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

Make your garden hedgehog friendly

Tue 23 Oct 2018
Want to attract hedgehogs to your garden? Come along and find out more about these amazing animals in the garden of Hardy's Cottage. Activity suitable for children aged from 2-11.

Free lecture at Kingston Maurward College: Hidden faces, hidden places

Tue 23 Oct 2018
Helen Gibson, Curator of the Thomas Hardy Archive at Dorset County Museum, talks about the stories behind some of the objects in the archive. The lecture will take place at Kingston Maurward College, Dorchester DT2 8PY.

Hard times and hungry months

Thu 01 Nov 2018
During the winter months you can gather around the warm hearth and discover how hard life would have been for Victorian families.

Christmas at Hardy's Cottage

Sat 01 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

Sun 02 Dec 2018
Celebrate Christmas with traditional music and storytelling.

Winter Words

Sat 08 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.
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.