Thomas Hardy’s Cottage
Higher Bockhampton, Near Dorchester DT2 8QJ
Birthplace of one of England’s most renowned authors, this tiny, almost impossibly picturesque thatched cottage, surrounded by a pretty garden, is little changed since Thomas Hardy’s days. It was built by Hardy’s grandfather in 1800, and the author was born and lived here with his parents, two sisters and brother until the age of 34. As you wander around the simple house with its humble period furniture, it’s not hard to imagine the great writer at work: there’s a compact ground floor consisting of a parlour and office, after which you can go upstairs to see the three bedrooms, including the author’s (he shared it with his brother), where he wrote much of Far from the Madding Crowd, amongst other books. The approach to the cottage is also a delight, a path through ancient woodland.