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The rural retreat of T. E. Lawrence

'I've a hut in a wood near camp wherein I spend my spare evenings' - the words of the legendary Lawrence of Arabia, about Clouds Hill.

This tiny isolated brick and tile cottage in the heart of Dorset was the peaceful retreat of T. E. Lawrence ('Lawrence of Arabia'). The austere rooms are much as he left them and reflect his complex personality and close links with the Middle East, as detailed in a fascinating exhibition.

Please note: Because the cottage is much as Lawrence left it, there is no electric light and we keep light levels low to protect the original contents. This adds to the authentic experience at the cottage, but some visitors may wish to time their visit to take advantage of the longer, lighter days of summer.

What's on

Get in the festive mood with carols at Hardy’s Birthplace

We're busy planning an exciting programme of events for next year. If you can't wait until then, why not check out the Christmas celebrations at nearby Max Gate and Hardy's Cottage.

Find out more:

Closed for winter

A rare sight of Clouds Hill with a covering of snow

Clouds Hill is now closed for the winter months. This allows us to do vital maintenance work. It will reopen as usual next March. In the meantime, why not explore the surrounding countryside or check out the new visitor centre at the birthplace of Thomas Hardy, a good friend of Lawrence.

Places to stay

Make like Lawrence and escape the madding crowd in your own peaceful retreat in the Dorset countryside. National Trust Holiday Cottages all enjoy idyllic settings and make a great base from which to explore Clouds Hill, Hardy Country and our other places in West Dorset at your leisure.

Out and about

A view of the snowy landscape from the hill above Clouds Hill

A view of the snowy landscape from the hill above Clouds Hill

While the cottage is closed for winter, why not try a walk along the Lawrence of Arabia Trail, which takes you through idyllic country lanes and leafy woodlands. This circular trail starts and finishes at Bovington's famous Tank Museum, taking in Clouds Hill and the churchyard of St Nicholas' Church in Moreton, Lawrence's final resting place.

Please use one of the walkers' car parks not far from the cottage.

Hardy Country

Lawrence was a great friend of the novelist and poet Thomas Hardy. You can follow Hardy’s story from his place of birth* in Higher Bockhampton to his home at Max Gate*, then on to his final resting place at St Michael’s Church in Stinsford. Learn more about his life and work at the Dorset County Museum, and get your photo taken next to the Hardy memorial.

*Currently closed for the winter, re-opening in March 2015.

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