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A woodland Hobbit-inspired holiday Airbnb in Lancashire

Spacious lounge with sofa bed (c) Mark Pollitt
Spacious lounge with sofa bed (c) Mark Pollitt

From the main road outside, it’s hard to imagine anything other than conventional yards or simple gardens behind this unassuming row of houses.

But beyond Matthew Kendall’s end-terrace property in Edenfield lies a dreamlike dell where steep and winding paths meander through an acre of lush foliage all the way down to the stream at the bottom of the valley.

As soon as you step down into the garden, the sound of the rustling leaves and the water rushing over the weir supersedes any traffic noise and it’s very easy to forget how close you remain to the real world outside.

Great British Life: Matthew Kendall by Kirsty ThompsonMatthew Kendall by Kirsty Thompson

Within this ‘secret garden’ Matthew and his partner Jen have created an eco-friendly hobbit-inspired house that welcomes AirBnB guests. ‘Originally, it was going to function as my office space too’ says Matthew ‘but it’s been booked up since the moment we listed it, so I’m still working from the kitchen table after all.’

The Hobbit House can sleep four guests comfortably, with a double bedroom and a huge sofa bed in the main lounge area.

While you have to duck down to get through the miniature rounded door, the inside is deceptively spacious and also accommodates a well equipped kitchen and a fairly roomy bathroom with full-size freestanding bath.

Great British Life: The sustainable property is green in more ways than one (c) Mark PollittThe sustainable property is green in more ways than one (c) Mark Pollitt

Matthew’s attention to detail is evident in every corner (of which there aren’t many due to the curved ceiling) and he has made sure guests have everything to hand that they could possibly need.

There’s also an obvious commitment to sustainability too; visitors are free to help themselves to eggs from the chickens that wander nearby and through the bedroom window, among the greenery, you can see bees busying around their hives. The house, which is almost tucked into the valley side, has an eco-roof which has been seeded with grasses and wildflowers. This will insulate the building and also make it increasingly seem like part of the hillside itself over time.

Matthew was able to make use of an existing clearing for the build, which required only two young trees to be removed to fit the frame in its current setting. He then repurposed this wood inside the house, adding the delicate trunks to the walls to reflect the woodland setting just beyond the little green door.
Great British Life: A full size freestanding bath lends a little luxury (c) Mark PollittA full size freestanding bath lends a little luxury (c) Mark Pollitt

‘It would’ve been fun to place them inside exactly where they would have been growing, but it didn’t quite work out’ Matthew laughs. Taking into account the number of trees and flowering shrubs jostling for space outside, it’s amazing that there were only two in the spot where they wanted to build.

Considering the size of the garden, and the variety of plants that form archways of green along the winding loose stone paths, it would be easy to assume Matthew must spend his days gardening.

‘We’re very lucky that the lady who lived here before us planted a wealth of amazing plants, trees and shrubs that have thrived, so I only really need to keep an eye on them and trim them back occasionally. I enjoy the fact that it’s quite a wild and natural space rather than a really manicured formal garden - largely because I don’t like lawn mowing.’

Great British Life: Winding paths lead through the garden to the hobbit house (c) Mark PollittWinding paths lead through the garden to the hobbit house (c) Mark Pollitt

The hobbit house already seems so at home in its surroundings, visitors may be surprised to know that it was only completed around six months ago. And perhaps even more surprised to learn than Matthew and Jen only bought the house a little before that. They’ve been incredibly busy renovating the house, getting the hobbit house up and running and preparing for the arrival of their brand new baby.

Matthew is no stranger to renovations though, having been self employed for a number of years transforming and renting out commercial properties such as offices and co-working spaces around Bury and beyond.

‘As soon as we moved in, it was obvious that the garden would perfect for an AirBnB. We envisioned a treehouse originally, but there was a bit of ash dieback so we decided it would be a bit more ‘future proof’ on the ground. We opted for the more sensible ground level, but we still wanted to do something a bit quirky and unusual. We’d visited Hobbiton when we went to New Zealand and it seemed like something that we could take a lot of inspiration from.’

Great British Life: Deceptively roomy inside (c) Mark PollittDeceptively roomy inside (c) Mark Pollitt Great British Life: A full size freestanding bath lends a little luxury (c) Mark PollittA full size freestanding bath lends a little luxury (c) Mark Pollitt

The accommodation would certainly suit fans of the books and films with a few ‘nods’ to the franchise, like the rounded door and a Bilbo-esque satchel and desk, but it is not so heavily themed as to put off non-fans.

Bookings can be made for a minimum of two nights, and the accommodation has already received some rave reviews. One guest praised the kitchen facilities as ‘second to none’ having put them through their paces by cooking a full Sunday lunch during their stay, they also said that although they were only a few miles from home, they ‘felt a million miles from reality… a true escape’.

The hobbit house can be accessed by a separate, secure gate next to the parking area so visitors don’t need to cross the patio and garden area more frequently used by Matthew and Jen.

Great British Life: Guests can help themselves to eggs (c) Mark PollittGuests can help themselves to eggs (c) Mark Pollitt Great British Life: Guests can help themselves to eggs (c) Mark PollittGuests can help themselves to eggs (c) Mark Pollitt

Completely surrounded by greenery, the accommodation is charmingly private and it’s very easy to forget that there’s anyone else nearby. However, it’s well located for grabbing a takeaway and bringing it back for the evening or exploring the bustling towns and cities nearby before heading back to your holiday hideaway.

Matthew points out that it is also particularly handy for guests attending one of the many local wedding venues.

Whatever the reason for your visit, the hobbit house in the dell makes for a unique place to stay.

You might be ready for your next adventure exploring all that the North West has to offer, or you might want to relax in these uniquely leafy surroundings and enjoy a taste of the quiet life that Bilbo Baggins describes: ‘where our hearts truly lie is in peace and quiet and good tilled earth. For all Hobbits share a love of things that grow.’



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