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- Small family-run farm deep in Hardy country
- Less than ten miles from the Jurassic Coast
- Firepits for hire: wood supplied
If you're a Thomas Hardy fan, you'll know about Dorchester: it was where the Tess dude lived and was his inspiration for the town of Casterbridge. And if you're taking the trail, settle down afterwards in a Cool Haven bell tent at Thorncombe Farm – it might be the perfect setting to reread Tess...?
Thorncombe is a small family-run livestock farm in the heart of Dorset, near the hamlet of Bockhampton where Thomas Hardy was born, and two miles from the county town of Dorchester. Weymouth, Durdle Door, Chesil Beach and the Jurassic Coast are less than ten miles away.
The five-metre bell tents here have been set up for those who want a bit less hassle on hol and who don't want to be faffed with putting up and taking down tents. They come unfurnished and have a separate dining tent area with a dining table and bench seats.
For eats, try Yalbury Cottage Restaurant or Pine Lodge Farm, both in Bockhampton, the Wise Man pub in West Stafford or the Blue Vinny at Puddletown.
The Thorncombe team supplies firepits, wood and charcoal – have The Mayor of Casterbridge along with marshmallows, maybe...?
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Gave us exactly what we required. Tent and covered dining ...
Clean facilities,close amenities. Well presented and maintained.
This was the first time that we did camping and ...
Leisure on site
Bar or club house
Indoor swimming pool
Outdoor swimming pool
Amenities on site
Ice pack freezing
Parent & baby washroom
Pick-up from public transport
Tents for hire
Gas cylinders available
Commercial vehicles allowed
Cycle hire nearby
Horse riding nearby
Indoor pool nearby
Leisure/theme park nearby
Mountain biking nearby
D. of E. welcome
Single-sex groups welcome
Student groups welcome
Nearby farmers' market
Public transport nearby
Small (11-25 pitches)
- Coach stations
Dorchester: South Rail Station Coach Stop — 2.2 miles
2.2 miles Weymouth: Town Centre Coach Stops — 8.1 miles
8.1 miles Wareham: North Street Coach Stop — 12.7 miles
- Train stations
Dorchester South Rail Station — 2.2 miles
2.2 miles Dorchester West Rail Station — 2.3 miles
2.3 miles Moreton (Dorset) Rail Station — 3.9 miles
- Ferry ports
Weymouth Ferry Terminal — 8.4 miles
8.4 miles Poole Ferry Terminal — 17.6 miles
17.6 miles Poole Quay Ferry Landing — 17.9 miles
Bournemouth International Airport — 24.9 miles
Take the London Road leading to the roundabout at the bypass. At this roundabout take the second exit. After approximately one mile turn left signposted to Higher Bockhampton and Hardy's Cottage. The entrance to Thorncombe Farm is the first drive on the right.
The open woods of Thorncombe and Puddleton are next to Thorncombe Farm with miles of trails for walking, cycling and horse riding.
Zorbing is available for the more energetic at the neighbouring farm – ask the Thorncombe team for details – and fishing, sailing and golf are all available locally too.
Dorchester is two miles away and well worth at least a day to browse its museums – the Dinosaur Museum is a definite must and we'd also suggest Dorset County Museum, the Tutankhamun Exhibition, and Thomas Hardy's townhouse Max Gate. Plenty of pubs, shops and cafés are in town as well.
Weymouth and the Jurassic Coast is a short drive from the farm: go for the long sandy beach, marina and harbour at Weymouth, the castle at Portland and the famed Chesil Beach stretching for about 18 miles to the west towards Lyme Regis.
Other nearby Dorset days out could be had at Bovington Tank Museum, the Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre, Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, Maiden Castle and Abbotsbury Gardens and its swannery.
- Hardy's Birthplace (0.4 miles)
- The Tank Museum (6.9 miles)
- Weymouth Sea Life Park and Marine Sanctuary (7.2 miles)
- Hardy's Cottage (0.4 miles)
- Max Gate (1.7 miles)
Find local routes on the National Cycle Network - over 12,000 miles of cycling routes.