Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Dorset’s rustic setting forms the backdrop for director Thomas Vinterberg’s adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s 1874 novel, Far From the Madding Crowd.

The Thomas Hardy adaptation is a collaboration between British production company DNA films, Fox Searchlight and BBC Films and was released in cinemas in May 2015.

Based on the literary classic by Thomas Hardy, FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD is the story of independent, beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan), who attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a sheep farmer, captivated by her fetching wilfulness; Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), a handsome and reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), a prosperous and mature bachelor. This timeless story of Bathsheba’s choices and passions explores the nature of relationships and love – as well as the human ability to overcome hardships through resilience and perseverance.

Filming in Dorset

This is the landscape that Thomas Hardy used time and time again as a backdrop for his tales of love and tragedy. Much of the grassy vales and furze-flattened heaths he dubbed South Wessex have remained unchanged to this day, which makes the area the paramount choice to film adaptations of his novels.

The crew of FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD filmed the 2015 adaptation around West Dorset and key locations include Sherborne, West Bay, Mapperton House and Forde Abbey.

Explore Thomas Hardy’s Dorset

A new leaflet helping visitors to explore parts of Dorset that inspired Thomas Hardy has been published by the Thomas Hardy Society and the Visit Dorset team and will delight fans of the film.

The trail aims to link together where the great writer was raised and wrote Far From the Madding Crowd in Higher Bockhampton, the towns and villages he wrote about and the church where his heart is buried. It also directs people to visitor attractions such as the Dorset County Museum, which boasts the largest Hardy collection in the world, and Athelhampton House and Gardens, which Hardy regularly visited.

Download the leaflet and follow the Hardy Trail.

Book your break to Hardy Country

Stay for a while and discover Hardy’s Wessex for yourself and explore the area that moved Hardy to write his internationally renowned novels and poems.

Dorset offers a multitude of things to see and do. As well as miles of spectacular heritage coastline there are many beautiful villages and towns to explore and always a host of seasonal events taking place that offer something for everyone.

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Thomas Hardy Trail

Follow in Thomas Hardy's footsteps as you visit the towns and villages which gave him inspiration.

What does your Dorset look like? Adventures on our epic coastline? Visiting attractions with family? A walk through the beautiful countryside? Or perhaps a chilled out evening eating and drinking with friends? Discover a sample of your #VisitDorset images below and share your love for Dorset using the hashtag on Instagram.