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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

Lawrence week 11-17 May

A week of events and activities to commemorate the 80th anniversary of T E Lawrence’s death and to celebrate his life. For more information check out this schedule of events.

Spring opening

T E Lawrence kept his Brough Superior motorcycles in this shed

Clouds Hill is open again to visitors from 11 March, after a winter break which allowed us to do vital maintenance work. For 2015 visitors will be able to make themselves a cup of tea or coffee in Lawrence's motorbike garage (for a small donation).

For schools

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.

Walk the Lawrence of Arabia Trail

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 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.

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.