• Sri Lanka Experiences

    Sri Lanka Experiences

    Ayubowan! Taprobane comes alive as a new day dawns: the ancient cities of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura shake off the dewdrops and rise in majestic splendour: vast white painted Dagoba sparkle in the dancing sunbeams…..wherever you look, the enigmatic smile of the Lord Buddha welcomes one and all. High in the Hill Country, bathed in hues of emerald green, tea pickers pluck the delicate buds of tea. At Sigiriya the delectable frescoes of lovely Maidens transcend heaven and earth; in Kandy the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic stands resolute. Herds of elephant, buffalo and shy leopard roam the Wildlife Parks, whilst offshore whales and dolphins grace the shimmering seas.
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A Whisper of Paradise

  • Itinerary
  • Cost
  • Experiences
  • Highlights
Colombo Kandalama Sigiriya/Polonnaruwa Dambulla/Kandy Pinnawela  Ahungalla

Day 1. To Colombo
Fly from London on a scheduled flight to Colombo.

Day 2. To Kandalama
Met on arrival and then a delightful drive through ever changing countryside to spend two nights at the Heritance Kandalama Hotel.

Day 3. Excursion to Sigiriya/Polonnaruwa
Early morning climb the impressive Rock Fortress of Sigiriya, a massive granite outcrop soaring 600 ft above the plain. It was built by the patricidal King Kasyapa in the 5th C. AD, and is home to the heavenly ‘Sigiriya Maidens’ frescoes. Afternoon visit to Polonnaruwa, the fascinating ruins of the 11th C. Capital of Sri Lanka. The highlight of the visit must surely be the remarkable carvings of the Buddha at the Gal Vihara. Majestic Dagoba’s grace the ancient city. On a less grand scale look out for the charming granite bath built, it is thought, to immerse and rehydrate patients!

Day 4. To Kandy via Dambulla with Spice/Batik visit
En route to Kandy visit the famous Cave Temples of Dambulla with earliest works dating from the 1st C. BC. See the stunning frescoes and numerous fascinating Buddha statues. The view across to Sigiriya is dramatic. Stop off at a Spice Garden and a Batik Factory to watch tracing, waxing and dyeing of the fabrics. Late afternoon arrival at the Chaaya Citadel for a two nights stay.

Day 5. Kandy Tour with Temple of Tooth & Cultural Show
After breakfast take a city tour of Kandy with time to browse the shops. Walk around the delightful Lake and look out for huge water monitors reclining on the banks. Evening visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic followed by an energetic cultural show.

Day 6. To Ahungalla via Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage & Galle Fort
Early start to the day with a visit to the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, if lucky ‘feed’ one of the babies, then watch them revel as they bathe in the waters of the Mahaweli Ganga. Later drive to Ahungalla via the Dutch Fort of Galle. Stay four nights at the Heritance Ahungalla.

Day 7 - 9. At Leisure
Walk the golden beaches and dip your toes into the dazzling ultramarine waters of the Indian Ocean relax in the spa for perfect pampering. Chill out in the breathtaking infinity pool then, while away the evening dining on award winning cuisine.

Day 10. To London
Transfer to the airport for your scheduled return flight to London.

The Cost From

Per Person on a Double/ Twin share basis                      £1,695.00

Single room supplement                                                  £345.00

 

Cost Includes:

  • International flights in economy class.

  • Accommodation with en-suite facilities.

  • Daily breakfast throughout.

  • Services of English speaking guide during sightseeing.

  • Transfers as per the itinerary by air-conditioned vehicles.

  • Excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary.

  • Full ATOL Bonding.

 

Cost does not include:

  • Visa Fee.

  • Any optional Excursions.

  • Any expenses of a personal nature.

  • Travel Insurance.

 

Learn the ancient art of Batik from an expert
From mixing the paints to hanging the finished masterpiece out to dry. A perfect keepsake!

  • Take in fantastic views on the climb to Sigiriya Rock Fortress
  • Join pilgrims at one of Kandy’s spiritual temples
  • Encounter gentle giants while visiting an elephant orphanage
  • Discover Sri Lanka’s colonial past in the forts and palaces of Galle

Meet our Scholars and Trip Leaders

Leaders Banners

 

SarahShawS A R A H   S H A W

Tour lecturer Sarah Shaw is a Faculty Member at the Oriental Institute at Oxford University, and an Honorary Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies. One of her key research interests is Indian and Asian influences on British nineteenthcentury writers, of whom Kipling is surely the most famous. Throughout the tour she will give a series of short lectures about Kipling and his work, as well as carefully chosen poetry and short story readings.

 

VibhaJoshiParkinD R . V I B H A   J O S H I   P A R K I N

Dr Vibha Joshi Parkin is  professorial Research Fellow at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Tuebingen University and Research Associate at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford from where she also obtained her doctorate. Working with the Nagas since 1 985, Dr Vibha Joshi Parkin has conducted extensive fieldwork on their religion and material cultures and will impart her intimate knowledge of the tribes. Her research interests focus on two inter-related themes, traditional religion, conversion to Christianity, healers and  healing practices and ethnographic museum collections, history of colonial collecting (especially textiles), cultural history of the Naga peoples and their self-presentation. She is the author of research monograph, A Matter of Belief: Christian Conversion and Healing in North East India (Berghahn, 2012), co-author of, The Land of the Nagas (Mapin, 2004), co-curator of the international exhibition on the Naga at the Basel Museum of World Cultures  and co-editor of the book, Naga: A Forgotten Mountain Region Rediscovered (2008).She has authored several articles based on her research among Naga in edited books and journals.

 

david tolleyportrait AD A V I D   T O L L E Y - VISITING ARTIST AND TUTOR IN FINE ART AT THE RUSKIN SCHOOL OF ART

David Tolley is a Visiting Artist at The Ruskin School of Art where he specialises in Photography and Film. He has exhibited in Germany, Australia, Greece (Athens), USA (New York), and the U.K. (London and Oxford), and will be showing work in Poland (Warsaw) and Germany (Berlin) in 2016. He studied English Language & Literature at the University of Oxford (1997).

 

 

Heather Kelly

H E A T H E R   K E L L Y

I am a botanist by training, with a PhD in plant physiology and a broader interest in plant ecology. In recent years my focus has been on teaching rather than research and I have taught interdisciplinary science with the UK's Open University, as well as whole organism biology at Durham University. Teaching at both universities has included running field trips on which students learned about assessing biodiversity, the impact of environmental factors on plant growth and processes such as succession. I am really keen to encourage people to look at how organisms interact with their environment, particularly at a time when we can see that environment changing. I would like to do this in Kasmir and Ladakh by looking at how the vegetation changes with factors such as altitude and rainfall and also at how primary succession allows the colonisation of bare ground. The Himalayas, with their natural beauty and the fact that so many British garden plants have their origins here, make an ideal location for this. 

Read my blog

John Macgillivray1

J O H N    M A C G I L L I V R A Y

Currently I am a part time science tutor at the Open University with over 20 years experience of teaching undergraduate, general science modules. This has including a senior tutor role at OU Residential Schools, leading geology/ecology field trips and similar independently led field trips. I have previously worked in the UK Meteorological Office and National Engineering Laboratory (UK). I hold a first class honours degree in Earth science and a degree equivalent in Physics. Recently I have carried out published research work with Professor Ray MacDonald (Lancaster University/ University of Warsaw) and Professor B. Bagiński (University of Warsaw) on the Tertiary dyke systems of Southern Scotland and NE England, adding to previous jointly published research work I have carried out.

 

 Bobs PictureR O B E R T (BOB)   C O O K

Retired as a Warrant Officer from the British Army after 34 years. His family has a long almost unbroken line of military service dating back alhmost 170 years.

Since retirement from the army Bob has operated a busy Bed & Breakfast in York, U.K. together with his wife. Amongst other interests, Bob is the volunteer curator of the 2nd Infantry Division Kohima Museum Trust also located in York. It was in this role that Bob first visited the battlefields of Kohima in 2008 and has since been back another 8 times leading military and civilian groups to explain and explore the many different aspects of what is probably the most important unknown battle of WW2. During his visits to Kohima, Bob’s knowledge and understanding of the Battle has steadily increased as has his liking for the friendly Naga Hill people of Nagaland in North East India.

In addition to being the curator, Bob is also a Trustee of the Kohima Educational Trust which aims to repay the debt of gratitude owed by the British veterans to the Naga Hill people for their unstinting aid and assistance against the Japanese Imperial Army. One of the ways of repaying this debt of gratitude is by sponsoring the education of the Naga children aged 14 – 16.

Bob is also the deputy chairman of the Burma Campaign Society which aims to improve and enhance the reconciliation between Japan and the U.K. In this role he has also visited Japan in company with a British army veteran of the battle to visit and pay respects to Japanese veterans of the Burma campaign and to visit the grave of Lieutenant General Kotoku Sato who commanded the 31st Japanese Division at Kohima.

Click here to view Bob Cook’s interview with Kohima Museum, York’s Curator

 

Dannys Picture

D R    D A N N Y    C L A R K-L O W E S

Is a geologist, educated at Cambridge and London universities, who has given industry training courses on geology at locations throughout the world, as well as publishing scientific papers and books. He is also a mountaineer who has climbed in the Swiss Alps and in the Himalaya. He will lead this tour to Nepal which will look at aspects of the geology and geography of the spectacular Himalaya, and will help participants achieve an understanding of how mountain belts and their associated rock types are created through plate movements.

 

joan

J O A N   P O L L O C K

I am a botanist by training, with a PhD in plant physiology and a broader interest in plant ecology. In recent years my focus has been on teaching rather than research and I have taught interdisciplinary science with the UK's Open University, as well as whole organism biology at Durham University. Teaching at both universities has included running field trips on which students learned about assessing biodiversity, the impact of environmental factors on plant growth and processes such as succession. I am really keen to encourage people to look at how organisms interact with their environment, particularly at a time when we can see that environment changing. I would like to do this in Kasmir and Ladakh by looking at how the vegetation changes with factors such as altitude and rainfall and also at how primary succession allows the colonisation of bare ground. The Himalayas, with their natural beauty and the fact that so many British garden plants have their origins here, make an ideal location for this.

 

NaturePhotography TourLeaders Baines R I C H A R D    B A I N E S – ORNITHOLOGIST / ECOLOGIST

Richard is an experienced ornithologist/ecologist who has been studying and working as a Nature Guide and in Wildlife Conservation for 30 years. From recording UK migrant birds as a volunteer for Flamborough Bird Observatory to monitoring Siberian migrants in China; he has become highly experienced in bird identification and ecology. He was born in North Yorkshire and lived here for most of his life. He has worked extensively with the North York Moors National Park (NYMNP) including a project in 2014 surveying a large area of open moorland for breeding waders such as Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria). He has travelled extensively especially in Asia, recently spending 3 months birding in Thailand. He returned from Gujarat in December 2015 with a great passion for Indian birds and of course the food! He is currently studying part time for his MSc in Environmental Conservation. Richard is very keen on always increasing his knowledge on the ecology of birds and other wildlife. His greatest asset is his knowledge and enthusiasm, he loves passing on his experience of wildlife to a wide range of ages and abilities.

 

NaturePhotography TourLeaders Race

S T E V E    R A C E – WILDLIFE  PHOTOGRAPHER

Steve is an award-winning wildlife photographer based in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. He has been a keen naturalist and birder for over 30 years, lived on the Yorkshire Coast all of his life and believes there is no better place for variety of habitats and amazing wildlife. Inspired by the natural world around him Steve captures incredible wildlife images. In 2013 he was “Commended” in the “Wildlife Photographe¬¬r of the Year Awards” and “British Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards” in which in 2015 he was “Highly Commended”. His work has been published in national and regional media and magazines, leaflets, websites and publications. Steve has also been featured on BBC Countryfile, Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch and regional television programmes. He also runs regular exhibitions, workshops, and delivers talks and lectures. Steve has worked for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds as Education Officer at Bempton Cliffs, East Yorkshire and taken part in numerous projects for the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, National Trust and other conservation organisations.

 

Pravin DangeraP R A V I N    D A N G E R A

Born in the textile cradle of India, Gujarat, Pravin has been an expert guide to travellers in India since 1996. A speaker of several languages and trained by Gujarat Tourism, his expertise lies in textile and village tours. His long standing experience as a textile tours escort has enabled him to develop close relations with local craft and village communities in Gujarat. He has led textile lovers from the UK, USA, Australia and several other countries across textile hubs in India.

 

Mike scott

M I K E   S C O T T

I grew up in a Royal Navy family, first in the Far East, and then near Portsmouth. Having considered, and rejected, following my parents into the Navy I took a degree at Brunel University where I developed my love of History. I also learned that I loved teaching and great passion in education – outdoor learning. I have long believed that it is important to bring History to life in the original environment. My career in education finally led me to a school where I was responsible for co–ordination of all co-curricular activities. However, life in that environment means you miss out on many things. Hence, I chose to leave and did so at just the right time. A range of opportunities presented themselves. I very proudly received my Guild of Battlefield Guides badge in February 2009. I am happy to be one of a grand company of brothers, with a wealth of experience. Being a Badged Guide amongst this group of men and women is a unique honor and a privilege.

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