Hardy's Cottage

Important notice -

Hardy's Cottage is now closed for the winter. We will reopen on 22nd February 2022 for visits by guided tour.

Evocative cob and thatch cottage - birthplace of Thomas Hardy

More about this place

Hardy's Cottage

What's on

Face coverings

Face coverings are required in indoor areas, except in cafés and tea-rooms, unless you're exempt. Thank you for supporting us to make this a safe experience for everyone.

Close up of an oak leaf

Book your visit 

Please note you need to book tickets to visit Hardy's Cottage.

Upcoming events

Sorry, there are no upcoming events at this place.

Child stood in the open doorway of Hardy's Cottage with flowers growing around the door

Visiting Hardy's Cottage: What you need to know 

We're looking forward to welcoming you back. Read this article to find out what you can expect from your visit, how to book, and how to change your booking. We've made some changes to our usual offer, to help keep everyone safe.

Hardy's Cottage

Things to see and do

Explore Hardy's Cottage

The parlour in Hardy's Cottage with flagstone flooring and wooden seating arranged around an open hearth

Step inside the birthplace of Dorset’s most famous author and poet, Thomas Hardy. Lose yourself in this evocative cob and thatch cottage and experience the atmosphere that inspired Hardy to write some of his most famous works including ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’. We’ve reopened safely after being closed for some time and our expert guides are back on hand to share the incredible stories of Hardy’s Cottage.

The office in Hardy's Cottage with a desk overlooking the cottage garden

Wander through Hardy’s much loved childhood home and uncover more about 19th century rural life, with its open hearths, stone floors and creaky stairs. Explore the cosy parlour where the Hardy family joined together to cook, eat and socialise by the fire. See granny’s kitchen and the office, before heading upstairs to discover the cottage bedrooms. Hardy lived here on and off, until he was 30 years old and after flying the nest, he never settled far away, returning to his Dorset roots and building his own home ‘Max Gate’ just a few miles away in Dorchester.

The garden at Hardy's Cottage with gravel path winding it's way through lush flower beds to the front door of the thatched cottage

Take a stroll through the traditional cottage garden and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and scents of the season. Spot hollyhocks, foxgloves, monkshood, cornflower, rosemary, lavender and everlasting sweet pea growing around the cottage door, and amble through the orchard where Hardy helped his father gather apples for cider. Whilst living here, the Hardys grew fruit, vegetables and herbs, kept a pig, hens, and bees. After the family left the cottage in 1912, Hardy helped the next tenant redesign the garden into the quaint cottage garden you see today.

The garden facade of Max Gate

And after your visit . . . 

Why not pay a visit to the home that Hardy built, just a few miles away in Dorchester. At Max Gate, Hardy entertained famous guests and sat down to write some of his most famous works including Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure and most of his poetry. Max Gate is reopening from 23rd June for pre-booked guided visits.