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The Tolkien Trail - in the Footsteps of J.R.R. Tolkien

Type:Walking Route

Hurst Green, Lancashire

Tel: 01200 425566

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The Tolkien Trail - in the Footsteps of J.R.R. Tolkien

Many areas in the UK claim to have inspired J.R.R Tolkien creation of middle earth but the author certainly spent a lot of his time at Stonyhurst College working on The Lord of the Rings during the Second World War. Many have found connections with this landscape around the college and the 5.5 mile Tolkien Trail explores the Ribble Valley that may have inspired him.

Walk in the footsteps of author J.R.R. Tolkien who regularly stayed at Stonyhurst College in the Ribble Valley. J.R.R. Tolkien was renowned for his love of nature and wooded lanscapes and the countryside around Stonyhurst is richly beautiful. A number of names which occur in 'The Lord of The Rings' are similar to those found locally inlcuding Shire Lane (in Hurst Green) and River Shirebourn (similar to the family name which built Stonyhurst).

Whatever the direct links which J.R.R Tolkien used in his book, her certainly spent much of his time at Stonyhurst working on 'Lord of the Rings in a classroom on the upper gallery of the College. The Shireburn Arms, a historic 17th Inn is now a welcoming gastro pub with stylish rooms and is also dog-friendly so they can get to explore 'the shire' too!

This is a 9km circular walk starting and finishing at Hurst Green in Ribble Valley, Lancashire. There is limited car parking in the village - buses running between Clitheroe, Whalley and Preston serve Hurst Green.


Tolkien Trail route maps can be collected from The Shireburn Arms.



Opening Times

Open (1 Jan 2018 - 31 Dec 2018)


Road Directions

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.

Public Transport Directions

Buses running between Clitheroe, Whalley and Preston serve Hurst Green. For details, contact Traveline on 0870 608 2 608.

Route Guides


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What's Nearby

What's Nearby

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The Shireburn Arms Pub - Dog FriendlyThe Shireburn Arms Hotel, Hurst GreenThe Shireburn Arms is a historic 17th Century inn of great warmth and character, at the heart of the Ribble Valley, and home to the Tolkien Trail. Located in Hurst Green, it is a stone’s throw from Stonyhurst College, and boasts far reaching views.

Stonyhurst CollegeStonyhurst College, Hurst GreenOne of the largest buildings in the North West. This magnificent 16thC manor house is home to a famous Catholic co-educational independent boarding and day school. Tours include dormitories, library, chapels and school rooms.

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