Hardy's Cottage

Evocative cob and thatch cottage - birthplace of Thomas Hardy

The cottage front door with a festive wreath

A very merry Hardy Christmas 

Experience a traditional Christmas at Max Gate and Hardy's Cottage this festive season.

Hardy's Cottage

What's on

Upcoming events

Cooking with apples

Thu 21 Nov 2019
Our costumed volunteers will be using apples from Hardy's orchard to cook tasty treats to sample.

Tuneful Stories with Tim Laycock

Fri 22 Nov 2019
Tim Laycock's Tuneful Stories, bringing the Hardy family home to life with stories, folklore and tunes.

Apple pressing

Sun 24 Nov 2019
The apples in Hardy’s orchard will be ripe and ready for harvesting. Come and have a go at apple pressing and taste the freshly squeezed juice.

Woodland Poetry Walk

Fri 29 Nov 2019
Explore the landscape of Thomas Hardy's imagination in this guided walk through Thorncombe Woods. The walk includes poetry and novel extracts along the way linked to Hardy’s landscape.

Carols at the Cottage

Wed 11 Dec 2019
A cold, crisp day, the log fire roaring, and the sound of harmonious voices warming the air...
Hardy's Cottage

Eating and shopping

Visitors sitting at a wooden table outside the café at Hardy's Birthplace Visitor Centre

The café at Hardy's Birthplace Visitor Centre 

A taste of the visitor centre's café, an independent family business using mostly local produce to create the tempting and varied menu.

Hardy's Cottage


The front of Hardy's Cottage, with the garden in full bloom

Learning at Hardy's Cottage 

Introducing the learning opportunities for schools and education groups at Hardy's Cottage.

Hardy's Cottage


Hardy's cottage is available for group bookings

Group Visits 

Useful information for group leaders prior to visiting Hardy's Cottage with a group.

Hardy's Cottage

Get involved

Volunteer Alban OBrien with visitor

Could you help bring Hardys cottage to life? 

Thomas Hardy's cottage attracts visitors from all around the world, and volunteers are always needed to help share the story.

Hardy's Cottage

Places to stay

The terrace at Portland House with sea views

National Trust places to stay in West Dorset 

West Dorset is an ideal holiday location. Our places to stay are located by the coast in gorgeous countryside that's featured in the hit TV programme Broadchurch and the Far from the Madding Crowd film starring Carey Mulligan.