Just days from now, the England team will be flying out for the start of the winter tour in Sri Lanka, which has always been a favourite Barmy Army destination.

After playing five one-day internationals this month, plus a Twenty20 match, the two sides will then play a three-match Test series in November, with clashes at Galle, Pallekele and the Singhalese Sports Club in Colombo.

It should be an exciting time on the field, with three uncapped players in the side. While we all no doubt shed a tear at the retirement of Alastair Cook, it will be exciting to see how Rory Burns and Joe Denly get on. Don't expect much of what they face to be similar to next summer's prospect of Starc, Cummins and Hazelwood, though, as it is likely to be spin all the way for Sri Lanka.

We'll certainly be hoping England's spinners do a bit better than on their last couple of tours to the subcontinent, but there may also be some exciting new-ball bursts from Olly Stone. Could he be the express-pace bowler we've been looking for all this time?

The team will no doubt appreciate the great support they can always expect in these unfamiliar conditions, with the heat and humidity likely to be as much of a challenge as the turning pitches.

It is certainly a country we love to visit and the Galle Test has made it onto many a travelling fan's bucket list alongside places like the MCG and Newlands in Cape Town. There can be few more iconic sights than the 17th century Dutch Fort overlooking the ground, so don't miss the chance to spend a least a bit of time watching the match from the ramparts.

Galle has lots of other amazing features too, even if the cycling ice cream man's constant jingles may send a few people mad. The Sydney Hotel is a particular favourite, a moody, run-down haunt that has allegedly had a makeover. If those rumours are untrue, expect an interesting trip to the toilet of doom!

The area near Galle is also great for beaches, with Unawatuna and Hikkaduwa being the most popular.

For those who prefer the hills, Pallekele will be the place to go. Built for the 2011 World Cup, it may not quite have the rustic charm of the Asgiriya Stadium in nearby Kandy, but the local attractions are still there, including Kandy Lake, the Temple of the Tooth and the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.

The final test will be in Colombo, a city with no less than four Test grounds. Maitland Place has two of them, so when we go to the Singhalese Sports Club, be careful not to wander into the deserted Colombo Cricket Club over the road!

Colombo is a bustling city combining the modern and traditional, and a visit to the Cricket Club Cafe is a must.

So too, of course, is trying the country's brilliant seafood, the superb pineapples, a drink of Lion beer and - if you dare - a glass of arrack and a red hot curry.

Sri Lanka is a great place to tour, and those heading there for the first time will soon learn what all the fuss is about.