5 Houses Where You Can Pretend to Be a Hobbit
J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth may be fictional, but real-life “hobbit houses” can be found around the world. Make yourself a second breakfast, kick up your (hairy?) feet and check out five actual dwellings where you can live like a hobbit.
Earth-Friendly Woodland HomeWales
Owner Simon Dale built this impressive hobbit house for less than $5,000 over the course of four months. The dwelling was dug out of a hillside for low visual impact, and scrap wood and other scavenged materials were used for much of the construction. We think the Shire folk would approve of this down-to-earth style of building.
Tolkien-Inspired Guest CottageChester County, Pa.
Avid Tolkien fan and collector Vince Donovan hired Archer & Buchanan Architects to craft this halfling-worthy guest cottage, where he now stores his favorite memorabilia. The 54-inch round cedar door gives the home its distinctive Shire-esque look. Other notable features include a ceramic-tile roof imported from France and a stone façade built from an 18th-century wall salvaged from the property.
The Dune HouseAtlantic Beach, Fla.
If Bilbo Baggins ever needs a beach vacation, this is where he should go. Designed by architect William Morgan, the duplex of two 750-square-foot apartments was actually built underneath a sand dune just steps from the ocean. There’s some added maintenance since you have to mow the grass roof, but it seems like a fair trade-off to live so close to the water.
The Shire of MontanaTrout Creek, Mont.
Formerly known as the Hobbit House of Montana, this Tolkien fanatic’s paradise started as a small underground guesthouse for owner Steve Michaels’ family and friends. Now, it’s a vacation rental surrounded by loads of whimsical structures, including an elven village and a troll house in a hollowed-out tree. Watch the video below to learn more.
Subterranean Earth HousesZurich, Switzerland
This underground village looks more like something from Middle-earth than the middle of Europe. Architect Peter Vetsch built this collection of circular homes – nine in all – beneath a layer of earth up to nine feet thick. Thanks to the natural insulation, the dwellings use only a third of the energy of conventional houses. Watch the video below to learn more.