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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 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.
This Lawrence of Arabia education pack is one of the outcomes of a cross-curricular creative project 'Castles in the Clouds' in 2014. Suitable for Key Stages 2,3 and 4, the activities can be used as individual lessons or could form part of a larger cross curriculum.
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 passes Clouds Hill and has branches to take in Bovington's famous Tank Museum, 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.
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.