New 'Hobbit'-themed underground burrows set to open outside Calgary
A photo from the actual set of the 'Lord of the Rings' in New Zealand is shown. 'The Burrows,' Hobbit-inspired underground accommodations, are set to open at Three Hills near Calgary in 2020. (Facebook)
Teri Fikowski, CTV News Calgary
Published Friday, May 31, 2019 4:36PM MDT
Last Updated Friday, May 31, 2019 5:11PM MDT
You may have read The Hobbit but a new underground experience is about to bring the Shire to southern Alberta.
The Burrows, a fantasy-themed, J.R.R Tolkien-inspired accommodation is slated to become the first of its kind in western Canada when it opens next year.
Good Knights Entertainment is developing the underground luxury burrows in Three Hills, roughly 140 kilometres northeast of Calgary.
The drive will be worth it for any fan of The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings, according to Daniel Smith with Good Knights.
He says the idea is for guests to step into a faithful replica of Bilbo Baggins' world.
“We are fanatical about detail,” he said. “The round door is an iconic piece, it has to be, so you can’t skimp on that. There’s attention to detail on furnishing, the barrel ceilings and all the finishings. We have to meet fans’ expectations.”
Good Knights started construction on The Burrows last year with hopes of welcoming guests by June.
However, Smith said developing the first fully coded hobbit hole in Western Canada is no easy feat.
“We wanted to make sure we figured out scale so when someone comes they feel like a hobbit in a burrow,” he said. “We want to make sure it’s totally buried in the ground and when you walk up to it, it looks like the Shire and has been there forever.”
Some of the challenges have included the weather, expenses and building walls strong enough to support the weight of mounds of dirt and snow.
The grand opening of the first burrow, the Bluebell Burrow, is expected for the spring of 2020.
Other features to expect at The Burrows include:
- 650-square-foot underground burrow designed for two adults and two children
- Private garden
- Breakfasts (first, second, and ‘elevenses’)
- Themed costumes
Both Smith and his wife Linda Smith have had a passion for fantasy and all things medieval since they were high school sweethearts.
The pair has been hosting a medieval glamping experience in Three Hills since 2017, which would appeal to any Game of Thrones fan.
"The Encampment" includes eight furnished canvas tents and is meant to immerse the camper in medieval times.
“We went into this hoping our passion and interest in medieval would carry over but weren’t sure how much of a niche market it was,” he said. “It’s been quite surprising how well people take to it.”
It opened for the season on May 17 and is booked until early August.