In between Kitulgala and Hortons Plains, we stopped for a couple of nights in Nuwara Eliya. Known as little England, this town was the bastion for British culture during the era of the Plantation Raj. Although that era is over, the grand hotels, golf courses and clubs and some of their anachronistic traditions are continued in a Sri Lankan version of colonial style.
We had the most fun at the Grand Hotel, which had lovely gardens, a cracker of an afternoon tea and a couple of good and not expensive restaurants. We were so often there, that the concierge thought we were hotel guests, and arranged for the boys to have a go at air rifle shooting in a shed out the back!
Mahani was particularly delighted at the Christmas decorations, and even managed to buy a lovely Christmas cake from the gift shop.
After Horton Plains, we drove to Ella – this is one of the only towns we have visited that looks almost entirely set up for tourists. The nearby views are spectacular, and we caught a delightful short train ride to see the famous Nine Arches Bridge. Our time there was a mix of relaxation counteracted by noise – our guesthouse was on the main road – and roads in SL are a cacophony!