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Experience life at The Mudhouse

A short drive north of Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, and tucked away in the forest, you will find a retreat that places sustainability and comfort at its heart. The Mudhouse is more an immersive experience than simply a place to stay, and a unique one at that. With the feel of a traditional Sri Lankan village, each hut is a one-off - partially open to nature and crafted on-site using locally sourced materials, such as bamboo, tree roots and mud. With cosier spaces for couples and a family-friendly vibe, The Mudhouse is a fantastic addition to a Sri Lanka trip for anyone looking for something a little different.

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Bedroom at The Mudhouse, Sri Lanka
Man canoeing at The Mudhouse, Sri Lanka
Woman preparing Sri Lankan food at The Mudhouse

The kitchens are most definitely open, including for cookery lessons, and traditional dishes are slow-cooked from seasonal, locally-grown produce in clay pots over firewood. When you’re not tucking into delicious food or swinging in a hammock by the lake, you can explore the surrounding forests, tranquil lakes and lush landscape punctuated by crops of rock rising surreally from the ground - a natural, wildlife haven at your feet. Whether you take a guided walk, gentle bike ride or hop in a tuk-tuk, you will soon be captivated by birdsong and butterflies in an ideal place to spot mouse deer, civet cats, monkeys and lizards.

Highlights of a stay at The Mudhouse:

Immerse yourself in wildlife

On your doorstep - or a short stroll or bike ride away - there are nature trails through forests where around 130 species of birds live, including the Ceylon Jungle Fowl, Sri Lanka’s national bird. Freshwater fish teem in the surrounding lakes and at night you can catch amazing views of the stars from your torch-lit camp, and may even spot a slender loris in the trees.

A popular half-day trip between November and April brings you to calm waters where pods of spinner dolphins live, while Wilpattu National Park’s renowned elephant population and the mangroves and lakes of Anawilundawa Sanctuary are also within easy reach.

Explore ancient sites

A short stroll or tuk-tuk ride takes you to the Paramakanda Temple, a rock temple that has been steeped in myth and legend since the 1st century BC. Nearby at Tonigala, there are Old Brahmi inscriptions, dating back to the same time, that provide evidence of the oldest banking system in the world.

A little further afield, but easily accessible on a day trip, are the ancient sites of the Cultural Triangle, including the stupas, pools, and temples of Anuradhapura (Sri Lanka’s historic capital) and the royal palace of Yapahuwa, perched on top of a 90-metre-high rock.

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