Nuwara Eliya, one of the prime hill country resorts of Sri Lanka with an altitude of 1800m above sea level, is the city that has the highest altitude on this beautiful island and lies behind the Tallest Mountain in Sri Lanka, Pidurutalagala. Located 180km away from Colombo, the journey to Nuwara Eliya along the meandering roads of the Kandy-Nuwara Eliya motorway is truly inspiring and builds up your expectations of what lies ahead, because of all the breathtaking views of mountains, greenery and valleys that you come across, most of it filled with nothing but tea plantations. With salubrious temperatures ranging between 15 and 23 degrees on average, you will find it difficult to believe that a 6 hour journey can present you with such a vast change in climate from the hot and humid conditions of the Colombo city.
Nuwara Eliya is one of the most loved holiday destinations for both locals and foreigners alike, because of unlike the other destinations, this city provides you with the refreshing change of a colder climate that is most welcoming. Known as ‘’Little England’’ because of its vaguely idyllic British country feel to it, Nuwara Eliya tends to be busiest during the months between February to April and you might find that accommodation prices have sky rocketed. So if you are travelling to Nuwara Eliya during this season then you might have to think about having your lodging sorted out well in advance.
The greenery in the area along with the buildings in this region is what gives Nuwara Eliya the name of ‘’Little England’’. You will find gardens filled with English style vegetables such as carrots, turnips and cabbages. You will also find irresistible blooms such as roses, daisies and petunias especially at the Hakgala Botanical Gardens, which gives the air a slightly perfumed tint as well. The gardens was established in 1861 and is considered the highest set botanical gardens in the world. It is home to 100 year old Monetary Cypress trees from California, English Oak, Himalayan pins and Japanese Cedars. Nuwara Eliya is considered one of the most highly productive areas in the country, with acres of labor intensive vegetable patches.
At the center of the town just a little bit further from the central market you find the Victoria Park, spread over an area of 27 acres, its carpet of lush green grass and tall eucalyptus trees make for splendid views. It’s also one of those places where bird lover tend to spend long hours, because the park and the lake within the park tends to support both endemic and migrant birds. In close proximity to Victoria Park you will find the Racecourse and the Nuwara Eliya Golf club. The Golf club, built in 1891 by British tea planters is also available to tourists and boasts other facilities such as a restaurant, billiard room and badminton hall.
Horton plains, which falls under the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is a plateau at 2000feet found mid-way between Haputale and Nuwara Eliya. This plateau is a haven for bird watchers and hikers. The lowlands that are found at the southern edge of the precipice called World’s End is an excursion that nobody wants to miss out on.