Tucked away amidst the misty mountains of Sri Lanka, the town of Nuwara Eliya is linked with the British colonial era which is very much part of its heritage.
Sri Lanka was under British rule from 1815 to 1948 and it was during this period that the Nuwara Eliya story begins. Discovered by Dr. John Davy in 1818, this area was initially used as a health resort; however, in 1828, Sir Edward Barnes arrived and helped transform it into “Little England”, a mountainside retreat for the British.
The British also introduced tea to the region and the cool climate and fertile soil was ideal. Tea barons established estates here as production flourished and Ceylon Tea was born. In fact, some of the estates can be visited today; this includes the historical Hethersett Estate home to Heritance Tea Factory where you can stay in a converted tea factory!
A key part of gaining insights into tea is to enjoy hands-on experiences which can be done at some of the best hotels in Nuwara Eliya. Some offer special tea-plucking outings where you will wear local attire and learn the fine art of plucking tea leaves, followed by taking a tea factory tour, tea tasting and enjoying high tea!
Many of the buildings and bungalows built by the British can be seen too. Amongst the top sites are the Queen’s House, post office building, Hill Club and General’s House, while the Holy Trinity Church and Christ Church Warleigh are notable too. Another key attraction is the Nuwara Eliya Golf Club that dates to 1889, one of Asia’s oldest golf clubs.