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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.
Closed for winter
Clouds Hill is closed for the winter months and will re-open in March 2014. During the closed season we'll be busy doing all the important tasks we can't carry out while the house is open. This includes essential maintenance work, cleaning, and planning for next year. We look forward to your visit next spring.
While the cottage is closed for winter, you can explore the grounds and take a picnic to the top of the hill to see the outstanding views over the Isle of Purbeck.
Or why not enjoy 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.
The famous Dorset author and poet Thomas Hardy was a great friend of Lawrence and regularly visited him at Clouds Hill. Why not combine your visit to Clouds Hill with an exploration of Hardy Country. 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. You can learn more about his life and work at the Dorset County Museum and get your photo taken next to the Hardy memorial.
*Hardy's Birthplace and Max Gate are both closed during the winter months.
Due to its intimate size, we can't accommodate a tea-room at Clouds Hill. Your nearest place for refreshments is the award-winning Moreton Tearooms about three miles away in Moreton. It's open for morning coffee, brunch, lunch and afternoon tea. We can heartily recommend the delicious home-baked cakes and scones.