Be Inspired

Exploring Stonyhurst

Nearby Stonyhurst (just under a 15 minute drive from Meadow Head) is a wonderful place to explore when you stay with us. It’s a 300-acre estate which is owned by the Society of Jesus.

You may have heard of Stonyhurst for many different reasons, but many visitors to the area look forward to walking through the Tolkien Trail. J. R. R. Tolkien spent a lot of time in Stonyhurst during the Second World War when he was writing The Lord of the Rings. Because of that and the similarities between the areas, it’s widely believed – but unfortunately not proven! – that Stonyhurst inspired The Shire.

The Tolkien Trail, which runs for 5.5 miles, explores areas of the Ribble Valley that may have inspired J. R. R. Tolkien’s writing.

When you’re in Stonyhurst, don’t miss Stonyhurst College – a truly fascinating place of which some parts are open to the public. Stonyhurst College has a museum on-site which hosts some outstanding artefacts, such as a thorn from Jesus’ crown of thorns, an Egyptian mummy, and Henry VII’s cope and chasuble.  

The college itself, a 16th Century manor, is one of the largest buildings in the North West and you can take a tour of it, too. During the tour, you can expect to see the dormitories, the library, the chapel, the school rooms, and more.

To find out more about the things to do in our surroundings, including places to eat, drink, and explore, click here.