Nuwara Eliya: An English Tale in Sri Lanka

Being a tropical country located near South India, I used to think that when visiting Sri Lanka, all I needed to pack was summer clothes. Wrong. Especially if you’re planning to stay in Nuwara Eliya, a beautiful English town on top of a hill.

Dubbed as Little England, the town is a contrast to other cities in Sri Lanka not only because of the English history, but also the climate and architecture.

Founded by Samuel Baker in 1846, Nuwara Eliya’s cool climate (daily average of 16°C) made the town a favourite place to stay for British civil servants and colonialist.

The Royal Turf Club
The Town Post Office

I’m so happy to include Nuwara Eliya in my Sri Lanka itinerary. After some hot and sweaty days, finally I can feel cold breeze on my face! Some places to visit are The Town Post Office, The Queen’s Cottage, Victoria Park, The Hill Club, The Grand Hotel, Gregory Lake and The Royal Turf Club.

The Hill Club

You don’t have to be a member to visit the luxury, colonial-charm club. Visitors can pay a one-time pass of LKR100 (around RM2) for a tour inside the club. The guide will bring you to all the rooms and you can take some photos.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visit the club

The Grand Hotel

Soon, the flowers will bloom…

I wish I could stay in this four-star hotel, but just taking a walk inside the hotel is enough to make me happy. Although there’s a newer, five-star hotel nearby, I think The Grand Hotel is better because of the English-style architecture.

The hotel also has a café and a few restaurants connected to the hotel (Indian, Thai, etc), so visitors can dine without entering the hotel. Beside of the beautiful atmosphere, many travellers come here for the famous high tea.

Gregory Lake

The beautiful lake is named after a British Governor during its construction in 873, Sir William Gregory.

My new friend and guide, Rukshan

Where to Stay in Nuwara Eliya

Daffodils Hotel for budget travellers

If you’re thinking to take the iconic train ride from Kandy to Ella, you’re going to miss a lot of things. I know many travellers take this train route, so I ask my guide his opinion.

He says those who take Kandy-Ella route are mostly backpackers who don’t want to or don’t have enough money to stay in Nuwara Eliya.

By now, some of you may think that staying in Nuwara Eliya is expensive. Don’t worry, there are many nice budget hotels that also serve delicious food!

My hotel is located deep inside of an alley and the road isn’t even smooth. However, it turns out to be a nice and comfortable hotel.

I like the glass-house style entrance
Unfortunately, the bed is too soft. Remember to bring a jacket because it’s cold at night!
The dining room is in the attic

Daffodils Hotel is just 5-10 minutes walk from The Grand Hotel and The Royal Turf Club. If you feel lazy to come out for dinner, opt for a delicious buffet in the hotel for just LKR1,100 (around RM25).

If you’re thinking to visit Sri Lanka and have some questions, just write a comment on this blog/FB post or email me 😉

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