Clouds Hill

Top choice in Dorset

The tiny cottage that was home to TE Lawrence (1888–1935) provides a compelling insight into a complex man. The British soldier became legendary after working with Arab tribes against Turkish forces in WWI. Look out for Lawrence's evocative desert-campaign photos, his French crusader castle sketches and the desk where he abridged Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

The four idiosyncratic rooms include a surprisingly comfortable cork-lined bathroom, an aluminium foil–lined bunk room and a heavily beamed music room. The house is much as Lawrence left it – he died at the age of 46 after a motorbike accident on a nearby road.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Dorset attractions

1. Monkey World

1.93 MILES

An appealing sanctuary for rescued chimpanzees, orang-utans, gibbons, marmosets and some utterly adorable ring-tailed lemurs.

2. Lulworth Castle

5.73 MILES

A confection in creamy, dreamy white, this baronial pile looks more like a French chateau than a traditional English castle. Built in 1608 as a hunting…

3. Hardy's Cottage

6.14 MILES

This picturesque cob-and-thatch house is the birthplace of writer Thomas Hardy. It features evocative, sparsely furnished rooms and a lush garden. It's in…

4. St Martin's on the Walls

6.44 MILES

This 11th-century church features a 12th-century fresco on the northern wall, and a marble effigy of TE Lawrence. If it's locked during normal shop hours,…

5. Durdle Door

6.66 MILES

Durdle Door is the poster child of Dorset's Jurassic Coast. This immense, sea-fringed, 150-million-year-old Portland stone arch was created by a…

6. Lulworth Cove Visitor Centre

6.68 MILES

Excellent displays outline how geology and erosion have combined to shape the area's remarkable shoreline. Staff can advise about walks, too.

7. Stair Hole Bay

6.78 MILES

Stair Hole Bay sits just a few hundred metres west of Lulworth Cove. This diminutive semicircle is almost enclosed by cliffs that feature tiny rock arches…

8. Max Gate

7.44 MILES

Novelist Thomas Hardy was a trained architect and designed this attractive house, where he lived from 1885 until his death in 1928. Tess of the D…