The Holiday, a Christmas romantic comedy written and directed by Nancy Meyers, was released in 2006. The plot centres around two women who exchange homes after suffering devastating blows to their love life. Iris (Kate Winslet) is in love with a man who is about to marry another woman. Across the globe, Amanda (Cameron Diaz), realises the man she lives with has been unfaithful. Iris moves into Amanda’s L.A. house in sunny California as Amanda arrives in the snow covered English countryside. It is the film’s idyllic English locations that we take a closer look at here.
If you haven’t seen the film already, here is the trailer…
Shere – the setting for Rose Hill Cottage in The Holiday
The famous Rose Cottage, where Amanda stays after exchanging her L.A. mansion with Iris, is sadly not real. It was constructed just for the film and then demolished. However, its location is very much real. In Surrey, west of London, you will find many cottages equally as attractive.
Shere is a small picturesque village situated below the North Downs, six miles south-east of Guildford and approximately twenty miles from London. It is regarded by many as the prettiest village in Surrey and is certainly the most photographed. The village is much sought after as a residential location, being within commuting distance of London and accessible to the M25 motorway. It does mean, however, that at weekends Shere becomes congested with visitors enjoying the scenery and facilities offered by this attractive village.
As I live fairly close, I have visited Shere for much of my life. I have posted some of my photos of Shere here.
Godalming – the setting for the local village store in The Holiday
A few miles away, Godalming, also in Surrey, provides the setting for the village shop at the end of Cameron Diaz’s hair raising journey down winding country lanes. Here is the clip if you haven’t seen it already.
Although it is every bit as beautiful as the film suggests – Godalming is more than a little street at the end of a country lane. It is actually a small commuter town on the main train line between London and Portsmouth. This makes it an easy place to visit, just a 50 minute journey from London Waterloo.