Park and Stride from Kingston Maurward to Hardy's Cottage

The bridge at Bockhampton over the River Frome

Make the most of the warm weather by parking at nearby Kingston Maurward Animal Park and Gardens and retracing Thomas Hardy's footsteps through fields and parkland.

This summer, the Kingston Maurward Park and Stride Walkabouts trails are being launched in partnership with Dorset County Council and Kingston Maurward Animal Park and Gardens.

The Park and Stride Walkabouts allow visitors to retrace Hardy's routes between Hardy's Cottage, Kingston Maurward and Max Gate. Kingston Maurward was Hardy's blueprint for the fictional 'Knapwater House' in Desperate Rememdies, his first novel. The routes also visit several locations from his life and novels.

Free parking has been kindly supplied by Kingston Maurward Animal Park and Gardens, allowing us to limit traffic along the narrow roads surrounding Hardy's Birthplace and giving you time to linger and enjoy those long summer days. Why not make a day of it and also explore the grounds and gardens of this stunning eighteenth-century mansion? More information can be found on their website at

The two trail leaflets are available below for download or in printed form from Kingston Maurward Animal Park and Gardens and Hardy's Birthplace Visitor Centre:

Kingston Maurward to Hardy's Cottage Walkabout leaflet (PDF / 4.2568359375MB) download

Kingston Maurward to Max Gate Park and Stride Walkabout leaflet (PDF / 0.5029296875MB) download

The Walkabouts trails are an OS-based series of trails, produced by Dorset County Council. For more Dorset Walkabouts routes, visit