Living out “The Holiday” Dreams in Shere, Surrey

Visited January 2019

“Amanda? Like in the movie?” This was the first question we received from the innkeeper when we arrived at our cozy bed and breakfast in Shere, Surrey. He knew exactly what brought Amanda (and many!) to this sleepy little village – her all-time favorite rom-com, The Holiday! The 2006 film features Amanda, from California (Cameron Diaz) and Iris from Surrey (Kate Winslet), who fly around the world to exchange homes over the holidays and each fall for local guys, Graham (Jude Law) and Miles (Jack Black). Shere was used for many of the filming locations throughout Amanda’s stay in England in The Holiday, and is as quaint, charming and picture perfect as you see in the movie!


Filming Locations

Scoping out all the spots from the movie

The Town

Scoping out all the spots from the movie

Pub Walk

A nice countryside walk to a neighboring town


How we got there and how we got around

Filming Locations

Recreating “The Holiday”

The primary purpose for the weekend getaway was of course for the real life Amanda to find as many of the movie’s filming locations as possible, so our agenda was based on that. Fortunately the little town is small, so that was easy. First up was the White Horse tavern, which we hoped would be as charming as it was in the film…

The White Horse

…And it was! Located in the center of town, you can’t miss The White Horse, a traditional British pub where a few scenes were filmed, including where Amanda meets Graham after she decides to stay in England. We enjoyed dinner and drinks at this cozy pub, a former 15th century farmhouse and Grade II listed building, which on the inside is actually much bigger than you realize from the movie. Their menu mentions that one of Hollywood’s most romantic films “The Holiday” was filmed here, and they even have a photo from The Holiday hanging on the wall above a table – we were lucky enough to snag this table for a drink after dinner!

    Movie: Looking towards White Horse

    Real Life: Less snow & a different sign

    The movie Amanda inside

    The real life Amanda recreating the scene

    Movie reference on the menu

    Sign over the seat where they sat in the movie

    Rosehill Cottage

    Surprisingly, and to my disappointment, Iris’ fairytale English cottage does not exist! It apparently was only constructed for the movie. However, you can go up the hill to the location where the cottage was built. Once you find St. James’s Church on your left, there will be a footpath between Church Lane and Church Hill that will take you to the top of the hill. At the top of the hill, you will find a wooden framed sign that apparently was used to mark the spot, which has faded so much over time that it is illegible. Although you won’t find the cottage, you will find a stunning countryside backdrop with lots of sheep and lovely views.

    View of Rosehill Cottage in The Holiday

    Only a sign remains (but it’s the same hill)

    Amanda (Cameron Diaz) entering the Cottage

    Real life Amanda wished she could enter

    The Bridge

    The bridge only features in one scene, but it’s a pretty memorable one of Cameron Diaz running across it in the snow. If you follow the pub walk (more on this below), the path along the water to the west of the town “center” will take you right up to it. You’ll have to go through a wooden gate first, which is right next to a smaller little bridge, and then you’ll reach the stone bridge after a brief walk through the trees.

    Movie Amanda running across

    Real life Amanda doing her best recreation

    St James’s Church

    A beautiful historic church located right along the River Tillingbourne with tombstones on its grounds, which can be seen in the movie when Amanda first arrives in England and gets dropped off in Surrey by her driver. The church can be seen in the background several times throughout the movie as well.

    St James’s graveyard in the background

    View of the graveyard in real life

    The Town

    Exploring the rest of the sights

    Even if you didn’t come here chasing filming locations, there are still other things to enjoy in the little village. We had a really nice brunch at the Dabbling Duck – perfect for a cup of tea and a bite to eat, which is probably even nicer in the warm weather, but had a covered back area in winter that was cozy (and dog-friendly). The food was delicious and hearty. You can also spend a bit of time wandering the cute shops such as Cuckoo Corner and The Shere Shop, and maybe even grab an ice cream at Shere Delights while you do. The little Surrey Hills Beer & Gin Company is worth a visit to grab a local alcoholic souvenir.

    Dabbling Duck

    Cuckoo Corner

    War Memorial

    Pub Walk

    A leisurely stroll in the countryside

    We ended up doing a pub walk to the William IV pub in Albury Heath, which takes you on a big loop of the surrounding area and was actually one of the highlights of the trip. Highly recommended if you have an hour or more to spare, and don’t mind a little muddiness!

    If you do the full route, you’ll get to see a handful of great sights (anyone in town can give you directions, but start by heading west along the little stream that runs through town and you’ll eventually get to the bridge mentioned above, which is right near one terminus of the path). Once past the bridge, it takes you through a cow pasture where you can get great views of the surrounding Surrey hills and also see a nice rear view of the Sherbourne Catholic Apostolic Church before swinging around to its pretty, tree-lined entrance gate on Sherbourne Road.

    From a little south of there you can turn into Albury Park, which takes you east into a more wooded area. There is a sign at the entrance saying the grounds are private property, but as long as you stick to the path you are allowed to enter. At the end of that road you’ll come to a clearing where you will find St Peter and St Paul’s Church, a beautiful Grade I listed building which was apparently featured in the movie Four Weddings and A Funeral. Stop for a picture and then head south up the hill into the thicker trees, just past the pretty Albury Park Mansion, which was also featured in Four Weddings and A Funeral (who knew that this little village would have so many movie connections!).

    Sherbourne Church

    St Peter and St Paul

    Near the end

    You’ll go through the wooded area and eventually end up at a main road, which you can cross to make your way towards the William IV pub. They have some picnic tables outside or a cozy interior with a fireplace. We stopped here for a bit to enjoy a pint and some lunch before making our way back. On the way back, you can return the way you came or branch off to the right when you get back to the place you exited the woods. We took a different route home that takes you through some quintessential English countryside fields before exiting the trail right where it started near the stone bridge.


    Getting here and staying here

    From London Waterloo station, take the Southwestern Rail four stops to Guildford (about 45 minutes). Catch a 15 min taxi from Guildford train station into the village of Shere. There were no Ubers available when we went, but the taxis were waiting right outside the station, and so it was convenient either way.

    Tip! If you are a London local, you can save 1/3 on travel by purchasing a yearly Railcard, most of which are 30 GBP a year. We have the Two Together Railcard which can be used for two people travelling together over age 16 – this saves us 1/3 of our train ticket price every time we travel via train in the UK. Click here to learn more and purchase a Railcard.

    Our cozy living room

    Outside the room

    Get in Touch