Max Gate

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.

Atmospheric Victorian home designed by Thomas Hardy

Please book ahead before visiting Check availability
Max Gate

What's on

Please book ahead before visiting

Max Gate will reopen from 23rd June 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 forwar to welcoming you back.

Upcoming events

Timed entry to Max Gate (27 July - 1 Aug)

Sun 01 Aug 2021
10:00-15:00
Book your timed entry to visit Max Gate.

Timed entry to Max Gate (3 Aug - 8 Aug)

Tue 03 Aug 2021
10:00-16:00
Book your timed entry to visit Max Gate.
The drawing room at Max Gate showing the fireplace

Visiting Max Gate: 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.

Max Gate

Things to see and do

Explore the unexpected at Max Gate

Image of Thomas Hardys study, with a writing desk looking our over the garden

Step inside the home that Hardy built and wander through the atmospheric Victorian rooms where he entertained world famous guests and sat down to write some of his best-known works including Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure and most of his poetry. Max Gate has safely re-opened after being closed for some time, and our expert guides are back on hand to share the stories of this special place.

Image of the walled garden in Max Gate with rows of flower beds in bloom

Take a stroll through Max Gate’s walled garden and soak up the sights, sounds and scents of the season. The garden and trees provided a rich source of inspiration to Hardy who would walk here every day. The garden remains much as it was in Hardy’s day, consisting of lawned areas for croquet and garden parties, and a kitchen garden for vegetables and flowers.

Chalk A-Bard on a cobbled courtyard wirh 'Second hand bookshop' written on it, and an arrow pointing toward an open green door

Pick up a page turner and help Max Gate’s story continue for future generations to come. Browse the shelves to find Victorian fiction, poetry, architecture and gardening books and enjoy the nostalgia of stumbling across old editions or collectable titles. Every year, the proceeds from the sales of second-hand books helps to fund vital conservation works at Max Gate, helping to look after this special place. Thank you!

The garden at Hardy's Cottage bursting with seasonal blooms

And after your visit . . . 

Why not pay a visit to Hardy’s childhood home, just a few miles away in Bockhampton. Step back in time 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’. Hardy’s Cottage is reopening from 23rd June for pre-booked guided visits.

Max Gate

Places to stay

Reception room of Portland House

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.

Max Gate

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