Our List of Top British Christmas Movies – Best Holidays Movies in Britain

The Christmas holiday season is our favorite time of year at the Anglotopia offices and nothing makes the season better than a good British holiday movie. The problem is that there aren’t that many – but we’ve put together our list of favorite British Christmas movies.

Love Actually

When we surveyed our Anglophile friends and family – this movie was pretty much at the top of everyone’s list. We love this movie too – it’s the perfect Christmas movie. The multiple stories, interesting characters and seeing Britain at Christmas make this an enjoyable movie every year. It also provides a fun insight into British Christmas traditions like the annual Christmas party, Christmas pagents and more.

Bridget Jones

The first Bridget Jones movie is framed through Christmas at the beginning and at the end. Bridget may have her foibles but this film undeniably fun and we look forward to watching it every year.

Muppet Christmas Carol

While this is not strictly a British movie – it’s one of our favorites. What’s better than Michael Caine as Scrooge? It’s by far one of our favorite adaptations of A Christmas Carol.

About a Boy

Christmas is tangentially involved in this film and while the subject matter can be quite dark – it’s a good movie worth watching.

The Lion in Winter

Nothing says British Christmas like a historical movie about a King of England spending Christmas at his French chateau played expertly by a classic British cast.


This movie didn’t get a lot of love when it came out – but it’s a fun one. The plot imagines a future where Britain is joining the Euro (which seemed possible when it was made, not so much now!) and what happens when a little boy finds a bag filled with millions of Pounds as the answer to his prayers. This movie was directed by Danny Boyle and features James Nesbitt as the father.

Scrooge – Albert Finney

Really any setting of ‘A Christmas Carol’ is worth watching but our opinion is that the one with Albert Finney is the best.

The Holiday

I’m not a big fan of this movie – I can’t stand Cameron Diaz – but the plot is fun and takes places in the two weeks around Christmas. So, there’s plenty of lovely scenery of the English countryside with plenty of Jude Law to look at as well.

A Child’s Christmas in Wales

I saw this movie once when I was a kid and recently rediscovered it – it’s a great exploration of Christmas during the ‘olden times’ featuring traditions, songs and more. It’s a classic!

What’s your favorite British Christmas movie? Let us know it the comments?

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  1. avatarJennifer says

    Alistair Sim’s 1951 “Scrooge” is the best version ever. According to IMDB it was a UK/USA production, but it was filmed at Nettlefold Studios, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, so I’d call it British. I watch it every year!

    • avatarBruce says

      Cheerio on that one. Pip-pip? “Scrooge” is just a damned good movie and I am shocked that it didn’t make this list and some piece of wretched drivel like “The Holiday” did. Make me watch that one again and the results will be even more violent than “A Lion In Winter.” (Now there’s a family film to make you pluck your eyes out. Almost worse than my last family Christmas.) I can promise you that. Henry II will look like a calm and sober man. And “About A Boy” is a surprisingly good film.

  2. avatar says

    Yay! So glad Albert Finney’s Scrooge and Child’s Christmas in Wales made it on the list. Plus, a good reason to re-watch Bridget Jones and Love, Actually. I can’t believe I’ve never seen that Muppet movie! Fun list, thanks.

  3. avatarMolly says

    Delighted to see The Lion in Winter on your list! My personal favorite Christmas movie – just love a warm family drama :-)

  4. avatarSamantha Cardimon says

    “Comfort and Joy” directed by Bill Forsyth. One of my all-time favorites. Funny, melancholy, and joyful all at the same time–much like the Christmas season itself.

  5. avatarMelissa says

    looking for British Christmas movie I saw in the 90s about a family, visiting relatives, lots of drinking and snogging-funny scene with a couple under the tree…continues through Boxing day.

  6. avatarBeth Rang says

    I have a similar problem with The Holiday because I’m not a Jack Black fan, although I sometimes watch the movie anyway for all of the other parts I do like. While they aren’t movies, I also enjoy some British Christmas specials like the Vicar of Dibley one and some of the Doctor Who ones.

  7. avatarSusan says

    For nearly 50 years, we have been watching Alastair Sim’s A Christmas Carol from 1951. – He IS Ebenezeer Scrooge…also a wonderful supporting cast…the faithfulness to the original language and mood never fails to move us..
    It was once shown every Christmas Eve on a local TV channel, then we got it on VHS – it would be a great Christmas gift to many to have a DVD version with the sound clarified and enhanced a bit..does such a thing exist?

  8. avatarBarb says

    Nativity! It is a cute movie I discovered last year on cable, the kids are great and filled with Brit actors

  9. avatarElizabeth says

    Sorry to disagree with you ~ to each his own. I’ve never seen “A Child’s Christmas In Wales”. I’ll have to see if I can find that one.

    Otherwise all of the favorites you listed don’t qualify as Christmas movies to me. I happen to really like “About a Boy” and “Bridget Jones Diary” but they’re not Christmas movies in my book.

    When “Love Actually” came out in the U.S., it was billed as the ultimate Christmas movie. After seeing it, I still can’t figure out the connection between the search for romantic love/lust with the birth of Jesus. Perhaps Valentine’s Day? Extremely disappointing.

    As for the others, well, no.

    My favorite British Christmas movie would have to be “A Christmas Carol” with Alastair Sim.

    Merry Christmas!

  10. avatarpam says

    Jonathan, I just found this site while searching for British Christmas movies. I thought I was the only crazy American who knew who Ronnie Corbet was or what ‘fork handles / four candles’ was all about. So glad to know you and Jackie are out there. I will be back to consult this site regularly. Ta and cheers.

  11. avatarDenise says

    Yes I agree. Love Actually is my favorite British – not just Christmas – movie as well as my families. :)

  12. avatarNancy says

    Love, Actually….just re-watched it a couple nights ago. All the love and concern brings tears to my (emotional) eyes! Love it!!

  13. avatarKimberly says

    Most of your choices are what I’d consider rom-coms or chick flicks.
    My fiancé considers “The Great Escape” a traditional Christmas favorite (and as it seems to air during Christmas there, I suppose I can’t argue.
    We’d both agree to your “A Muppet Christmas Carol”.
    I think you missed out as you failed to include “Hogfather” which is one of our favorites.
    And I’m personally fond of “The Gruffalo” and “The Gruffalo’s Child”.
    Then again, I am one of those people who enjoys family/children’s programs.

  14. avatarKaren119 says

    I have to agree that Alastair Sim’s Scrooge is the best British Christmas movie. I do like Love Actually as well as the Muppet movie mentioned but haven’t seen any of the others.

  15. avatarLauren says

    Muppet Christmas Carol is the best Christmas movie of all time. OF ALLL TIME. The combination of A Christmas Carol and Muppets would have been a winner on its own, but add in Michael Caine as Scrooge and you’ve got no contest. That said, my nan was a big fan of the Alistair Sims version and that one is very good as well.