Lipton’s Seat is the perfect place to be at sunrise in the Hill Country and was a highlight of our trip to Sri Lanka. If you only have time to visit one tea plantation in the area, then make it this one.
Not only is Lipton’s Seat a really beautiful place for sunrise, but you can follow that up with a short, easy stroll through the tea fields. In the early morning it was so peaceful and the perfect start to the day.
Here’s everything you need to know about a trip to Lipton’s Seat.
Sunrise is the best time to go to Lipton Seat as you’ll get incredible views with few other people around. We found that come early afternoon the skies clouded over in this area and you would lose some of the spectacular view.
There’s a gate near the top that’s usually shut this early in the day, so get your tuk tuk driver to drop you there. Then it's a 1.5km walk to Lipton’s Seat.
The view is beautiful in all directions, with stunning colours in the sky and hardly a soul around.
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The view from Lipton’s Seat
The views from the top of Lipton Seat are beautiful and on a clear day you can see all the way to the South Coast. There’s a viewing pagoda at the top or there’s a couple of ledges at the Seat to take in the scenery.
Once you’ve had your fix, there’s a friendly guy who makes tea and rotis in a shack by the viewing pagoda. Its a delicious way to start the day. Hands down the best rotis of our trip.
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From the top you walk all the way to the bottom. We were told it was 7km but it really didn’t feel like it!
Follow the road down through the fields. In the early morning the road is empty and it makes for a really enjoyable experience. Keep following the road, but keep an eye out for the “lipton’s seat 3km” sign. Very close to this is a path on the left that cuts down through the tea fields.
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Walking through the tea fields
The road is pretty, but the paths in the tea fields were stunning. Here you feel submerged by tea bushes in all directions. Once the path joins the road again, head slightly right to follow the next cut through path. This once again takes you through the tea fields to the next road.
The final path is easy to spot and takes you directly into the village. In the early morning you won’t see pickers in the fields, but you will see them heading up the paths to start work.
We met some really friendly people, all of whom greeted us with “Good Morning” or “Ayubowan”. It was one of those mornings where you felt on top of the world and so blessed to be able to travel.
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Dambatenne Tea Factory
At the bottom of the hill is a working tea factory you can explore. We organised our driver to drop us off up at the top and pick us up at the bottom. You can choose to get the bus back to Haputale instead if you don't want to pay a tuk tuk to wait for you.
We had recently explored a tea factory in Nuwara Eliya so we didn't check this one out, though it is supposed to be better than the one in Nuwara Eliya. Entry tickets were 250 rupees, but you can't get a cup of tea there, which was a bit of a shame.
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Lipton’s Seat Location
The nearest town to Lipton’s Seat is Haputale. If you do this at sunrise, make sure you bring a little food and water, and arrange a tuk tuk the night before. It is a 45 minute journey from Haputale.
If you go from Haputale, you can get a tuk tuk to the top (sometimes the gate is closed, as it was for us so you will be dropped 1.5km from Lipton Seat) and catch the bus back. You’d be braver than us though as the buses in Sri Lanka are driven by madmen with a deathwish.
Ella to Lipton's Seat
Going from Ella to Lipton's Seat will take a lot longer than from Haputale, but is possible. The journey is about 1 hour 30 along some seriously windy roads, but it just means you'll have to leave a little bit earlier to get there. We saw plenty of taxis, tours and tuk tuks willing to take people from Ella to Lipton's Seat.
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Would you get up at sunrise to hike through the tea fields at Lipton's Seat? Have you been to Lipton's Seat? Let us know in the comments below!