Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka, is one of the most beautiful destinations in the country. It is known as “Little England” since this is where British colonists established their vacation homes in classic Victorian design. The tallest town in Sri Lanka and the centre of the country’s most picturesque region. Despite the fact that the territory was originally occupied by the Kandyan kingdom, the town itself is a British construction. Sir Edward Barnes founded it as a retreat in the mid-nineteenth century.

Nuwara Eliya has been and continues to be the hub of rural life for wealthy colonists for nearly a century. Some portions of town have purposefully stayed untouched in order to attract a specific type of individual who misses the passing of the ‘good old days.’

The main draw of Nuwara Eliya is its curiously British atmosphere, with enormous faux-Tudor structures and misplaced architecture. The variable weather can make it difficult to explore the town and its nearby lake, but the lovely town and its gorgeous heritage hotels provide as an excellent base for experiencing the gorgeous southern highland panoramas and tea gardens.


The History Behind Nuwara Eliya

There was nothing where Nuwara Eliya now sits when the British arrived in Ceylon. The high plain was discovered by Sir Edward Barnes on an elephant hunting expedition in the highlands. The island’s governor, Sir Edward Barnes, was not immediately drawn to the place, fascinated by the bleakness, drizzle, and mist-covered environment that resembled him so much of home. He intended to turn the highlands into a sanitary getaway for troops. As a result, he constructed his own tiny England.

Ceylon had a coffee rush as military personnel, civil servants, and even ordinary citizens invested in plantations. Unfortunately, after all of their hard work, most of them discovered that the ‘estates’ they had bought were nothing but acres of virgin forest seized from the Kandyans.

Despite the fact that the British were able to manage good coffee production until the 1880s, when the crop was decimated by ‘coffee rust,’ a leaf fungus, by the end of the nineteenth century, several farmers had replaced their coffee trees with tea bushes imported from China.

Almost every accessible hillside is now blanketed in a rich carpet of green tea bushes that cascades across the countryside.  It’s impossible to differentiate one estate from another, with each appearing to be identical to the others and just tiny dirt roads and handwritten markers separating the Damros from the Pedros.

The Top 20 Places to visit in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

  1. Pedro Tea Estate 
  2. Gregory Lake 
  3. Bale Bazaar 
  4. Strawberry Fields 
  5. Ambewela Farm 
  6. Moon Plains 
  7. Hakgala Botanical Garden 
  8. Horton Plains National Park
  9. The World’s End in Nuwara Eliya

  10. Glaway’s Land National Park 
  11. Kudahagala
  12. Thotupola Kanda
  13. Ramboda Falls 
  14. St. Clair’s Falls 
  15. Laxapana Falls
  16. Pidurutalagala
  17. Aberdeen Falls
  18. Bomburu Ella Falls
  19. Devon Falls
  20. Lover’s Leap Falls

Factory visit to a Tea Plantation in Nuwara Eliya

Although Taylor’s original 19 acres of tea plantation have grown significantly, the method of harvesting has remained mostly unchanged. Women navigate the several plantations that surround Nuwara Eliya every day, using their fingers to pluck the young leaves and buds from the tea bush. You can take a guided tour of the factory to learn about the following step in the manufacture of tea once you have observed the tea picking in action. To witness the manufacturing process, the majority of the tea factories in Nuwara Eliya provide guided factory tours.

Damro Tea Estate

Damro Labookelie Tea Estate is around 20 kilometers north of town. It is spread across 5,000 hectares of beautiful tea plantations. This plantation reaches elevations of nearly 1,500 meters and runs from Sabaragamuwa’s deep valleys to the inner highlands. Damro, in particular, is recognized in western Nuwara Eliya for growing a range of premium fresh selected teas. The factory offers free tours that take you step-by-step through the production process, culminating in a tea tasting experience at their on-site café.

Pedro Tea estate

Pedro’s Tea Factory is located in the green hills around 3.5 kilometers from Nuwara Eliya town. The scenery is breathtaking, and the Lovers’ Leap Ethical Tea Boutique is stylish. Although the factory is small, it is fascinating to visit. It’s also more pleasurable to visit this factory since it’s less touristic. You can also go to the Lover’s Leap waterfall, which is not far from Pedro Tea Factory. The trail to the waterfall passes past Pedro’s tea plantations, making it ideal for a morning trek.


Take a walk around Gregory Lake in Nuwara Eliya

The Queen Victoria Park is located in the heart of Nuwara Eliya and is a must-see attraction. This park was named to commemorate Queen Victoria’s 60th Jubilee Coronation in 1897. Originally, the park served as a research field for the Hakgala Botanical Garden. Victoria Park, with its 27-acre area, is home to a diverse population of foreign tree species as well as numerous unusual birds. Victoria Park comes alive with blooms, especially from March to May and August to September.

The scenery surrounding Gregory Lake is nicely groomed, and the neighboring hillsides add to Lake Gregory’s splendor. The Gregory Lake park requires a ticket to access, and there is plenty of parking. You can do things like ride a boat on the lake, ride a pony, and shoot air rifles here. You can shop at the park for food, ornaments. Gregory Lake and Garden is a must-see attraction in Nuwara Eliya.


Go for a Hike on Horton Plains National Park

Horton Plains National Park, about 32 kilometers from Nuwara Eliya, is one of the most stunning tourist sites. Horton Plains National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes two of Sri Lanka’s tallest mountains, Kirigalpotta and Totapola. The plains were named after Sir Robert Wilmot-Horton, the British administrator of Ceylon from 1831 to 1837.

Because of the little rain and bright skies, the months of January through March are great for visiting Horton Plains National Park. Begin your trek as ealy as possible in the morning so that you can arrive at the World’s End before the morning vibes disappear. Horton Plains National Park is home to 24 mammal and 87 bird species.


Visit Victoria Park in Nuwara Eliya

The Queen Victoria Park is a must-see attraction in the heart of Nuwara Eliya. This park is named after Queen Victoria’s 60th Jubilee Coronation in 1897. The park began as a research field for the Hakgala Botanical Garden. With its 27-acre size, Victoria Park is home to a wide population of exotic tree species as well as various unique birds. Victoria Park comes alive with blooms, especially from March to May and August to September.


Train Ride from Nuwara Eliya to Ella

The train travel from Nuwara Eliya to Ella is one of the favorite rail journeys in Sri Lanka. The journey began at Nuwara Eliya, a city located in the center of Sri Lanka’s famed tea industry, surrounded by several tea farms. The British Colonial administration established the railway network in Sri Lanka in 1864, to transport tea and coffee from the hill region in areas like Nuwara Eliya to Colombo.

This is one of the best rail excursions because of the spectacular views of the southern Sri Lankan hill region as the train passes through multiple mountain tunnels through tea plantations and neighboring villages.

Nine arch bridge Sri Lanka

Scavenger Hunt Top 10 Water Falls in Nuwara Eliya

Sri Lanka has approximately 400 waterfalls recorded, thus there are plenty of spectacular waterfalls to see. The majority of the water falls are located in the island’s central highlands. Some of the waterfalls in Nuwara Eliya feature natural pools where you can get close and even take a bath, while others are more hidden away and are only accessible from afar. Scavenger hunt these ten gorgeous waterfalls in Nuwara Eliya and see how many water falls you can see during your visit.

  1. Laxapana Falls
  2. Aberdeen Falls
  3. Diyaluma Falls
  4. Devon Falls
  5. Bakers Falls
  6. St Clairs Falls
  7. Dunhinda Falls
  8. Bopath Ella Falls
  9. Ramboda Waterfalls
  10. Diyaluma Falls

Ramboda falls

St. Clair’s falls

Things to know before you go on a Tea Factory tour

  • Tea factories are usually open from 10AM – 5PM
  • It can be noisy and dusty inside the factory
  • Most of the time it is not allowed to take pictures inside the tea factory
  • On Sunday most tea factories in Sri Lanka are closed
  • A tour through a tea factory usually takes around 30 – 40 minutes

Weather at Nuwara Eliya

The weather at Nuwara Eliya is really pleasant. It’s never too cold or too hot, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C in the winter and 14°C to 19°C in the summer. April is the warmest month, with temperatures reaching up to 23°C.

How to get to Nuwara Eliya from Colombo

The most pleasant, entertaining, and scenic method to get to Nuwara Eliya is by the vintage train from Kandy or Ella. One of the most breathtaking train journeys ever. Along the trip, you’ll pass by a lot of tea fields and picturesque local mountain settlements.

If you want to take the train from Colombo to Nuwara Eliya, you can purchase your ticket at the Colombo Fort station. If you want to travel in first class, you must purchase your ticket at least one month in advance.

Take a bus from Kandy in the direction of Colombo Fort and get off an hour later at Peradeniya if you want to get to Nuwara Eliya. From there, take the bus to Welimada and get off at Nuwara Eliya. The entire journey takes a couple of hours, but if you’re on a limited budget, it’s well worth it.

How to get around Nuwara Eliya

Because the weather in Nuwara Eliya is so variable, renting a scooter may not always be the best option. Another option is to travel around by Tuk Tuk.

Best Hotels to stay in Nuwara Eliya

There are plenty of fantastic places to stay in Nuwara Eliya, ranging from inexpensive hostels to upscale hotels. If you are a tea enthusiast looking for an unforgettable stay Heritance Tea Factory is the best place to stay in Nuwara Eliya.

  • The Grand Hotel 
  • Jetwing St Andrews 
  • The Hill Club 
  • Heritance Tea Factory

Nuwara Eliya is an amazing vacation hideaway with an unequaled level of perfection, with twisting roads and verdant valleys, and Tea Estates nestled on the hillsides, with streams and water falls, and the magnificent misty mountains. If you have any questions about Nuwara Eliya , please send us a message or leave a comment below so that we can respond!

Image courtesy of Jon Gudorf Photography Amila Tennakoon Sarah Nichols via creative commons licenses. some rights reserved.

Ceylon Hunt has tour packages which facilitate your tour to Galle and you can check them going through our tour packages or make the resevations through our website.