A Tolkinian Adventure in North Shire with Twins
After a 20 year obsession with all things Tolkinian and Lord of the Rings, I finally got to stay in a hobbit hole with my little family, and I only had to go to North Shire in North Yorkshire to do it! North Shire is an incredible fantasy themed glamping site not far from Whitby, and I jumped at the opportunity to spend a few days here. I wasn’t sure how child-friendly the experience would be, but was prepared to take the risk. As it happens, our trip was incredible for children!
North Shire in North Yorkshire
I booked this trip a year ago as the waiting lists to get a spot are incredibly long. Having now visited, I can totally appreciate why the site is so popular, and can honestly say that it was worth the wait. At the moment, the site consists of a hobbit hole, a replica of Hagrid’s hut from Harry Potter, a magical dorm room, a cottage, and a handful of shepherd’s huts. Each accommodation is kitted out with great attention to detail and it’s unlike any other glamping site!
As we set off towards the glamping site I was a little apprehensive about how the trip would be with the twins. Twin One in particular had been having some days where the world around her is just a bit too much to process, so I worried that a change of scenery would make things difficult. We arrived, parked up, and got the twins straight to the hobbit hole where, to my delight, both twins immediately set about happily exploring this new space.
The sleeping arrangement ended up being much more toddler friendly than I had anticipated which was a big bonus. Beds were high up, but one of them had a pull out bed in a drawer below. This was perfect for Twin One as it was low enough that she couldn’t fall out and hurt herself – success! The hobbit hole came with a little garden – although it’s only a small space, it’s grassy and bordered with flowers so there is a lot to look at if you’re a toddler. The whole thing is completely enclosed by a picket fence which made everything feel wonderfully safe.
From my point of view, everything about the hobbit hole was perfect. Once I knew that it was child friendly and my twins were safe to roam about and explore, I could stop and appreciate the immaculate detail that has been put into the design of this glamping spot. It really had been pulled from the pages of The Hobbit – the décor, trinkets, and even the surrounding scenery was totally in keeping with the Tolkienian theme. There was a paddock of goats at the end of the garden, a peacock that lived on the roof, and the whole thing was surrounded by rolling countryside with a glimpse of the sea in the distance.
Visiting the North Yorkshire Coast
We could happily have spent our whole trip lounging around in the hobbit hole and garden, but we ventured out to the seaside as it was just a 20 minute drive away. We started off with a stop in Whitby – somewhere I haven’t visited for ten years! Although we thoroughly enjoyed our Magpie Café chippy chips, it quickly became clear that Whitby is neither accessible, nor particularly child friendly. We finished up our chips and drove along the coast to see what else was worth visiting.
Saltburn-By-The-Sea ended up being a wonderful stopping point. It was much quieter than Whitby and boasted a beautiful sandy beach surrounded by cliffs. Here, we made a little base with our trusty play mat, and settled down for an hour on the beach. Twin One enjoyed watching the world go by sitting on her daddy’s knee, and Twin Two had fun running about in the surf of the waves getting himself (and me) completely drenched. Thankfully, we always keep towels and spare clothes in the car, so we were well prepared!
Our evening was spent back at the hobbit hole, admiring the sunset through the rounded doorway. On the morning of our departure, I bumped into a couple of members of staff while packing up the car to leave. They very kindly let me take a peek inside a big barn that’s used for weddings and other events – it was dressed magnificently with an Alice in Wonderland theme!
There ended our trip, and we headed home with some lovely memories and two happy toddlers. In summary, I was impressed by every aspect of our stay. From the accommodation itself, to the cleanliness of the site, to the friendly staff and surrounding countryside: it was all fantastic and I would love to visit again!