Max Gate was designed by Thomas Hardy, who, somewhat surprisingly, first trained as an Architect. Many of his most famous poems and novels were penned here. Sadly a great deal of the family's possessions were sold before the National trust acquired the building but what they have thus far managed to squirrel back between its handsome red brick walls really gives you a sense of the life he led and, looking out at the drizzle and the fog, of the landscape that so influenced his writing.
I was in a bit of a fuddle the morning we visited Max Gate and walking around the gardens, tapping out some drivel at Hardy's desk and hunting down the woollen animals hidden around the grounds by some creative trust worker served up the perfect antidote to a rainy Wednesday afternoon in Dorset. I highly recommend a visit.