The hill station city of Nuwara Eliya was popularised by an English explorer and planter in 1864, who triggered its development from a tiny lakeside village into the commercial and cultural capital of the Central Highlands. Its location in the heart of hill country coupled with its temperate climate quickly made it a favourite sanctuary for British planters and government officials thus earning the nickname “Little England”.
Nuwara Eliya, whose name literally translates as “City of Light”, still possesses a peculiarly British feel even 70 years after Sri Lanka gained independence. Alongside the racecourse and golf-course, the heritage hotels, bungalows and even the post office exude an old world charm reminiscent of an English market town. Tudor Revival style buildings dominate with the adjoining parks and gardens taking inspiration from English country gardens, complete with roses, herbaceous borders and pristine golf-green-flat lawns.