont-on-Usk in the 1940s, while working on parts of The Lord of The Rings. Writing at a time when industrialisation was transforming the British countryside, his nostalgic depiction of The Shire was inspired by rural Wales. It’s easy to see similarities between the landscapes in his books and the hills and meadows of the Black Mountains. He named the Hobbit settlement of Crickhollow after nearby Crickhowell.
You can see why on this walk, which spends time beside the delightful Grwyne Fawr river and returns across high fields for broader views of the Usk Valley and the Brecon Beacons. The shorter route is also delightful.
Length: 10 km/6 1/4 miles (shorter route 7 1/2 km/4 3/4 miles)
Time: 3 1/2 – 4 hours (shorter route 2 1/2 hours)
Assent: 210M (700ft)
Terrian: Riverside paths, fields tracks and lanes. River sections may flood after heavy rain. Can be muddy and slippery in places. One busy main road to cross. Lots of stiles, mainly dog-friendly.
For more walks along to Mon and Brec Canal head here
For more walks in Crickhowell head here.