The Ambewala farm is a surreal but absolutely beautiful place. Nestled in the high hills on the road from Nuwara Eliya to Horton plains it looks like nowhere else in the country. The landscape here is not the hill country’s standard tea hills and pine forests nor is it Horton Plains’rugged flatness. Lush, rolling pastures stretch to sharp forested peaks. It looks like England’s lake district or New Zealand. In fact Ambewala’s marketing tag is – little New Zealand, and unlike certain little Rome’s and Englands we have in this country the name isn’t a flight a fancy; if you were suddenly teleported to the landscape and asked to guess where in the world you are, Sri Lanka would not be your first answer.
The farm stretches over 1500 acres of luminous green pasture dotted with enormous fresian cows (each is approximately double the size of your standard local heifer. There are low sheds for the livestock, little English-style cottages for the staff, meadows carpeted with imported grass, Postman Pat style tractors dragging trailers laden with hay. It looks for all the world like a European farm, there are even a few windmills whirling in the background.
Beyond the general landscape – which is definitely the major reason for a visit to Ambewala the farm itself is a worthy attraction. Staring at cute baby animals might seems like something you grow out of but, you know, those stud bulls are very impressively enormous (and lead enviable lives) while the calves and baby goats are ultra-adorable. To take the cute-fluffiness to another level they have a rabbittery – lots and lots of adorable bunnies in a little barn, however the fact that their meat is for sale at the farm shop (Rs 600 a kilo) means you might have to give the children an alternative versions of flopsy, mopsy and cotton-tails destiny.
Any tour of the farm has to end at the little farm shop which sells whole milk fresh from the cows. The milk aside though the shop is a disappointment- the same ball cheese at much the same price you find in Cargills, packets of UHT milk to take home and you cant even get the superior Ambewala yoghurt. Still you can sit down on the old stone parapet wall, sip some warm and look out onto a landscape unlike any other in the country; well wroth the Rs 50 admission charge. (about an hours drive from Nuwara-eylia town, the road is in surprsingly good condition)