Hardy's Cottage

Evocative cob and thatch cottage - birthplace of Thomas Hardy

An old photographic portrait of Kate Hardy, sister to author Thomas Hardy

Women and Power at Hardy's Cottage 

To understand how Thomas Hardy became one of the country’s greatest Victorian writers, we must revisit his childhood. Meet the ‘Hardy women’ who lived at the cottage and discover their inspirational stories.

Hardy's Cottage

What's on

Upcoming events

Christmas at Hardy's Cottage

Thu 13 Dec 2018
This December, Hardy’s Cottage will be decked with natural decorations of evergreen collected from the cottage garden and surrounding woodlands. Come and warm your toes by the warmth of the fire and get into the festive spirit.

Festive Tuneful Stories

Fri 14 Dec 2018
Celebrate Christmas with traditional music and storytelling.

Winter Words

Sun 16 Dec 2018
Join the New Hardy Players as they weave together a verbal anthology of Hardy's favourite wintry words, against the backdrop of his beloved childhood home.

Hard times and hungry months: The frugal cook

Sat 05 Jan 2019
With little food available in winter, families relied on preserves from the summer harvest and whatever would grow in the garden. Sample Victorian recipes made from the most basic ingredients. You may find carrot jam to be surprisingly tasty...

Winter experience days at Hardy's Cottage and Thorncombe Woods

Tue 08 Jan 2019
Experience a day in the life of a Victorian rural labourer at Hardy’s Cottage and Thorncombe Woods this winter as part of Hard times and hungry months.

Hard times and hungry months: Special talk on cholera

Sun 13 Jan 2019
Discover how the cholera disease ran rampant through Dorset and how a family friend of Hardy’s invented the first dry earth closet. Visit Hardy's Cottage for an informal drop-in talk with one of our knowledgeable volunteers.
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


Visitors in the cafe at Hardys Cottage

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.