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Peek inside eco hobbit homes now open in Perthshire

Elevenses anyone? The Burrow Howff and Bagend Howff have been built by Ian and Heather Keir.

By STV News

Published 29 Sep 2018.

In a hole in the ground there lived...a Scotsman?

You may have been expecting a hobbit, but that's exactly what Ian Keir and his wife Heather would like you to think.

The couple have devoted hours of labour into building their very own shire in the heart of Scotland - complete with cosy hobbit homes, rolling green hills and even some hobbit-sized friendly goats.

Nestled right into the hillside of their farmland at Braco in Perthshire, the burrows are available for hire by those looking for a little peace and comfort, fashioned in tribute to the magical Tolkien books which captured generations of Lord of the Rings and Bilbo Baggins' fans.

Middle-earth devotees can spend the night in true hobbit comfort, warm under a hill, with wood-burning stoves, luxurious bathtubs and specially crafted rustic owl beds.

There are even welcoming plates of homemade scones (made by Heather) for elevenses.

"All we really want is for people to come and to really enjoy it," says Heather. "We just want it to be nice for people - and be something a little different."

The hobbit homes are off the grid, with compost toilets, and as much as possible has been done to welcome local wildlife to the area.

The hobbit houses were all designed and built by Ian with help from the couple's son, Lewis. They were a final large project for Ian, who already has two carefully crafted garden cottages and a magnificent tree house with stained glass windows to his name.

Ian had spent many days venturing down to a sharp hillside near his home, gazing at it and wondering what to do with the space. When inspiration finally struck to turn his little hill into a home for hobbit burrows, he threw himself into researching the possibilities.

After Ian and Heather were lucky enough to be able to go to New Zealand and see the hobbit movie sets out there, they were confident they could make it work.

Lewis and Ian burrowed into their own hillside, put in supports, then built the houses out of stone and carefully fashioned woodwork, with skills that would have been utilised hundreds of years ago.

"We hope they will last a hundred years too," says Heather with a smile.

The burrows were officially opened in May this year, with Ian and Heather's children and grandchildren all gathering for the unveiling.

In true Scottish hobbit tradition, bagpipes were present as were a few wee drams.

"We hope people will feel like they've entered a different world," says Heather. "Peace, tranquillity, cosy, unique - but with nice touches like spotlessly clean, with hot water and somewhere to cook.

"Somewhere where you can switch off...where you can just lose yourself."

For more information or to book one of the Hobbit Howfs please visit the Craighead Howf website here online.

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