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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

Tim Laycock performs at Clouds Hill, Max Gate and Hardy’s Cottage

Our programme of events in 2014 has now ended and we're busy planning more for next year. If you can't wait until then, why not check out the events at nearby Max Gate, including Christmas carols and Thomas Hardy-themed workshops, talks and an art exhibition. And make a date in the diary for our festive event at Hardy's Cottage in December.

Find out more:


Out and about

View of Clouds Hill from the ridge

View of Clouds Hill from the ridge

While visiting the cottage, take time to explore the grounds. Perhaps enjoy a picnic at the top of the hill where you'll have outstanding views over the Isle of Purbeck.

Or 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.

Time for tea?

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.

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.

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.