Hardy's Cottage

Important notice -

We're open Tues - Sun for guided tours. You'll need to book your place on a tour in advance, it's not possible to book onto a tour on the day.

Evocative cob and thatch cottage - birthplace of Thomas Hardy

Please book ahead before visiting Check availability

More about this place

Hardy's Cottage

What's on

Please book ahead before visiting

Hardy's Cottage is open for guided visits, you will need to book your tickets by 3pm the day before your visit. Members can book for free, while non-members will need to pay when booking. We'll be releasing tickets every Friday. Please note, we'll be turning people away who arrive and haven't booked. We're looking forward to welcoming you back.

Upcoming events

Timed entry to Hardy's Cottage (27 July - 1 Aug)

Thu 29 Jul 2021
11:00-17:00
Book your timed entry to visit Hardy's Cottage.
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.