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Shere, Surrey's Rosehill Holiday Cottage

by Liv | Published on February 10th, 2008, 10:40 am | Arts
We spent last night re-watching the movie "The Holiday" before it has to go back to the store on Tuesday. I may even watch it again today. I Love the movie. It was actually a unexpected surprise although "I did" want to see it in the movies, but never got around to it. Shannon actually ended up bringing it home a few days ago, and we fell in love with the story.

If you haven't seen the movie, the plot is basically about two women (Iris played by Kate Winslett & Amanda played by Cameron Diaz) and their love stories. How their paths intertwine when the two of them swap houses as part of a Holiday Home Exchange program. Oddly such a thing does exist... and it seems quite interesting till you realize, somebody will be rummaging through pictures of you in your closet.

So last night while the DVD was playing, I had a thought. This house, the "Rosehill Cottage" that Amanda rents, does it really exist? It took me a while, but eventually discovered the answer: unfortunately no. The whole idea of a romantic comedy, the quaint little house in the middle of the field is nothing but Hollywood fantasy. Apparently the whole house is a fiberglass set built in a field in shere (or Sheire or Shire), a villiage on the river Tillngbourn in Surrey, England. The interior of the house was actually constructed on a sound stage in Los Angeles.

"They wanted a cottage and they couldn't find one so they built one in a field outside Shere," he said.

"Shere feels like this little isolated village and we found this lovely spot on the hill over-looking the village where we built this cottage. That was perfect."

Surrey Online

The ironic thing about the whole movie is in the final climatic scene where Amanda (Diaz) is running back to the Rosehill cottage in a feverish panic, she's doing the running in Shere, England. Then as soon as she walks through the door, she's suddenly in Los Angeles, I'm even fathoming a guess that the scene was shot back to back with other interior shots, meaning everything, all that this chick flick is, is nothing but some fake fantasy created by the writers of the movie Holiday.

This is unfortunate for the masses of romance fiction fans who for some reason or another was hoping this was actually a documentary, or at the very least held some element of reality.

Apparently, hoardes of women (and men) who don't know this, call the towns phone number and asking about the house. Apparently the film has caused such a hoo-ha in this little village, the town has posted information for individuals wishing to visit the area and walk in Iris's & Amanda's footsteps on their website.

But it appears all is not lost. Even though the writers of the movie couldn't even get the home-town of Cary Grant correct, (Bristol, not Surrey) several aspects of the film do exist in this little village. The field, the cemetery, Saint James Church, even the White Horse pub (bar) that Graham (Jude Law) makes his way back from drunk and onto the steps of the Holiday house, all exist in real life.

Even the cottage in the movie appears to be patterned after this cottage in Cotswold, 95 miles, from Surrey, For about $1000, you too can live the fantasy it appears.

Surrey, oddly enough, was the also the film site of Harry Potter's parents home, The church in the Omen, and the opening scene from the movie Gladiator. Not to mention the Diary of Bridgette Jones, and defunct tv series Will & Grace.

While I'm not quite ready to give up my week in London for some remote village in the middle of England, the idea of it, while falsely romantic does seem appealing. Perhaps someday I'll try it, but I think this year, I'll just watch the DVD.

Our family has done 37 real-life home exchanges. All have been wonderful ways to travel more authentically and cheaply. See my non-commercial Blog w/home swap tips at homeExchanger.blogspot.com. We have one closet that locks so any thing we don't want touched goes in there.
February 11th, 2008, 1:59 pm
Just read your article on Rose Hill Cottage and noticed you mentioned Harry Potter's house being filmed in Surrey. It was actually filmed in Martins Heron nr Bracknell, Berkshire.

Matt from Brcknell
February 25th, 2008, 10:53 am
I would just like to brag, as I love this movie, and can now say I've been to Shere! The town is adorable... Although you can barely drive down the street the main road is so small. We got there at night, but it's very close to London, although it seems worlds away. Here's the proof:

April 16th, 2008, 5:10 pm
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Location: Greensboro, NC
I'm so disappointed that the Rosehill Cottage doesn't exists...
My heart broken....
But what about the Mill House, that doesn't exist either ?
April 17th, 2008, 9:49 pm
I believe it does, though I can't remember if it was in L.A. or Britain.... They kept swapping back and forth during filming...

We almost did go into the White Horse pub, it was bustling that night, but a combination of insecurity and find a place to put the landrover in a town with no parking was interesting. We did make it to a pub in London though.
April 18th, 2008, 9:26 am
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Location: Greensboro, NC
I can't believe someone has not reproduced this cottage in the "real town", they could make a killing as a bed and breakfast. I guess its too late, the secret is out. disappointed in Tn.
April 26th, 2008, 3:36 pm
ds in tn
I can assure you many very similar cottages exist in Britain, and in London... but often you'll find modern architecture and businesses directly around them. The trouble of course with any of this is actually getting Jude Law to show up at your door the night you arrive.
April 27th, 2008, 2:14 pm
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Location: Greensboro, NC
As a Shere local I can confirm it was just a mock up, but so realistic that a number of visitors to the village wanted to buy it and put offers into the local Estate Agent. The village has a lot of very beautiful cottages (but not as many as Peaslake further up the road - I'm biased), but gets rather ruined at the weekend when its packed with tourists, so if you do visit, come during the week!

There are 2 pubs, try both, and the Church is real, as is the stream and the ducks.
May 12th, 2008, 10:55 am
We showed up at night and stopped at the church (despite the sign saying not too.) and drove through the town. We kind of kick ourselves for not stopping at the pub, but it was late, and here in America sometimes it's not best to stop in small towns where no one knows you and you're holding keys to a very expensive Land Rover...

My next trip, we will stop by, we loved it.
May 12th, 2008, 3:43 pm
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Location: Greensboro, NC
Just went there yesterday and the field is empty the view of the church is the same - we thought the same but it is true it does not exist :-(
May 12th, 2008, 4:11 pm
I'm with you Liv- I'm completely in love with The Holiday and the idea of this entire vacation. Thanks for being the voice of reason. I've been looking for this cottage since I saw the movie. ha! If anyone finds out anything about the Mill House please post. The scenery is amazing!

(Houston, TX)
May 13th, 2008, 9:30 pm
Mill House does exist in Wonersh, Surrey. It is a Grade II listed building from the 15th century.

http://flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/170445766
August 1st, 2008, 11:05 pm
katie in ohio
Oh wow, yeah that's it... cool.
August 2nd, 2008, 9:48 am
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Location: Greensboro, NC
Does the shop that diaz went to exist witht the small trolley and she was drinking the wine???/
August 29th, 2008, 6:20 pm
You're talking about in the scene where she goes into town in the mini-cooper?

If so, yes, and no. The store does exist, but it's not in Shere. Can't remember where it is, but it's in another village. If memory serves me right the Director talks about this fact on the DVD and how stores over in Europe look no different then over here (convience store like), so they found this candle shop and redid it to be a little village market.

To be honest, I'm not even sure if Shere has any Shops other then the pub. We did get there at night but it's a very small place. Lovely, but small. Being so close to London too, there are shopping centers within 20 minutes reach. Even the outskirts of London is only about 40 miles.
August 29th, 2008, 8:00 pm
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Location: Greensboro, NC
Shere does have some shops, it has a local post office/ corner shop. The town your thinking off is called Godalming, about 20 mins away from shere.

Remember driving to work when they were filming could see all the trailers and set crew was weird thinking that famous people were just up the road. My friend worked in a restaurant in shere called langhams (think thats still the name) and jude law came in one day when they were filming.
September 27th, 2008, 4:12 am
This is one of my favorite movies ever!!!!!!!! I love when Cameron Diaz drives the mini cooper to town!!! I always wondered if Rosehill Cottage was a real cottage. I would love to visit England one day!! My mom's family actually all live in France but I'm here in the USA. I have watched that movie so many times I think I know all the lines!! Ha! Ha! The little girls were so cute in the movie too!!! Michelle in southern USA
October 27th, 2008, 2:33 pm
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I've got to say it was definitely one of the highlights of my life.... Can't wait to get back.
October 27th, 2008, 4:14 pm
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Location: Greensboro, NC
Thanks Liv and everybody else who commented! I am so keen to go and check out these villages. I totally loved the movie - I recommend it to anyone who has the winter blues! Might go this weekend (I live in London). And ehm, I'll settle for a Jude Law look-a-like if I can't have the real thing ;)
November 19th, 2008, 5:46 am
Does anybody in Surrey know where they filmed the restaurant scene - some type of manor house on the outside.
November 20th, 2008, 11:28 pm
Yes it is really a nice movie having nice stories. Story, directions, & performance of actors are really supreme which make it nice movie. Topic of movie is also very interesting. Many similar cottages are also situated in almost every country like in USA, UK I am also planning for a tour to have some recreation & I have already hired an accommodation from Hank Freid in reasonable price & now planning to whether to choose travel or coach source to reach at the destination
April 28th, 2010, 12:45 am
joanne wrote:Does the shop that diaz went to exist witht the small trolley and she was drinking the wine???/

the shop does exist and it is in godalming where i used to live,my ex spoke about the film all the time, the shop is a tile shop and was converted to a grocery shop for the film, i have been in there several times buying tiles. i have also been outside the house that was used where the two little girls lived with there dad, that is in wonersh , it has happy memories for me
November 8th, 2010, 4:58 pm

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