Tea with a View at Lipton’s Seat, Haputale [Photo Story]

Ever wondered where that little packet of dust we call a teabag comes from? We think of tea as very ENGLISH. But is it really?

Lipton’s tea actually comes from Sri Lanka. And when I was in Sri Lanka I had the pleasure of visiting Sir Thomas Lipton’s Dambatenne Tea Factory as well as hiking in the amazing Sri Lankan tea country and discovering Lipton’s Seat.

Lipton’s Seat

Lipton’s Seat, just outside Haputale in Sri Lanka’s tea country, is reputed to have been the favourite place of Sir Thomas Lipton. This was apparently where he went to reflect and enjoy a spectacular view across the tea country.

Can’t say I blame him.

When I was in Sri Lanka I had the pleasure also of enjoying Sir Lipton’s magnificent view and this special place when I went on a morning hike around the tea country.

Here are some photos from the hike.

Tuk-tuking to Lipton’s Seat

Lipton's Seat, Haputale, Sri Lanka

View from our tuk tuk as we drove up to Lipton’s Seat

We set off from our accommodation in Haputale by tuk tuk at 9.30am. The tuk tuk took us up to the top of the hill where Lipton’s Seat is located. The plan was to take the easy option and hike just on the way down.

Lipton's Seat, Haputale, Sri Lanka Lipton's Seat, Haputale, Sri Lanka

If you visit Lipton’s Seat, you MUST set off early in the morning otherwise you will find the whole area shrouded in low cloud and you will see nothing and will have wasted your time. All the guide books and blogs say this for good reason.

As you can see, we did not heed this advice! Our tuk tuk picked us up at 9:30am and there was already plenty of cloud when we reached Lipton’s Seat.

So you’ve been warned: go early!

Lipton's Seat

So, erm, this is what we saw!

Lipton's Seat, Haputale

Toni and Sir Thomas and that incredible view behind them. Ahem.

But don’t worry! It does get better.

Lipton's Seat

There’s a cafe at the top where you can drink tea (Lipton’s, of course) and wait for the cloud to lift.

View from Lipton’s Seat

And when the cloud does lift, this is what you get:

liptons seat

Now you’re talking!

The hike down the hill from Lipton’s Seat to Dambatenne Tea Factory

The rest of the morning continued to be patchy with the weather: sometimes it would be so cloudy that it was like we were enveloped in a thick fog. And at other times the cloud lifted and we could see for miles. It was quite a magical morning.

Here are the photos from the walk back down from Lipton’s Seat to the Dambatenne tea factory:

Lipton's Seat

Let’s head back down there where all the clouds are!

Lipton's Seat

A good spot from which to enjoy the view?

Lipton's Seat


Lipton's Seat

Words of wisdom, if a little random

Lipton's Seat

Hard at work – we never saw any male tea-pickers.

Lipton's Seat

Weighing in

Lipton's Seat

Lo and behold the sun comes back out and we’re all sweating again within minutes!

Lipton's Seat

And are once again enjoying the spectacular views

Lipton's Seat

Views of tea, glorious tea.

Lipton's Seat

Well, some of us are just sunbathing

Dambatenne Tea Factory

Once we were back down at the bottom we visited the Dambatenne Tea Factory. The Dambatenne Tea Factory is the Lipton Tea Factory; they are one and the same. So when you buy a box of Lipton’s Tea in your local supermarket you are buying a product from this factory.

You can visit tea factories all over the hill country in Sri Lanka but I got the distinct impression that once you’d seen one, you’d seen them all.

So we just settled for the Dambatenne factory where we were shown the things that you would expect such as how the tea is sorted and selected, what the women in the fields are doing exactly, the drying process and other interesting things.

Dambutenne Tea Factory, Haputale, Sri Lanka

Our guide at the Dambatenne Tea Factory explaining how this becomes the UK’s national beverage.

And after our visit to the Dambatenne Tea Factory we caught the public bus from right outside, which took us back to the centre of Haputale.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this photo story about Lipton’s Seat. If you would like more practical information about how to get there, when to go, etc. don’t hesitate to contact me directly.

And you might be interested in these other blog posts about Lipton’s Seat, which I came across during the planning stages of my Sri Lanka backpacking trip:

Lipton’s Seat, Haputale – A Poor Man’s Horton Plains? – Jackandjilltravel

Day 14 – Ella to Haputale (by train) incl a local bus to Dambatenne Tea Factory & a return hike to Lipton’s Seat (14Km) – Markinsrilanka

Hike through Lipton’s tea plantation a cool climb into another cool culture – Johnhendersontravel

The Train to Haputale and Lipton’s Seat – Srilanka.for91days

I would like to remind you that all the photos used on InMyShoesTravel.com are my own unless otherwise stated.
You can see my whole collection of Travel Photos here.

And if you would like to see the rest of my photos from this day you can check them out in my Flickr album.

Filed Under: asiafeaturedSri LankaSri Lanka Hill CountryTravel Photography


About the Author: Based in Mallorca, obsessed with the world and have a lot to say about both... Step into my shoes and join me on a journey...

RSSComments (4)

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  1. Sally Smith says:

    Hi. Love your info on Sri Lanka. We are going for three weeks in January. Will be getting train from Kandy to Ella. Any tips on stops and things to do on the way. We will then probably. Get a taxi to Tangalle so we can explore that area before taking train along the coast to Galle and back to airport. Will allow. About 10 days to do Tangalle to airport. Any tips much appreciated.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Sally, thanks for reading. Cool itinerary.
      How are you getting to Kandy? Because my top tip would be to try and buy your train tickets for Kandy-Ella in advance if poss so that you can have a guaranteed seat, as the views are magnificent. If I’m not mistaken, the only stations where you can buy advance train tickets are Colombo and Kandy itself.
      If you have time, before you go to Ella, have a few days in Haputale – I liked it even more than Ella. Well, they are very different I suppose, despite their proximity.
      Don’t forget you can take a public bus between Ella and Tangalle. It was one of the less horrific journeys we made by bus and so much cheaper than a taxi.
      Tangalle is a great place to stay; very peaceful and quiet. Going west and back up towards Colombo, I would stay in Unawatuna and miss out Mirissa. I wasn’t impressed at all with Mirissa and I found most negative things I read about Unawatuna to be incorrect.
      Here are a few posts that might help if you didn’t read them already:
      Have a great time!

  2. Sally Smith says:

    We are going to sure Lanca in January for three weeks we plan to take the train from Kandy to Ella. Any tips you may have for stop overs on the way would be great. After visiting Ella we will get a taxi to Tangelle. We will then have about 10 days to explore the south coast before heading back to the airport. Any tips or advice would be much appreciated. Thank you

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