If you’re among the multi-millions of people who’ve ever read/seen anything Lord of the Rings-related, you’ve probably also daydreamed about cozying up inside a hillside hut in The Shire, surrounded by leafy trees and budding flowers and quiet serenity.
The good news: If you felt like flying out to New Zealand, you can visit the real(ish) thing, on a Hobbiton Movie Set tour.
The better news: There’s a place that’s almost impossibly close to a real-life mini Shire only about 50 miles from Nashville, in Santa Fe, Tennessee, and if you’d like, you can move in for a few days and bring your hobbit fantasies to life.
A family farm with fantasy lodgings
Forest Gully Farms, first and foremost, is an organic mini-farm, and owners Jon and Mandy Giffin are raising their family there, working to develop a food forest, tending their chickens and growing less-familiar crops like goumi berries, persimmons and juneberries.
For extra fun (and, you’d assume, some extra income), the Giffins also created three Gully Huts, tucked into the hillside, outfitted for simple (but cozy) comfort and made available for visitors to stay in.
The yellow and red huts are sleeping quarters, with beds and dressers, and the green hut has a kitchen/dining room with basic needs, like a refrigerator, toaster and sink.
For a night of woodland Gully magic, it’s not even particularly expensive — the $250 nightly rate includes all three huts, a bathhouse and 15-acre farm to yourself, for up to four people. (More can stay for an additional $25 per person, up to four more guests.)
The bad news: As you might assume, the Gully Huts are in high demand. The Giffin family opened the huts to guests in late April, and they’re already packed out well in advance, especially for weekend stays. As of this posting, Forest Gully’s Gully Huts were booked through to November, and the first weekends available weren’t until January 2018.
But then, think of how long Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin had to wait to get back to the Shire, what with all the orc battling and ring carrying, and it doesn’t seem so bad.
Head to ForestGullyFarms.com to learn more about the farm and the huts, and follow along on Facebook to see more photos/keep up with the latest Forest Gully Farms happenings.
Looking for your own little piece of woodland paradise in Middle Tennessee? We’d be thrilled to help you find it. Contact ACRE here, or get your Nashville-area house hunting started by filling in this quick form.