GPS Cycle and Walking Routes


Thorncombe Woods and Hardy's Cottage Walk

2 miles (3.4 km)

This walk visits Thorncombe Woods, Duddle Heath and Thomas Hardy's cottage, near Dorchester. It's a lovely area for a stroll with miles of woodland trails, a pretty pond and decent views from the elevated heathland area. There's also lots of wildlife to look out for including Dartmoor ponies, deer and various woodland birds.
Start the walk from the car park at the National Trust Hardy's Birthplace Visitor Centre in Higher Brockampton. Take time to explore the centre before you start the walk. It contains interesting displays about the life and works of Thomas Hardy and his connection to the local landscape.
From the centre it is a short walk to Hardy's Cottage where the author was born in 1840. The delightfulcob and thatch cottage is where he wrote some of his classic novels including 'Under the Greenwood Tree' and 'Far from the Madding Crowd'. The house is surrounded by lovely gardens where you can enjoy a pleasant stroll before a longer walk in the adjacent woods.
The paths head south east from the cottage onto Duddle Heath, passing the pretty Rushy Pond on the way. There is an undulating path on the heath with splendid views over the landscapes which would have inspired much of Hardy's writing.
After exploring the heath the route then returns to the car park on more peaceful woodland trails.
The woods form part of the expansive Puddletown Forest. You can extend your walking on miles of trails here.
Athelhampton House is not far from the woods. Here you can explore the beautiful parkland and gardens surrounding the 15th century Athelhampton House

Thorncombe Woods OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Thorncombe Woods Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Cycle Routes and Walking Routes Nearby

Photos

Hardy's cottage, Higher Bockhampton - geograph.org.uk - 480484

Hardy's cottage, Higher Bockhampton

Footpath past the Rainbarrows, Duddle Heath - geograph.org.uk - 396370

Footpath past the Rainbarrows, Duddle Heath

Rushy Pond on a hot summer's day - geograph.org.uk - 506543

Rushy Pond on a hot summer's day

Duddle Heath - geograph.org.uk - 396031

Duddle Heath

Permissive path on the Roman Road, Bhompston Heath - geograph.org.uk - 398035

Permissive path on the Roman Road, Bhompston Heath

Footpath on to Duddle Heath - geograph.org.uk - 460611

Footpath on to Duddle Heath

GPS Files

GPX File

Thorncombe Woods.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')

Memory Map Route

Thorncombe Woods.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Share>Save to Files)