Telegraph.co.uk On the Tolkien trail: Middle-earth? You needn't fly down under to find it
Why should New Zealand get all the benefit? Tourists have been flocking there since it was chosen as the location for the Lord of the Rings films. They will no doubt be back in force with the release of The Hobbit, greeted by an enormous statue of Gollum at Wellington airport. Is it too pedantic to point out that Tolkien himself never set foot in the country? Or that, if people really want to find the Shire in Middle-earth, the setting for The Hobbit, they would be better off looking in the suburbs of Birmingham or a pub in Oxford?