10. LOST: the Beach Camp. But only during a peaceful lull, sometime after Desmond returned and the Dharma supplies were found. Since I’m allergic to fresh fruit, I wouldn’t make it very long on wild boar meat alone.
9. Glenbogle, setting of Monarch of the Glen, a BBC series that ran for seven seasons, filmed on the Ardverikie Estate in the central Highlands. This quirky series is great to watch for the scenery alone. It reminds me a little of Northern Exposure, set in the Highlands of Scotland.
8. Lallybroch. The remote 18th century Scottish Highland home of the Frasers and Murrays in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander.
7. Brother Cadfael’s workshop, at the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul, Shrewsbury. Here in the 1130s and 1140s, Medieveal monk and herbalist Cadfael brews his medicines, plots intrigues with Shrewsbury’s sheriff, Hugh Beringar, and counsels youngsters in trouble (usually with someone of the opposing faction in the on-going civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Maude), or in love.
6. Narnia. Especially Mr. Tumnus’ house. Sitting by the fire with tea and toast and a book… now that’s my idea of a good way to spend 100 years of winter. Wish I could have found a photo of his cozy cave.
5. Mitford, NC. Author Jan Karon modeled her fictional town of Mitford off Blowing Rock, NC. I’ve visited Blowing Rock (photo of the Episcopal Church at Blowing Rock taken by my pal, Doree, while I minded the not-quite-legally-parked car on a very crowded Main Street). I’d love to visit the real Mitford and see Father Tim, Cynthia, Dooley, Miss Sadie, Louella, and the rest of her memorable characters. I’d like to sit in the Main St. Grill and listen to Uncle Billy tell his jokes!
4. Rivendell, Middle Earth. I’m enchanted by the fluid, open structures, and it’d just be cool to hang out with the elves. I’ve always been far more intrigued with Rivendell than Lothlorien. Sam says it best. “Well, Mr. Frodo, we’ve been far and seen a deal, and yet I don’t think we’ve found a better place than this. There’s something of everything here, if you understand me: the Shire and the Golden Wood and Gondor and kings’ houses and inns and meadows and mountains all mixed.”
3. Bag End, Hobbiton, in the Shire. I love Bilbo’s cozy hobbit hole. Wish I could visit the human-sized set that was built for Peter Jackson’s films. Messy, ala Bilbo, or tidied up, ala Frodo.
2. Caer Dyvi, the Iron Age hill fort in Stephen Lawhead’s Taliesin. This book was my introduction to early Celtic/Welsh history, and my interest in it has never waned. “The king walked back among the clustered dwellings of the caer: sturdy, log-and-thatch, most of them, but here and there one of the low, round houses of an earlier time still stood. Nearly three hundred kinsmen… called Caer Dyvi home and sought refuge behind its encircling ditch and stout wooden palisade.” Barring time travel, I’d love to visit one of the reconstructed hill forts in Britain, one of these days.
1. Edoras, Middle Earth. Just the coolest book setting and coolest film set I’ve ever seen. The location is as dramatic and inspiring as they come. I could walk around this village and Theoden’s Golden Hall for days, ogling the incredible detail. Very Celtic. Very windy. Bring a hair scrunchie and hang on to your glasses!
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