Nine Christmas Film Locations (That Yes, You Can Visit IRL)

After weeks of binge-watching our favourite festive films, we decided to hunt down the silver-screen winter wonderlands you can actually visit. Follow us as we take you behind the scenes of the locations set to satisfy your Christmas cravings.

It's that time of year when evenings invite nuzzling up by the open fire with an extra-large mug of hot toddy, an array of sweet treats within arm's reach. Yes, the festive season is a time of boozy celebrations, serious food comas and family get-togethers, but it's also a time to get cosy and re-watch those cult Christmas classics (a concerningly large number of times).

This year we wanted to discover a little more about the destinations that make our favourite holiday films so magical, so we've hunted them down. From rural corners of verdant Surrey to the hustle and bustle of New York sidewalks, these are the real-life winter wonderlands you can actually visit. Popcorn at the ready.

Behind the scenes: our nine favourite festive film locations

Stoke Park Hotel & Spa Exterior


Stoke Park

Bridget Jones’s Diary, 2001

Okay, so ranking Bridget Jones as a Christmas film is arguably just as controversial as placing Jaffa Cakes in the biscuit aisle, but nothing screams Christmas louder than an awkward Mr Darcy in an ugly Christmas sweatshirt. Cut past the snowy scenes and twinkling lights and head straight to Stoke Park - the exact estate Cleaver whisked Jones to for a weekend getaway. The 49 rooms flaunt four-poster beds, velvet-lined armchairs and the occasional chandelier, so it's no surprise that scenes for the likes of James Bond film Goldfinger were filmed here. Don't visit without renting a canoe and recreating that infamous splash.


Stoke Park Country Club, Spa and Hotel, Park Rd, Stoke Poges SL2 4PG

Snowy Phoenix Garden In Last Christmas


The Phoenix Garden

Last Christmas, 2019

This urban retreat makes for a patch of paradise in the centre of town: home to wildflowers, exotic trees and woodland flora, it's hard to believe that it's located between Soho and Covent Garden. To explore Tom's secret garden yourself, you'll want to start at the Phoenix Theatre on Charing Cross Road, then head to St Giles Passage, from where you'll find its leafy entrance. Though The Phoenix Garden is set to become our go-to picnic plot, it's a community-led project and receives no funding from the local council. Visit its site to become a member for £12 a year, or make a one-off donation.


21 Stacey St, London WC2H 8DG


Empire Diner

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, 1992

A rustic diner probably isn't the first place that springs to mind when you're sightseeing in New York, but hear us out. Originally constructed by the Fodero Dining Car Company in 1946, Empire Diner has had its fair share of highs and lows, a particularly dark moment being when its doors closed in 2010. But, having undergone a major refurb, it's back and better than ever under the new ownership of Amanda Freitag, who has made it her personal mission to return it to its former glory. We're talking open-brick walls, copper-coloured leather seating and mirrored ceilings. It's only right to do exactly as Kevin would, so start by ordering the traditional New York pastrami sandwich, before devouring a serving of strawberry shortcake.


210 10th Ave New York NY 10011 United States

Selfridges Love Actually Exterior



Love Actually, 2003

You'd be lying if you said that you didn't know every sequence of Hugh Grant's dancing scene to The Pointer Sisters' catchy Jump lyrics. Either that, or Bill Nighy's Christmas is All Around anthem has been set as your ringtone a good handful of times - we're not judging. Though we can't exactly wander the set for No.10, nor start knocking on the doors of Wandsworth residents' houses, we can take a one-way trip to Selfridges. Recognised as the world's best department store, the place is virtually impossible to leave without brimming bags. We're making a beeline for the jewellery counters to check out the exact spot that Harry became incredibly flustered by Rufus' gift-wrapping extravaganza - cinnamon sticks, we're looking at you.


400 Oxford St, London W1A 1AB

Shere Village Love Actually



The Holiday, 2006

Introducing Surrey's sweet spot, Shere. If, like us, you're searching for your very own Jude Law, this is the best place to stomp around until a successful candidate catches your eye. It worked, after all, for Amanda Woods (aka Cameron Diaz). After spending your morning strolling through the cobbled streets and checking out its iconic church, you'll want to head straight to the village pub, The White Horse. Roast dinners aren't half-hearted here, so snag a table for a Sunday sharing feast and expect plates piled high with Yorkshire puds the size of your head.

Conventry Cathedral


Coventry Cathedral

Nativity!, 2009

When St Bernadette's Catholic primary school took on nearby private school Oakmoor for the crown of best school nativity play, Coventry Cathedral took centre stage. So, after an entire decade of blasting out The Brightest Star on repeat, we wanted to get in on the action and take a look at where this chart-topper made its debut. Dreamed up by architect Basil Spence in 1956, the landmark is famed for being the city's earliest cathedral. It's open daily and offers a range of events and workshops for guests. We'd recommend setting aside at least a full day to soak up all its historical splendour.


Priory St, Coventry CV1 5AB

The Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center New York


The Rink at Rockefeller Center

Elf, 2003

We were all rooting for Buddy to nail his date with Jovie, but it wasn't until their first kiss under the vast Norway spruce at Rockefeller Center that we became totally obsessed. With that in mind, we're heading straight to New York's most legendary rink to perfect our figure-of-eight and check out this year's enormous Christmas tree, which, FYI, is plastered with 50,000 colourful lights. This is the ultimate place to twist and twirl to the sounds of its fantastic festive soundtrack.


600 5th Avenue, Rockefeller Center, New York, NY 10020, US

Charleville Castle The Knight Before Christmas


Charleville Castle

The Knight Before Christmas, 2019

Sitting on the outskirts of Tullamore, this gothic-style castle overlooks the River Clodiagh. When medieval knight Sir Cole travels through time and finds himself in the arms of Brooke, the snowy backdrop of Charleville somehow steals the spotlight. Though we're all for thrill-seeking, this place is known as one of Europe's most haunted castles and often features on ghost-busting shows like Most Haunted, so visit at your own risk, and don't say we didn't warn you.


Charleville Demesne, Tullamore, Co Offaly, Ireland

Fortnum and Mason interior christmas display


Fortnum & Mason

Boxing Day, 2021

You'd be hard pressed to find a bad angle of Fortnum & Mason's festive facade. Each year, as the Christmas countdown begins, city dwellers gear up for the return of Fortnum's giant advent calendar. With each window representing numbered doors and neon 2021 numbers stamped along the side of the building, this is easily our favourite decorative display London has to offer. Though Boxing Day is the newest holiday film on the block, it certainly pays homage to its urban roots by taking a visit to this 311-year-old department store. Head here partly for its impressive tea selection, but largely for its hampers stuffed with all kinds of culinary delights.


181 Piccadilly, St. James's, London W1A 1ER

desert island
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