Visiting Hardy's Cottage: What you need to know

Child stood in the open doorway of Hardy's Cottage with flowers growing around the door

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.

Guided visits

Hardy's Cottage is open for pre-booked, guided visits.

To help keep everyone safe we will be inviting groups of up to 6 people to enjoy a guided visit. 

There will be a 15 minute introductory talk in the garden to share the stories and background to Hardy's Cottage followed by an opportunity for you to explore the atmospheric cob and thatch cottage at your leisure and enjoy wandering through the garden.

Visits to Hardy's Cottage will last approximately 1 hour. 

Parking and when you arrive

The nearest car park is a 10-20 minute (600 yards) walk to Hardy's Cottage, depending on your pace. The car park is owned and managed by Dorset Council, and pay and display charges apply, please note the parking machine is pay by coin only.

Members will also need to present their membership card to staff at the ticket kiosk by the garden gate for scanning.

Your timed ticket allows an arrival window of 10 minutes for checking in. Please aim to arrive promptly to allow for a warm welcome to Hardy's Cottage. If you are more than 10 minutes late for your arrival slot then entry will be at the discretion of the property team.

A large portion of your visit will be spent outdoors. Please make sure to wear suitable clothing for the weather and to bring an umbrella if it is raining.

Staying safe

If you’re showing any symptoms of coronavirus, or if you’ve been in contact with anyone that has the virus in the last 14 days, please don’t visit.

Facilities and access

The house and garden at Hardy's Cottage are open to visitors for pre-booked, guided visits.

Toilets and a café are available at Hardy's Birthplace Visitor Centre, managed by Dorset Council - Café opening times may vary, so please visit their Facebook page for up-to-date opening hours:

Hardy's Birthplace Visitor Centre, Thorncombe Woods and car park are owned and run by Dorset Council.

Dogs (on leads) welcome in the Visitor Centre, woods and cottage garden. Assistance dogs only in the cottage.

To read our full, updated access statement, please see the Facilities and Access tab, positioned at the top of the Hardy's Cottage homepage.

How to book

The safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors from the local community remains our priority and we require you to book your visits in advance. 

  • Entry is free for members, but please bring your membership card with you. Non-members will need to pay in advance.
  • Please book one ticket per person, except for children aged 5 or under as they don't need a ticket.
  • You'll need to choose an arrival time for your visit.  
  • There will be an introductory tour  every half hour. The timeslot is for your arrival time for your tour.
  • Bookings are for your use only and are not available for resale.
  • We'll send your booking confirmation by email. Please make sure you fill in your correct email address when you book to ensure you receive your confirmation email.

Upcoming events

Sorry, there are no upcoming events at this place.