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Thomas Hardy Group Tour

Thomas Hardy Group Tour

Thomas Hardy Group Tour

Hardy's poetry and novels are a great reflection of Victorian England, ranging from the countryside, woodlands and farming communities through to major cities and towns. They discuss the conflict of traditional values and rural life versus the Industrial Revolution. This tour visits the locations which influenced his creation of Wessex, the ‘partly real, partly dream country’ where he based many of his novels, inspired by the towns and countryside he knew so well in the pretty county of Dorset. Follow the Hardy trail through his fictional towns and also visit important places in Hardy's own life, including Oxford, the 'beautiful city of spires' and Dorchester, his birthplace which inspired Casterbridge.

Tour Highlights

  • Hardy’s Birthplace Visitor Centre in the Dorset woods. Discover more about Thomas Hardy's early life and enjoy the local landscape which inspired his works.  The Visitor Centre with its Cafe is a short walk from Hardy's Cottage.
  • Hardy’s Cottage, a National Trust property, in Higher Brockhampton. Visit the thatched cottage where Hardy was born in 1840 and where he wrote his early works, including Under the Greenwood Tree and Far from the Madding Crowd.
  • Dorset Museum and the world's largest collection of Hardy archives and memorabilia. See a recreation of Hardy’s study, including his desk and personal belongings from his home including clothes. The Hardy’s Life room has childhood toys, family portraits, musical instruments and music from the Hardy family’s music books. See original manuscripts and touchscreens for browsing digital manuscripts, personal letters and explore the inspirations for his locations on a touchscreen map.
  • Towns and villages on the Hardy trail which inspired his writing, including Beaminster, Bridport, Portesham and Puddletown.
  • Dorchester, county town of Dorset and the setting for The Mayor of Casterbridge. See St Peter's Church, The King's Arms Hotel, The Corn Exchange, Greys Bridge and the Antelope Hotel which all feature in The Mayor of Casterbridge, Far from the Madding Crowd, The Trumpet Major and Under the Greenwood Tree.
  • Sturminster Newton to see the Market Place which features in Tess of the d’Urbervilles as well as the inn assumed to be Angel's lodgings. Sturminster Mill, which inspired Hardy's poem Second Visit, the Town Museum with its Hardy exhibits and the outside of Hardy's house. Visit the Town Bridge. Bridges and the River Stour are a constant theme with Hardy.
  • Sherborne (Sherton Abbas), nestling in green valleys and wooded hills. The market place is where Giles Winterborne stood with his apple trees in The Woodlanders. The magnificent 15th Century Sherborne Abbey is where Giles Winterborne and Grace Melbury planned their future.
  • Oxford, ancient university city and The City of Dreaming Spires, is Christminster in Jude the Obscure.
  • Hardy's tomb in Stinsford Churchyard. His heart is buried here.
  • Day in London to see Hardy's home in Wandsworth, the British Library, Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey, where Hardy's ashes are buried and the Hardy Tree at St Pancras Old Church.

What Our Clients Say

I was very fortunate to be on their 70th and 75th D-Day celebration tours. The service and attention to details was exceptional. It was very moving to go back.

As a Jane Austen enthusiast, this tour was perfect - and the Jane Austen Festival in Bath was just fabulous to see!

Words fail me...The Downton Abbey was a perfectly wonderful travel experience! We did not know we would be the ONLY guests at the Abbey. When we realised how truly exclusive our tour was we were speechless! Surreal being there and actually meeting Lady Carnarvon.