Visit Thomas Hardy’s Cottage
Greenwood Grange is ideally located in the heart of Hardy country with Thomas Hardy’s birthplace just a short five minute walk away, down a picturesque lane. The thatched cottage, in which the internationally acclaimed author was born in 1840, is owned by the National Trust Hardy’s Cottage and open to the public from March – November. It was from here that he wrote some of his most popular short stories, poems and novels including ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’ and ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’.
Both the cottage and lane remain virtually unchanged since they were built in 1800, with the exception of the new National Trust Thomas Hardy visitor centre which serves as the gateway for visitors to discover more about the life and works of Thomas Hardy and the local landscape. The centre is also home to Under the Greenwood Tree Café which serves up a fantastic range of freshly made food, including breakfast, all using locally sourced produce – and all just across from our main entrance!
Running adjacent to the cottage is the ancient Thorncombe Woods, a woodland and nature reserve that open out onto heathland and the beginning of Hardy’s Egdon Heath. These historic woodlands are home to a host of fabulous wildlife and it is well worth joining a wildlife-spotting walk led by the woodland management team. Aside from the rich wildlife there is much to explore including a well preserved Roman road which would have once run from Dorchester to Badbury Rings. There are also a number of paths which are popular with dog walkers, and, for most of the year, dogs are able to exercise off lead in the woodland.