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Vibe: Wonderfully simple secluded huts hidden in ancient heartlands, flanked by woods and lakes that teem with wildlife.

Setting: In the rural north-west, amid wetlands criss-crossed by a vast network of irrigation ‘tanks’ built 2,000 years ago by the early Anuradhapura civilisation to store monsoon waters.

Why parents love it: A stay at The Mudhouse gives a unique insight into local life, whose pace has barely changed in centuries. You can chill out in a hammock, hang out by the lake watching buffalo, waterbirds and occasional elephants, or explore the countryside and villages by foot, bike, tuk-tuk, tractor or kayak.

Why kids love it: Adventurous teens who are not squeamish about bugs will adore the back-to-nature surroundings, and the thrill of staying in open-sided mud huts with no electricity or hot water (don’t worry: you get proper beds and loos).

Insider tip: Visit Wilpattu, Sri Lanka’s largest national park – one of the best places in the world to spot leopards, as well as crocs.

Find out more: i-escape.com

READER OFFER: 5 nights for the price of 4; family huts from £167 per night, including all meals, plus local activities and excursions. Book through i-escape to get a jar of homemade jam or pickle.

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