Hidden treasures in Dorset

You can delve into the literary history of Dorset at some of these lesser-known places to visit. Please check their respective opening times before you head out; these smaller places are not open year-round.

The view across the garden to Hardy's Cottage, the birthplace in 1840 of novelist and poet Thomas Hardy

Hardy's Cottage

The cottage in Higher Bockhampton near Dorchester where Thomas Hardy was born has changed little since the family left and is evocative of 19th-century life in rural Dorset. Built by his great-grandfather from cob and thatch, Hardy wrote some of his early works there, including his novels 'Far From the Madding Crowd' and 'Under the Greenwood Tree.'

A close up view of the desk in the poetry study at Max Gate

Max Gate

Max Gate is the house that Thomas Hardy, a trained architect, designed for himself and lived in until his death in 1928. Will sitting at the desk in his study inspire you to write?

A view of Clouds Hill on a sunny day looking towards the front door of the cottage

Clouds Hill

This tiny isolated cottage, with its revealing austere rooms and no electric light was the home of the writer and soldier Lawrence of Arabia.

White Mill on the Kingston Lacy estate

White Mill

In a peaceful corner of Dorset stands White Mill, nestled on the river Stour in the Kingston Lacy estate. This once busy, dusty and noisy building is the last surviving mill on this stretch of the river, where there had previously been eight.

Hardy Monument standing tall against a blue sky

Hardy Monument

The Hardy Monument was build in 1844 in memory of Vice-Admiral sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, Captain of HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. From the top, accessed from the inside, you can enjoy wonderful views, and the surrounding countryside is great for walks.