The Holiday cottage in Surrey where tourists linger outside
For some people just visiting a set or location for a film is a dream come true, but for one lucky couple living in Surrey they actually get to live in one of cinema’s most famous cottages. Honeysuckle Cottage is a lovely home located in the village of Holmbury St. Mary around a 15-minute drive south-west of Dorking. For lovers of Christmas films, it’s an iconic location.
This is because the cottage was the inspiration for Rosehill Cottage in the film The Holiday starring Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz and Jude Law. In it, Diaz’s character escapes heartbreak in California and travels to England as part of a home swap with a similarly heartbroken person in Kate Winslet’s Iris.
During filming for the 2006 film, producers wanted to shoot at the property but as it was too far away from London they instead built a replica of the exterior in Shere where many of the scenes were filmed. Living in this property now is Jonathon Bromley and his wife Cressida who purchased the house in June 2019 after it went on sale in winter 2018.
Although he had seen the film he did not know the cottage’s significance when first acquiring the cottage, and was surprised to find tourists lingering outside his house when moving in at first. Having realised its cinematic history he has let some people into his home although has to disappoint some guests when asked if he has met Jude Law.
Mr Bromley said: “The guy who owned it before said he used to get stupid offers – people ringing up from America saying if they could buy the house. When I walked in the first time I just thought ‘this is fantastic’ and I fell in love with it. The views are great – it’s a dream really, it’s beautiful.
“You get a few lurkers, a little more around Christmas time for obvious reasons. When it’s snowed it just looks like the trailer for The Holiday. You get more foreigners but they’re all delightful and if I see somebody I’ll always talk to them about what they want to know. You have to say it’s the inspiration and not the actual cottage.”
Next door to the cottage is The Kings Head Pub, currently being refurbished, while the village also boasts a garage, village hall, and a quaint church with Guildford just over 30 minutes away by car. In fact, in terms of downsides, Mr Bromley could only point to the lack of a village shop and sometimes busy parking situation.
Surrey’s connection with The Holiday goes further than the cottage as well. As well as filming in Shere, it also took place in the town of Godalming. The cottage itself dates back to the 1700s with Mr Bromley saying it was the ideal spot to be stuck at when the coronavirus pandemic put the country in lockdown in March 2020.
He added: “We used to have beers over the fence with neighbours and I really enjoyed it. It was really nice because everyone was around.”
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