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Hardys Birthplace Visitor Centre

Explore the landscape and childhood home of famed local author Thomas Hardy.

Set in the heart of Hardy Country, the new visitor centre was opened in September 2014 as a gateway for local people and visitors alike to discover more about the life and works of Thomas Hardy and the local landscape. It is located on the edge of Thorncombe Wood and is a short walk from Hardy's Cottage, where he was born and lived until he was 34 years old.

With new interpretation displays, learning and community space and ranger's workshop, the visitor centre provides opportunities for everyone to discover more about what life was like for the Victorians and what is happening now in the woodland. Join activities such as wildlife spotting walks, talks and hands-on seasonal events.

Visiting Hardys Birthplace

Read more about Visiting Hardys Birthplace
The new Visitor Centre hosts displays, family activities, a ranger workshop, café, shop and toilet facilities.

Thorncombe Wood Local Nature Reserve

Read more about Thorncombe Wood Local Nature Reserve
This magical pocket of mixed woodland and heath is listed on the Ancient Woodland Inventory.

Under the Greenwood Tree Café

Read more about Under the Greenwood Tree Café
The Visitor Centre's café is an independent family business run by Dorchester-born Sarah Key and her daughter Lydia.

Hardys Birthplace Project

Read more about Hardys Birthplace Project
The Hardy's Birthplace Project is a partnership between Dorset County Council and the National Trust.

of the wood project

Read more about of the wood project
Helping visitors to understand and connect to Thorncombe Wood and how it is managed.

Get involved

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The project invites everyone from the community to experience this area in new and exciting ways.
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