I didn't think I'd be able to wangle another visit to Bovington so instead we had a meander around the area and ended up at a couple of interesting places.
First of all was Clouds Hill. This was T.E. Lawrence's home after WW1 when he was doing his best to slip into obscurity, first joining the RAF under an assumed name and, when this was exposed by the Daily Express (presumably with some link to Princess Diana and Cancer), joining the Tank Corps and changing his name by deed poll. The cottage is a small 4 room house with the minimum of facilities...no electricity or toilet (but plenty of local bushes!) and a large supply of tinned food for his guests to enjoy. The regular visitors included Thomas Hardy, Sasoon, Shaw etc. on the ground floor is a bedroom with a rather impressive reading chair which Lawrence designed. Upstairs is a rather lovely wood lined room dominated by a gramophone and an aluminium lined store/guest room with a bunk bed and a port hole from HMS Tiger! A very individual place.
Lawrence (or by this time, Shaw) was tragically killed in his now famous motorcycle accident in 1935...the spot where he crashed is just down the road from Clouds Hill. The house is an odd place...so basic and remote it reflects Lawrence's desire to escape his public past.
We then wandered on to Moreton (just down the road from Clouds Hill) which happens to be where Lawrence was buried. We didn't visit his grave but I did want to have a look at the church... St Nicholas'. This was hit by a bomb during WW2 and was largely rebuilt in the 50s. Interestingly the windows were replaced not by stained glass but by a series of etched clear glass windows designed by Laurence Whistler. I'm not religious in any shape or form (quite adamantly humanist) but these are truly lovely and well worth seeing.
The rest of the weekend was a series of dog walks....
...and some very nice beer at the Castle Inn in West Lulworth.