The promised 4x4 was a nice sedate range rover rather than one of the landies with theme plates - I spotted GIMLIS and ARWENS too - but we managed a bit of off roading (another good reason to learn to drive!). The Remarkabled got used a lot: there's deer heights where Gandalf rode to Minas Tirith, where you come out of the Paths of the dead, where Gimli fell off his horse, where Legolas jumped on his horse, where Aragorn fell off the cliff... We didn't get up to the slope that's Dimrill Dale, but all the actors except Sean Bean got airlifted up (men of Gondor walk! I guess). From the lakeside near Closeburn (and from my room!) you can see Amon Hen and Mount Earnshaw which was much snowier as Caradhas (less so as the Misty Mountains). The scrubland at Twelve Mile Delta is lovely off roading and we gazed at Ithilien like Faramir, saw a bridge rather than oliphaunts, decided not to lie down on the ridge where Frodo and co spent so much time arguing about rabbit recipes they got!
Paradise is a forest - past tiny Glenorchy with the stables they used and a library the size of a garden shed, past the lovely house built as a bribe by a suitor (she turned him down!), past the jet boats which provided the wave to wash away the Nazgul by doing a quick 360 is the forest where Boromir got shot (declined to lie down on moss...) Which doubled as Lothlorien when they put a yellow filter on the lens and spraypainted the fallen beech leaves gold!
Isengard is a scrubby field but the 360 pan Saruman does when he's casting is the hills you can really see there and the next paddoc down is the one Gandalf rides through on his way there. Nice place to stop for lunch (cocoa and biscuits!). After all that I thought I might as well get the LoTR guidebook and it turns out Franz Joseph was beacon lighting, Doubtful sound will be Anduin and south of Rivendell and Arrowtown will be the Ford of Bruin. It appear I am fangurl after all!
Lots of other film locations here for *other* films: Vertical Limit was shot in the Remarkables as were an advert for fresh breath strips and the upcoming Vauxhall advert :-) Willow was filmed round here too: the island of the sorceress is on the lake.
A good beer day: I had a glass of Monteith's Celtic red on the TSS Earnshaw - the lovely steamboat on the lake - and a Speights with my thai supper. The steamer is fabulous - wood and brass, roaring coal furnaces and sweating stokers - and the captain let me steer! He even took my photo wearing his hat :-)
I walked into town this morning along the lake but the rest of my exercise has been dashing from shop to shop - much retail therapy including lovely hand-dyed merino and pretty unspun fleece roving for dreads. Most things are very tasteful - am desparately seeking required LoTR tat!
Mary on a Blackberry so pardon typing errors