Of the many charming places I wish to visit in the Shire, my first choice would be Hobbiton. My preferred companion of the day would be Rosie Gamgee née Cotton. I wouldn’t complain of meeting any of our beloved and most famous hobbits, but I fancy that to have a fellow woman with whom to share the day would result in a richer and more insightful experience!
Hobbiton is the heart of the Shire. I believe it would afford the greatest example of Shire living and Hobbit life, to say nothing of it having some of my favorite spots in the whole countryside: Green Dragon Inn, the Mill, and Bag-End. The grassy lanes meandering over the hills and the earthen homes dotting the lanes and showered with sundry vibrant flowers bring a delightful warmth and comfort to the heart.
Rosie wouldn’t have to travel much farther than her own doorstep to show me about, and her knowledge of the town and its inhabitants would be in invaluable. As wife to the mayor, Rosie is well-respected and au fait with Hobbiton’s customs, charms, and history. She would bring the children along of course (the girls in matching frocks and the boys in darned suspenders). They would not let us stay in any one place too long, thus helping us make the most of our short time (a day would never be completely satisfactory in the Shire). We might visit the Cottons and later picnic by the Mill with friends and splash our toes in the water. Afternoon Tea would be spent at the Gamgees at Bag-End, with pipe-smoking to follow. The hours subsequent to a substantial, home-cooked Supper would see the adults at the Green Dragon Inn singing, swigging, and storytelling well into the night.
Rosie would know every in and out and morsel of information, both inside and outside Hobbiton. She would be the finest and most exuberant guide for one visiting the Shire for a day—though it is my not-so-secret hope she may persuade me to stay longer!
Elizabeth is an enthusiastic Tolkienite. She is a young farmer in South Carolina with a penchant for flower-pressing and routinely reading no less than three books at a time (and occasionally more)! She is on Instagram @weareberkians.