We are constantly in awe of the Public Footpath system in England. To be able to strike out on a walk and cobble together a short stroll or a long hike of many miles is an experience not so available in the US.
Of course, there are walks that have been put together and published that make it easier to plan a day’s outing. One such route was the five-mile Tolkien Trail.
JRR Tolkein visited Stonyhurst College in the Ribble Valley regularly as he researched and wrote the Lord of the Rings trilogy. As a visiting professor he had access to the college and the grounds on frequent visits during and after WWII.
The architecture of the college, the myths of nearby Pendle Hill and the woods and rivers of the area likely provided some of the inspiration behind Middle Earth. In fact, a number of names that occur in “The Lord of the Rings” are similar to those found locally. So, it wasn’t hard to imagine hobbits watching us as we roamed the countryside where Tolkien stayed while penning some of his famous works.
The weather was delightfully sunny, warm(ish), and breezy, a perfect day for a walk and a picnic in the country.