You may not know this, but JRR Tolkien used parts of Scotland, Northern England and Ireland as inspiration for the setting for Middle-Earth.

Although New Zealand was the primary location for filming the outdoor scenes in the series, we still think there's plenty of places here that look similar.

With The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies heading towards our cinema, we thought we'd take a ramble across our fair isle and pick five places that totally remind us of Middle-Earth.


5. MINAS TIRITH - Rock of Cashel, Tipperary

The ruins of the Cashel of the Kings are a well-known sight for the people of Tipperary, but to tourists, it's a real experience. Walking through the ruins feels like you're stepping to the city of Minas Tirith, with its high walls, stone steps and ruined towers. Keep an eye out for Nazgul Wraiths, though.




4. ROHAN - Glendalough, Co. Wicklow

The roving mountains and passes of Rohan served as some of the key points in the series. Glendalough's valleys and great lake have a similar feel them, with some fantastic scenery too.



3. THE FORBIDDEN POOL - Powerscourt Waterfall, Co. Wicklow

A key scene in The Two Towers, entry into the Forbidden Pool carries the penalty of death. Thankfully, that's not the case at the Powerscourt Waterfall, which you can very easily get to without running into archers.



2. THE SHIRE - Adare, Co. Limerick

The Shire was seen a lush, verdant stretch of land that was bountiful in food and people, nestled on the edge of a vast forest. Adare may not have a forest - although Curraghchase's not too far away - but it does have plenty of beautiful scenery, a little stream running through it and it even has a house that we're convinced is Bag End.



1. MORDOR - The Burren, Co. Clare

The Burren's inspired many writers and artists, with its terrifying yet beautiful bleakness. In fact, JRR Tolkien's rumoured to have named the character of Gollum after a cave in The Burren - Pollnagollum. The Eye of Sauron, however, hasn't been seen in the Burren. More likely that's in Dublin, to be honest.