A 19th-Century Pilgrimage

The Hardy Way © 2015 All Rights Reserved

‘A great achievement!  Margaret Marande and Dorset County Council are to be congratulated on this wonderful walk ‘

British Epilepsy Association

In the 1990s, in Dorset, Margaret Marande was looking for a project to combine her love of walking  (especially long distance walking) with her interest in literature and, in particular, the work of Thomas Hardy.  Solution – to create a long distance footpath linking locations in Hardy’s novels and poems using his wonderfully evocative descriptions of the Dorset landscape more than a hundred years ago.  Many of the scenes he describes are remarkably unchanged today. The Hardy Way – A 19th Century Pilgrimage was first published in 1995.

The Hardy Way is predominantly a long distance walk but can also be walked in shorter sections with the aid of Ordnance Survey maps.  En route there is a wealth of interest in history, wildlife, landscape and literature. 

In 1998, at an opening ceremony at Max Gate, the Way became a county footpath and, with the help of the Ramblers Association, was waymarked with distinctive green and white discs.  Since that time many walking groups have enjoyed it. Over time one or two route problems made revision necessary and the result is a new and improved edition of the book which retains the essence of the original but with innovations - Hardy friendly maps and many route amendments. Time, wear and tear and changes to the route have made it necessary to re-waymark in Summer 2015.

The new edition of the book was launched  in April 2015 at the excellent new Hardy's Birthplace Visitor Centre with kind permission of Dorset County Council and the National Trust. See link below to buy.

The Hardy pictures above are obvious. The other brick and flint cottage is the home of Margaret Marande.