Travel

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.

nuwara eliya english tale in sri lanka

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.

blue flower in nuwara eliya sri lanka english town
horse riding at the royal turf club nuwara eliya sri lanka english town
the town post office in english style nuwara eliya sri lanka

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

the hill club at english town nuwara eliya sri lanka

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.

girl with vintage english telephone at the hill club nuwara eliya sri lanka
the hill club nuwara eliya sri lanka
solo female traveller visits the hill club nuwara eliya sri lanka
Queen Elizabeth II photos at the hill club nuwara eliya sri lanka
english tea time at the hill club nuwara eliya sri lanka

Also read: 9 Fun Facts About Sri Lanka That You Should Know

The Grand Hotel

the grand hotel garden at nuwara eliya sri lanka

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 grand hotel tour at nanuoya sri lanka

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.

english town nuwara eliya sri lanka

Gregory Lake

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

gregory lake english town nuwara eliya sri lanka
female solo traveler walking alone at gregory lake nuwara eliya sri lanka
sporty sri lanka man at gregory lake nuwara eliya sri lanka

Where to Stay in Nuwara Eliya

daffodils hotel budget hotel in nuwara eliya sri lanka
Daffodils Hotel, Sri Lanka

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.

english style budget hotel nuwara eliya sri lanka daffodils hotel
I like the glasshouse-style entrance
Unfortunately, the bed is too soft. Remember to bring a jacket because it’s cold at night!
monks having breakfast in the hotel nuwara eliya sri lanka
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 Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka and have some questions, just write a comment on this blog/FB post or email me 😉

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