Press release

Everything stops for tea on Saga's new tour of Sri Lanka

Tuesday 4 March 2014

* Celebrate the 250th anniversary of Earl Grey
* Take train up to hotel and tea plantation hill stations
* Pluck your own tea leaves to take home
* Discover Sri Lanka’s colonial past

Join Saga’s intriguing Colonial Ceylon tour to experience the elegance of a bygone era in Sri Lanka and learn all about the history of tea.

Pluck tea leaves and take a package home to remember the Heritance Factory Hotel which overlooks tea plantations.
In a small group of up to 20 guests, enjoy amazing vistas of tropical valleys and dense tea-bush hills on a memorable four-hour train journey to the former hill station of Nuwara Eliya. At 1,868m above sea level the cool climate is perfect for the famous Ceylon tea production.

This new 11-night holiday also includes a two-night stay in Colombo, at Mount Lavinia Hotel, a former British governor's weekend retreat. Visit Gangarama Buddhist Temple, the Hindu Temple and the Dutch Wolfendhal Church.
Pause to see elephants bathing at Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage en route to the last stronghold of the Sinhalese kings, Kandy. Spend three nights at the colonial-style Suisse Hotel, next to the ornamental Kandy Lake.
Call at the Temple of the Tooth Relic, which houses Lord Buddha’s tooth. There will also be time to enjoy the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya.

Take a scenic journey through the low country to Galle and visit Kitulgala, the film location for Bridge Over the River Kwai.  Stay two-nights at the secluded Tamarind Hill Hotel, a converted 19th-century manor, stepping back further in time through the gates of Galle Fort to learn about the spice trade and colonial power.

11 nights from £1,699 per person departing Heathrow to Colombo in May and September to November.
Price includes VIP door-to-door chauffeur service, return flights, airport taxes, accommodation, most meals, porterage, tour manager, travel insurance and cancellation cover.

For details call free on 0800 414 8986 or visit


Editors: Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, KG PC was born on March 13, 1764 and was Prime Minister from Nov 22, 1830 to July 16, 1834. His administration saw the abolition of slavery in the British Empire.
The Grey family’s records note tea was specially blended by a Chinese mandarin for Lord Grey, to suit the water at Howick Hall, the family seat in Northumberland. Bergamot was used to offset the taste of lime in the local water. Lady Grey used the tea while entertaining in London and it proved so popular she was asked if it could be sold to others. The Grey family did not acquire a patent.

Famous Seema Malaka Temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka