Kate Winslet’s English Cottage in “The Holiday”

by hookedonhouses on December 5, 2010

The Holiday movie cottage

My favorite part of the romantic comedy The Holiday? The houses! So let’s take a closer look at them, starting with Iris’s cozy stone cottage in the English countryside.

This is the ad that Iris (played by Kate Winslet) places online as part of a “house swapping” program, where you stay free at someone else’s place while they’re at yours:

The Holiday movie fairy tale English cottage ad

Amanda (played by Cameron Diaz) jumps at the chance to spend the holidays in Iris’s “fairy tale English cottage.” Who wouldn’t?

The Holiday movie cottage Cameron Diaz

Lucky for us, stills of the sets were taken by Columbia Pictures that show details in the rooms that we might have missed in the movie itself.

The Entry:

The Holiday movie cottage entry AD

Living Room:

The Holiday movie cottage living room 2 AD

Amanda singing and dancing around the cottage — you can see the staircase behind her:

The Holiday movie cottage Cameron Diaz 2

In this photo, the mantel seems to be decorated for summer:

The Holiday movie cottage living room AD

And here it is decorated for Christmas:

Iris's mantel-Christmas

The Kitchen:

The Holiday movie cottage kitchen AD

As Graham moves from the living room to the kitchen we get a glimpse of the china hutch:

The Holiday movie cottage Jude Law

There’s a door to the book-lined library from the kitchen:

The Holiday movie cottage hall to library

This may be my favorite room in the entire cottage, but we see very little of it in the movie:

The Holiday movie cottage library AD

Iris’s Bedroom:

The Holiday movie Iris's cottage bedroom AD

Love the built-ins the bedroom has, which you can see in this scene where Amanda tries to cram all her stuff into them:

The Holiday movie cottage Iris's bedroom

The Bathroom:

Iris's cottage bathroom-tub

It looks charming, but it isn’t very practical–at least not for someone as tall as Cameron Diaz!

The Holiday movie cottage bathtub

Producers chose the picturesque streets of Shere (in Surrey) for the village scenes:

small town in The Holiday

They wanted snow so it would look more like Christmas time, so they added it:

adding snow

Building the Cottage:

building the cottage 1

Sadly, Iris’s cottage isn’t real. A fake exterior was built within 2 weeks in the middle of an empty field (screenshots via the DVD Special Features):

building the cottage 2

building the cottage 3

They did extensive landscaping around the cottage, even though little of it is shown in the film, and most of what you do see is covered in (fake) snow:

building the cottage 4

The film crew created everything that you see in the movie, down to the stone wall that seems to have been there forever:

building the cottage 5

Here’s how it looked in the movie:

Iris's English cottage in the Holiday Cameron Diaz

The Holiday was written and directed by Nancy Meyers, who always delivers sets that we can drool over. Thanks to her movies, we also have the memorable houses from Baby Boom, It’s Complicated, and Something’s Gotta Give, which I’ve featured, too. Do you have a favorite?

The Holiday movie stone cottage at night

P.S. Now check out the other houses from The Holiday:

The Holiday movie Amanda's house

Amanda’s House in L.A. and Graham’s Mill House

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Lisa December 5, 2010 at 6:35 pm

I love this movie! I can’t wait to see Amanda’s house next week. It is one of my all-time favorite movie houses. The cottage is cute, but waaay too “quaint” for me. I think I would suffocate in there!
.-= Lisa´s last blog ..CD-11- Harmer Concession =-.

Luciane at Homebunch.com December 5, 2010 at 6:46 pm

This is the sweetest movie ever! It’s funny, it’s “deep” and have great actors! You did a great job with these pictures. I can see the big difference.

I hope you have a fantastic and POSITIVE WEEK! By the way, how’s your porch is doing? Let us know! :-)


Luciane at HomeBunch.com

hookedonhouses December 5, 2010 at 7:15 pm

The beadboard went up this weekend and I love it! :-)

Luciane at Homebunch.com December 5, 2010 at 11:44 pm

Wow! It’s going fast! I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to enjoy your porch very soon. I can’t wait to see the pictures. It’s so interesting the development of something being built.

I forgot to mention before, I am not sure if you know, but “THE GODFATHER’s house is for sale and I just made a post about it. They’re asking $2.9 mil. Go take a look and let me know if you think it’s worth it. :-)


Luciane at HomeBunch.com

Debbie Westwood March 12, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Actually, I’d like to point out that the scenes you show as being in Shere are actually Godalming High Street. The set guys sprayed snow for two days and the filming lasted three days. That was it. Wierd. Then there was a further two days where Godalming High Street was cleaned up but, in all honesty, we were still finding fake snow in odd little places for several weeks after.

Michelle @ Sweet Something Design December 5, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Great Julia, I love that movie and watched it just the other night! I love Amanda’s Callie home, so I’ll look forward to that! Just for the record, I think Jude Law the most dreamy in this movie than any other! :)

Isabel Lima December 7, 2010 at 7:40 am

I saw it last night, and was really happy to open the blog and find the cottage! And, also just for the record, I can’t get over Jude Law asking
“Is this a trick question?”
on Cameron’s proposal!!
Too cute! Sexy as hell!!!!!!

Helena - A Diary of Lovely December 5, 2010 at 7:13 pm

I have been thinking about this cottage for a couple of weeks now, really! so im really loving this post, thanks!

Ashley December 5, 2010 at 7:41 pm

First of all… I love love love The Holiday! I just might have to watch it in the next few nights.

Second… I would not mind doing a little home swap and stay in that cottage for a little getaway. Sadly, I would probably fit in that tub just fine haha. Think anyone would swap their cute cozy cottage with our tiny apartment? Hmmm.
.-= Ashley´s last blog ..Lost and Found =-.

Nita@ModVintageLife.com December 5, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Julia – I loved this updated post so much. I want to watch that movie again right now. I did not know the house was built for the movie. It so looks like its been there forever but that Nancy Meyers, she does know how to create the very best movie settings. Thanks so much for updating this…I appreciate so much!

Kristen @ More Than Mulberries December 5, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Hard to believe I’ve been reading your blog since this original post! Yours is still one of my daily must reads! I think I need to go light a fire in the fireplace and watch The Holiday now. I used to live in London and grew up outside of LA, so it feels like “home” to watch it!
.-= Kristen @ More Than Mulberries´s last blog ..Blogiversary Winner! =-.

Emily December 5, 2010 at 8:17 pm

So glad you featured this house. I’ve always loved it and I was floored to see that it wasn’t real! I pictured myself staying there some day… :)

Amanda @ Serenity Now December 5, 2010 at 8:22 pm

I {Heart} that movie in a big way! The homes are just drool-worthy. I love Iris’ cozy cottage…a bit snug for more than one person, but so so pretty. :) I almost watched that one last night, but opted for National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation so I could get T to watch with me. :)
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..Last Day for Blessings Unlimited Giveaway! =-.

Sally December 5, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Okay – I have never seen this movie, but now I want to rent it! Love these pics, Julia!
.-= Sally´s last blog ..December 5th A Mighty Fortress =-.

Ami @ beyondpeasandcarrots December 5, 2010 at 8:40 pm

I love this cottage soooo much! I wish I could escape there right now!
.-= Ami @ beyondpeasandcarrots´s last blog ..Pumpkin Brownies =-.

Kim December 5, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Beautiful cottage! It’s nice and cozy.

Mel Mel December 5, 2010 at 8:59 pm

I just love that cottage! And thanks for the reminder to watch that movie now that it’s the holidays! :-)
.-= Mel Mel´s last blog ..Christmas time! =-.

Laura December 5, 2010 at 9:05 pm

I googled “The Holiday’ cottage and found your blog along time ago and have been reading it ever since… I can never get enough of images of this cottage. I actually own the DVD, just so I can look at Iris’s home… in fact I watched it this past weekend, while lying on the sofa, battling a cold! Thank you for posting this again! Lx
.-= Laura´s last blog ..A Friday Flower for Robynne =-.

Cole@LavishProperty December 5, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Beautiful house! I realize that it is supposed to look this way, but, oddly caved in, the roof makes the house look fake. Other than that, they did a wonderful job with the place.
.-= Cole@LavishProperty´s last blog ..2-390-000 – Wormleysburg- PA =-.

Heatherly December 5, 2010 at 9:55 pm

I think this house was what led me here too!

Nancy Meyer ALWAYS gets me with her sets. I just love the furniture in this house!

Melissa December 5, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Oh you just made my night! What fun reading it was today and just loved looking at all the photos. Went on to look at Baby Boom again too. Thank you!

Gigi December 5, 2010 at 11:12 pm

I won The Holiday DVD in a give-away contest you did a couple of years ago. I think of you whenever I watch it 😉 Thanks again!

I like Kate’s cottage even more than Cameron’s Hollywood house. Everything about it is charming (except the sagging roofline.)

Susan S December 6, 2010 at 5:17 am

People who know me think this house is my first choice in the movie, but I actually would prefer Amanda’s. Having said that though, I will state that this would positively make the cutest get-away cottage EVER and I LOVE everything about it except the dinky bathroom!

Magali from The Little White House December 6, 2010 at 5:57 am

I watched that movie last year, only because of the post you had made a post about it, meaning only to see the cottage (yeah, I do that more often than I can confess!). I love Iris’s cottage. The thing I love the most is the fact that the floors are not hardwood!!! I want to redo the downstairs floors next summer and I want a cottage feel without hardwood, so this cottage is like my model right now!
Thanks again for your wonderful website (have you checked the kitchen in “The Vampire Diaries”? It’s worth watching the show for the kitchen, which is as sexy as the actors… Did I write that outloud?)
.-= Magali from The Little White House´s last blog ..Winter Wonderland =-.

Things That Inspire December 6, 2010 at 7:42 am

Wow – loved seeing the behind the scenes of building the cottage for the movie! Amazing.

This post is very timely – I just posted on chimney pots, which I immediately noticed on the cottage. I quickly inserted a link to this post so my readers can come over and check it out!
.-= Things That Inspire´s last blog ..Chimney pots =-.

Ricki Jill Treleaven December 6, 2010 at 7:54 am

Iris’s cottage is my dream home. It is the perfect cottage for Christmas, isn’t it! I also like the cottage in the Bewitched movie. If I could combine elements from both cottages, it would be my dream home for sure!

Thanks so much for posting this! 😀
.-= Ricki Jill Treleaven´s last blog ..Literary Friday- The Dervish House =-.

Marianne@Songbird December 6, 2010 at 8:45 am

Just saw the dvd again a few days ago. Paid special attention to the houses this time. Loved them both so much.
Kind of disappointing though that the cottage isn’t the real thing. Sometimes you just don’t want to know these things.
.-= Marianne@Songbird´s last blog ..How to turn tins into lanterns =-.

Kelly December 6, 2010 at 9:01 am

I own this movie because I love the movie itself and I adore the decor of these homes. It’s fun to go back and watch them again just for the eye candy! Ha! I particularly like the ones in England best. They are the epitome of charm. It’s hard to believe that the cutest house isn’t even a real house at all! They did a great job with that one! Both homes are so cozy and exude warmth that I believe make a house a home. Thanks for sharing.

'Aunt Amelia' December 6, 2010 at 9:32 am

Oh thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
.-= ‘Aunt Amelia’´s last blog ..Mmmm- did someone say Self-Inflicted Drama &gt- =-.

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints December 6, 2010 at 9:34 am

One of my all time favorite movies. Makes me sad it wasn’t real. UGH! I hate knowing that. Love that blue ottoman in the living room. Just yummy!
.-= Becky @ Farmgirl Paints´s last blog ..Merry Christmas to ME!!! =-.

Kimberlee J. December 6, 2010 at 11:13 am

I love everything about Nancy Meyers’ movies, but I especially love the sets. I’m not sure anyone can make me swoon more over a house.

Oh! And BTW, I linked this under my “Love It” section on my blog. :)
.-= Kimberlee J.´s last blog ..The Christmas Soiree =-.

Lori-Anne December 6, 2010 at 11:16 am

So here’s my question: If set designers can create a cottage exterior that looks 200 years old in just two weeks, WHY are more builders not creating homes like this, where we can have modern plumbing and central heating in homes that have that amazing, old-fashioned character?!?!
.-= Lori-Anne´s last blog ..Bought- Christmas Heirlooms =-.

Marie @ Sally Lee by the Sea December 6, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Besides being one of my all-time favorite feel-good movies I also just love the cottage. It’s so cozy and warm…perfect for the Holidays.

Happy Holidays, Julia!
.-= Marie @ Sally Lee by the Sea´s last blog ..Deck the Halls Our Coastal Christmas Home Tour =-.

Lesley @ TheDesignFile December 6, 2010 at 12:19 pm

What I think I love most about your movie house tours is that you have so much amazing information. I am always fascinated to learn about what’s real, what was built for the movie, what was done on a sound stage, etc. It really gives you a sense of how talented all these set folks really are. Thanks for another interesting post.
.-= Lesley @ TheDesignFile´s last blog ..A sparkly ceiling light for the hallway =-.

CherylK December 6, 2010 at 1:22 pm

That was the best movie and I love that house. I’m so disappointed that it was fake, though! I would kill for a fireplace in my kitchen. Well, okay, I wouldn’t kill for it but I’d love one.
.-= CherylK´s last blog ..A Wintery Garden =-.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy... December 6, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Man! I never tire of looking at this house.
.-= Juju at Tales of Whimsy…´s last blog ..A Simple Amish Christmas Book Review =-.

pam @ becolorful December 6, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I am definitely a Hooked on Houses kind of girl. This cottage is charming but for once I think it was Cameron Diaz’s clothes that stole the show for me.
Thanks for posting. I always enjoy looking back at these movie houses and reading your interesting tidbits.
.-= pam @ becolorful´s last blog ..The Memory Tree and A Holiday Motivated Monday Link Party =-.

Nichole December 6, 2010 at 3:41 pm

I like the movie but I LOVE the houses. Great post!
.-= Nichole´s last blog ..Tiny Pockets Of Organization =-.

Maaike Quinn December 6, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Lovely! Especially that little bath tub is adorable :)
.-= Maaike Quinn´s last blog ..Day 11 – Add an inspirational page to your Control Journal =-.

Cheri@IHeartOldHouses December 6, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Sigh…why are the best movie houses always fake?! I guess I’ll have to add this one to my holiday movie lineup…so many readers seem to love it.
.-= Cheri@IHeartOldHouses´s last blog ..I Saw the Light =-.

Bre December 6, 2010 at 6:05 pm

I love this movie, it’s a holiday classic and I am rendered helpless every time it’s on TV. Such beautiful homes (can’t wait for Amanda’s) and I love Jude Law’s character, Mr. Napkin Head? L-o-v-e. Great post!
.-= Bre´s last blog ..Lacquered Up The Winter Edition =-.

Rachel December 6, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Love that “library-type” room!

Mom in High Heels December 7, 2010 at 12:55 am

I love this movie and love this post. I think it was one of the first ones I ever saw on your blog. It still makes me sad to think that it doesn’t really exist. It’s so comfortable and cozy. The set designer deserves major props (get it? props?) for this movie.
.-= Mom in High Heels´s last blog ..Names on a wall =-.

alison December 7, 2010 at 6:04 am

Hi Julia,
Lovely to see your story on “The holiday” cottage again! If you would like to feature Figtree Cottage again with the new photos I sent you. I am more than happy for you to do that! Quite a few of the comments said they would like to see some more photos and particularly some more of the garden. I am very happy to share! Take Care,
Alison Figtree Cottage owner. xx

Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish December 7, 2010 at 7:01 am

Love this!!! Such an adorable cottage!!! I adore that bedroom!!
.-= Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish´s last blog ..Faux Mercury Outdoor Ornaments =-.

Lois, Home Base Holidays December 7, 2010 at 9:52 am

For everyone who’d love to swap your homes for a cute (‘real’) 400 year old cottage (or maybe a flat in a converted London warehouse overlooking the Thames), check out the many attractive home exchange offers in the UK at Home Base Holidays (we’ve been running this service based in London for 25 years and also provide the same service for the Guardian newspaper).

With ‘that’ royal wedding coming up in April 2011 and the Olympics and the Queen’s diamond jubilee in 2012, we’re expecting lots of interests in exchanges to London in the next two years.


down-sizingboomer December 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm

In September I rode my bicycle from the bottom of England (Land’s End ) to the top of Scotland (John O’Groat). Unfortunately, we didn’t go through Surrey, but we saw some amazingly charming villages. Love that country.
.-= down-sizingboomer´s last blog ..Stockbridge at Christmas =-.

christy December 14, 2010 at 4:06 pm

yay, the holiday is one of my favourite movies for design. love this cottage, & the girls fairy tale tent. thanks for the update!
.-= christy´s last blog ..BBC Top 100 =-.

ShabbyChick February 10, 2011 at 8:17 pm

I LOOOOVE THIS HOUSE!!!! It’s just my style!

beachgirl April 27, 2011 at 10:29 am

Hubby and I just love this movie. He was so disappointed to find this was not a real house, but just a set! He wanted us to go stay there for a visit! Amanda’s house is lovely, too and so is Graham’s. The English homes always have to much charm and character!

Gwynneth April 28, 2011 at 3:58 am

I had a feeling this cottage was too cute to be real! It reminds me of Barton Cottage in “Sense and Sensibility”, but smaller, only again having the wonderful Winslet as an occupant. I’ll say this: NOBODY does quaint like the British! (Even if it’s fake!). It’s like a Hobbit house/hole!

Alessandra White May 16, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Hi! I am working on a miniature version of this cottage, and posting my progress on my blog. Your info has been very helpful. Cheers!

Irene McDonald May 30, 2011 at 3:01 pm

I loved the movie “The Holiday.” I thought the RoseHill Cottage Was very gorgeous! If I were to travel to England, That house would be the perfect place for me to stay if it were a real house. I still watch the movie over constantly enjoying the scenery as the actors travel through the country side in England. Thanks so much for making such a fantastic movie!!!

Soldier June 27, 2011 at 6:49 pm

THIS is the house of my dreams! I love that movie!

angelina July 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm

if the structure was empty where did all the rooms come from? if it was part of the house..
where can i get the blue prints???… seriously

hookedonhouses July 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm

They were sets. On a soundstage.

angelina July 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm

where cam i get blue prints i want a home just like that….??????

Barbara August 27, 2011 at 6:20 pm

This is one of my all-time favorite movies. Every winter during the holiday season, I watch this one along with “Christmas in Connecticut,” sometimes several times. My family and friends think I’m nuts. I can so relate to this movie having lived in the UK for several years. But I do have a question. Why, with all the wonderful English cottages available in many fabulous, quaint villages, did they need to build a false house? Also, another question: It wasn’t quite clear to me–was the interior of Graham’s house also the actual interior of the Mill House? Thanks so much for your blog–pure pleasure during trying times!

hookedonhouses August 27, 2011 at 6:34 pm

As far as I know, Graham’s house was real on the outside, but the interiors were sets on a soundstage. I could be wrong, though. If anyone knows differently, fill us in! :)

Susan Rath August 6, 2012 at 8:42 am

Love this blog.

Raj August 11, 2012 at 7:24 am

This is one of the beautiful house I ever saw even i never had a dream about such a sweet home. God please make my dream true,i really want that house in my life.

Dee Batis September 7, 2012 at 2:51 am

You really broke my heart at the end! Can’t believe it’s not real!!! I was ready to book my tix to England to visit (& hopefully purchase) the cottage. Guess I’m “stuck” in my cute little bungalow in North Hollywood! Good thing I love it, too!!!

Hugh January 21, 2013 at 6:25 am

What type of stone work is this house based on? Please reply as I really like the finish given.



hookedonhouses January 21, 2013 at 8:23 am

I’m no expert on stone work. Sorry!

Flis T March 8, 2013 at 8:51 am

I love these images. I’ve just brought a grade II cottage and want that bath. Any ideas what type it is so I can hunt one down :)

Amy Marie April 26, 2013 at 2:42 am

I just love that movie! I can watch it over and over and never get tired of it. That cottage is so cozy and inviting. But that long walk that Cameron had to do to get to the house, was too long! Especially, in heels, lol !

Jennifer Slater May 28, 2013 at 8:21 am

Your website is amazing, I have bookmarked it as one of my favorites! Thank you so much for taking the time to create such an amazing place. Your choice of movies and houses is the ultimate best! (What will we ever do without Nora Ephron?)

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