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45 of the Best British Christmas Movies to Watch This Holiday Season

Enjoy the holiday season with these festive British Christmas Movies. There is something here for everyone.

British Christmas movies and Christmas specials are a staple of the holiday season, an extension of the Victorian traditions popularized by Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and Charles Dickens with A Christmas Carol in the nineteenth century. While Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ, how we celebrate today has its cultural roots in Victorian Great Britain.

British christmas movies featured image with pictures of The Man Who Invented Christmas, The Holiday, and The Christmas Candle.

When one thinks of Christmastime, it’s hard not to conjure images of a nostalgic Dickensian Christmas. The festive merriment, the mistletoe, the time with family, the Christmas dinner with a turkey, decorations, caroling, tree decorating, giving gifts, showing charity for others, and so much more!

RELATED: 105 Fun Christmas Movie Trivia Questions and Answers with a Free Printable Movie Checklist

It’s no surprise then that there are some fantastic British Christmas films. To help get into the cheerful spirit of the holidays, we’ve rounded up some of the best Christmas movies from the UK (or at least that take place there).

From Scrooge with Albert Finney to Love Actually and The Holiday, there is something for everyone to watch.


We’ve included traditional holiday family films, comedies, period dramas (including Victorian Christmas movies), romantic comedies, fantasies, classics, and more.

There are award-winning movies here as well as escapist fare.

RELATED: A Vintage Christmas – 19 Classic Holiday Films to Make You Feel Nostalgic

And while this list won’t include some of the best Christmas movies of all time (because they’re American films set in the US) like Home AloneWhite ChristmasIt’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street, it will have some popular British favorites mixed with hidden gems.

For this list, the title must be a movie, TV movie, or miniseries (so no TV shows). And it must fit into one of the following.

  • Be a UK production
  • Be a co-production of the UK
  • Take place in the UK
  • Have a majority British cast

And while many of these films are Christmas-themed, some might have a Christmas scene or have become a Christmas tradition to watch.

So, keep reading for some of the best British holiday movies to watch this festive season. I included where to watch these films and content notes for movies above a PG rating.

(I also included a bonus list of our favorite British Christmas Specials on television.)

If you’re looking for only Christmas-themed period dramas, check out our list of The Top 35 Enchanting Christmas Period Dramas to Watch.

NOTE: Availability of the “where to watch” sections are for the US at the time of publication (December 2022) and is subject to change at any time. If I update availability, I will make a note of it here.


(In Alphabetical Order)

#1 About A Boy (2002)

About a Boy publicity still with Hugh Grant
Credit: Universal Pictures

The Oscar-nominated dramedy stars Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult, Rachel Weisz, and Toni Colette in this Christmas story about an immature man who learns to mature and recognize what’s important in life. It’s a lovely, sweet, charming film with fine performances.

Where to Watch: Rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

Content Note: PG-13 for brief strong language, mild sensuality, and thematic elements.

#2 Arthur Christmas (2011)

Arthur Christmas promo art
Credit: Sony Pictures/Animation/Sony Pictures Releasing

If you’re looking for a great Christmas movie for the entire family, consider Arthur Christmas! It’s a clever, fantasy adventure film about Arthur Claus – the awkward son of Santa Claus, who sets out on a quest on Christmas Eve to deliver a present to a girl his dad missed before it’s too late.

The incredible voice cast includes James McAvoy (as Arthur), Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton, Bill Nighy, Hugh Laurie, Ashely Jensen, Robbie Coltrane, Eva Longoria, Ashley Jensen, Joan Cusack, and Andy Serkis.

Where to Watch: Stream on Prime Video, Hulu, or HBO Max. Rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

#3 A Boy Called Christmas (2021)

A boy called christmas still with boy sitting on a reindeer
Credit: StudioCanal/Netflix

A Boy Called Christmas is a newer British Christmas fantasy film with an origin story about a young Santa Claus (called Nikolas) who is on a quest to find his missing father and discover the mythical village, Elfhelm.

The movie’s based on the 2015 book by Matt Haig and is delightful from start to finish. It’s sure to become a British Christmas classic.

Maggie Smith, Henry Lawfull, Michiel Huisman, Sally Hawkins, Jim Broadbent, Kristen Wiig, and Toby Jones star.

Where to Watch: Stream on Netflix

#4 Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

Bridget Jones's Diary kiss scene in the snow
Credit: Universal Pictures/Miramax Films

This loose British rom-com retelling of Pride and Prejudice follows Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) as she keeps a diary and tries to improve her life and find love. She gets caught in a love triangle between Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), a man she can’t stand at first over a misunderstanding, and her bad-boy boss, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant).

It has many Christmas scenes and a brilliant romantic, swoony kiss in the snow! The Oscar-nominated film is hilarious and one of the best romantic comedies ever.

Where to Watch: Stream on Showtime or Pluto TV. You can also rent/buy it digitally and on DVD.

Content Note: Rated R for strong language, suggestive dialogue, and an explicit scene of sensuality.

#5 A Castle for Christmas (2021)

A Castle for Christmas still with Cary Elwes and Brooke Shields
Cary Elwes and Brooke Shields in A Castle for Christmas. Photo Credit: Netflix

If you’re in the mood for an escapist Christmas romance movie, you can’t go wrong with A Castle for Christmas. The Netflix film follows a bestselling author who travels to Scotland to escape a publishing scandal. There, she falls in love with a castle and perhaps the cantankerous duke who lives there.

While it’s technically an American film, the location and majority of the cast – make this one count!

Cary Elwes and Brooke Shields star.

Where to Watch: Stream on Netflix.

#6 A Child’s Christmas in Wales (1987)

a child's christmas in wales poster

The TV movie is a British Christmas classic, bringing Dylan Thomas’s famous poem to life. The story follows Thomas, a young boy, who hears about his grandfather’s childhood memories on Christmas Eve.

Where to Watch: Stream on Peacock, Amazon’s Freevee, Hoopla, Britbox, and more. You can also rent/buy it on Digital and VHS.

#7 Christmas at the Riviera (2007)

Christmas at the Riviera poster

An assistant manager runs a seaside hotel in Eastbourne over the holidays and deals with various guests and personalities.

It’s a festive film with a talented British cast, including Reece Shearsmith, Anna Chancellor, Barbara Flynn, Pam Ferris, and more.

Where to Watch: It’s not currently available to rent or buy, but hopefully, it will become available again soon.

Content Note: Not rated

#8 The Christmas Candle (2013)

the christmas candle wide poster

The British-American Christmas film is based on Max Lucado’s bestselling novel about a progressive pastor who moves to a small town who believes in angels and the miracle of a Christmas candle.

The romantic period drama is an enchanting movie with a brilliant cast such as Hans Matheson, Samantha Barks, Lesley Manville, Sylvester McCoy, Susan Boyle, James Cosmo, Barbara Flynn, and John Hannah.

The Christmas Candle has that idyllic Victorian Christmas feel where anything is possible and good always wins.

Where to Watch: Stream on Prime Video, Hulu, Roku, Hoopla, Plex, and more. You can also rent/buy it digitally and on DVD.

#9 A Christmas Carol Adaptations (1935; 1938; 1951; 1970; 1984; 1999; 2009, 2022 & more)

a christmas carol 1984 still
A Christmas Carol (1984). Credit: 20th Television

Charles Dickens’s classic tale has come to life in numerous movie and TV adaptations. But there are aspects to love about each of the above films, from the musical version with Albert Finney to the 1999 film with Patrick Stewart or even the original classic productions from 1935 and 1938.

The story of an old miser who transforms in time for Christmas after receiving visits from three ghosts should continue to capture the spirit of the holidays for generations to come.

Where to Watch: Most adaptations are available to rent/buy on Digital and DVD and various streaming sites depending on the film. The new 2022 animated movie is available to stream on Netflix.

Note: Most versions are family-friendly – except for the gritty, dark 2019 version. I don’t recommend that one unless you like dark and explicit content.

#10 The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (2007)

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey still with Joely Richardson
Credit: Origami Films

A widow and her son persuade a lonely woodcarver to recreate and carve a wooden nativity set as all three begin to heal from their losses during Christmastime. The period Christmas movie is a heartwarming hidden gem!

The British Christmas film stars Joely Richardson, Tom Berenger, Elliot Cowan, Luke Ward-Wilkinson, and more. You’ll also see a young Saoirse Ronan in her theatrical movie debut.

Where to Watch: Stream on Prime Video, Roku, Plex, and Pluto TV. You can also rent/buy it digitally on Amazon Video or DVD.

#11 A Christmas Star (2015)

a christmas star poster

Noelle, a young girl, born under the Christmas star, believes she has magical abilities. So, when an evil developer threatens her village, she sets out to use her gift to save everyone.

The British family film has a strong cast and a few surprise cameos from big names.

Where to Watch: Stream on Amazon’s Freevee, Hoopla, Pure Flix, Tubi, and Pluto TV. You can also rent/buy it digitally and on DVD.

#12 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005)

the chronicles of narnia the lion the witch and the wardrobe still of the children in the snow
Credit: Walt Disney Pictures/Walden Media/Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

C.S. Lewis’s classic story comes to life in this visually splendent adaptation of four kids during WWII traveling through a magical wardrobe and entering the fantastical land of Narnia. They must help defeat the evil White Witch with the help of a lion and their new friends.

The Oscar-winning movie has lots of beautiful wintery sequences and costumes. Plus, the children even get to meet Father Christmas!

Where to Watch: Stream on Disney+ or rent/buy it on Digital and DVD.

#13 Emma (2009)

Mr. Knightley and Emma in 2009 miniseries
Credit: BBC

The Emmy-winning BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma tells the story of a well-meaning young woman who causes all sorts of trouble with her matchmaking.

While it’s not about Christmas, lovely scenes are set at Christmas – making this the ideal period drama to watch for Christmastime.

And who doesn’t want to watch Emma and Mr. Knightley fall in love?

Romola Garai, Jonny Lee Miller, Michael Gambon, Jodhi May, Rupert Evans, and more stars.

Where to Watch: Stream on PBS Masterpiece Amazon Channel, and Britbox. You can also buy it on Digital and DVD.

#14 Far From the Madding Crowd (2015) 

Far from the madding crowd 2015 dance scene
Far From the Madding Crowd (2015). Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures/BBC Films

Thomas Hardy’s classic novel, Far From the Madding Crowd, adapts brilliantly to the screen in this impressive take on the story. In Victorian England, the independent and stubborn Bathsheba Everdene attracts three different men. But will she recognize the humble sheep farmer, Gabriel Oak, is the right one before it’s too late?

As this is based on a Thomas Hardy novel, don’t expect a light-hearted movie – even if it’s not as tragic as some of his other stories. It is, however, unabashedly romantic. Significant plot points also play out during a Christmas party.

Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, and Tom Sturridge star.

Where to Watch: Rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

Content Note: PG-13 for sensuality and violence.

#15 Father Christmas is Back (2021)

Father Christmas is Back promo art
Credit: Netflix

Four sisters learn the meaning of Christmas when their long-lost father returns at Christmas at their English estate.

While Father Christmas is Back is not the greatest Christmas movie of all time, it’s entertaining because it’s ridiculous and sort of bad. So, embrace the wackiness, and you should enjoy it – especially with the strong cast.

Content Note: PG-13 for language and suggestive content.

Where to Watch: Stream on Netflix.

#16 From Time to Time (2009)

from time to time 2009 poster

A 13-year-old boy discovers he can travel between two times (the past and the present) when he goes to visit his grandmother for Christmas. Soon, he begins to unlock family secrets.

Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) wrote and directed this charming family film with an all-star cast, including Maggie Smith!

Find out more in our review of From Time to Time.

Where to Watch: Buy on DVD.

#17 Get Santa (2014)

Get Santa promo art
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Get Santa is a British Christmas comedy about a recent parolee and his son as they try to save Santa (who’s been jailed) and Christmas.

Jim Broadbent, Rafe Spall, Warwick Davis, and Kit Connor star.

Where to Watch: Stream on Hoopla, Kanopy, and Tubi, or rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

#18 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone still of Christmas
Credit: Warner Bros.

The first Harry Potter film isn’t technically a Christmas film, but the holiday sequences at the school are so nostalgic, cheery, and emotional that it’s hard not to consider this one a Christmas classic.

The family fantasy movie received three Oscar nominations and continues to capture hearts worldwide.

Where to Watch: Stream on HBO Max and Peacock Premium or rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

#19 The Holiday (2006)

The Holiday 2006 film promo art
Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing/Universal Pictures

The romantic comedy film follows two women who swap their homes during Christmastime, and each fall in love!

The Holiday is funny, heartwarming, and romantic, with Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, and Jack Black starring.

Where to Watch: Rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

Content Note: PG-13 for sensuality, suggestive dialogue, and language.

#20 The Holly and the Ivy (1952)

the holly and the ivy poster

If you’re in the mood for a classic film or an underrated Christmas movie, check out The Holly and the Ivy.

The British Christmas movie tells the uplifting tale of an English reverend and his family when they reunite and resolve differences during Christmas.

Where to Watch: Stream on Hoopla and Kanopy or buy on DVD.

#21 Jolly Good Christmas/Christmas in London (2022)

Jolly Good Christmas Hallmark photo
Photo: Will Kemp. Reshma Shetty. Credit: ©2022 Hallmark Media/Photographer: Rob Baker Ashton

Official Hallmark Description: 

When by-the-book architect David hires free-spirited personal shopper Anji, he finds himself on a wild ride across London in search of the perfect Christmas gift but finds something he wasn’t looking for.

This new Hallmark movie takes place in London! So, expect lots of sentimental cuteness and holiday cheer, but with the bonus of London as a setting.

Where to Watch: The new Christmas movie re-airs on the Hallmark Channel on December 13 and 24, 2022. Check your local listings.

#22 Joyeux Noel (2005)

Joyeux Noel 2005 movie still
Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

Joyeux Noel (a co-production with the UK) is an underrated period Christmas movie inspired by the Christmas truce of 1914 during WWI. It’s a beautiful, touching (and romantic) film that will make you believe in the spirit of Christmas.

Where to Watch: Stream on Tubi or rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

Content Note: PG-13 for a scene of sensuality and brief war violence.

#23 The Knight Before Christmas (2019)

The Knight before Christmas 2019 still
Credit: Netflix

Vanessa Hudgens and Poldark actor Josh Whitehouse star in this Netflix Christmas film about an English medieval knight who time-travels to the present day and falls in love with an American teacher.

While it only partially takes place in England, having a knight in shining armor in a holiday film is so much fun!

Where to Watch: Stream on Netflix.

#24 Last Christmas (2019)

Last Christmas 2019 movie still
Credit: Universal Pictures

Last Christmas is a unique romance movie about a young woman prone to bad decision-making. She’s an aspiring singer but works as an elf at a Christmas store. However, her life improves when she meets the mysterious Tom.

Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding star in this British film, while the real-life married couple, Emma Thompson, and Greg Wise, came up with the story for the screenplay.

Where to Watch: Rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

Content Note: PG-13 for language and sensual content.

#25 The Lion in Winter (1968)

The Lion in Winter 1968 lobby card poster
Credit: Haworth Productions/AVCO Embassy Pictures

If you love movies about royals and historical Christmas films, you’ll love this classic with an all-star cast – including Katharine Hepburn.

It’s 1183 AD, and King Henry II temporarily releases his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, from prison for Christmas as he decides which son will inherit the throne. The movie won three Oscars.

Where to Watch: Rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

#26 Little Lord Fauntleroy (1980) 

little lord fauntleroy poster

The Emmy-winning classic British family film tells the story of a young American boy who discovers he’s the heir to a British fortune.

He then goes to live with the stern Earl (his grandfather) in charge of his inheritance. It’s based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett (A Little Princess, The Secret Garden) and includes a nostalgic Christmas dinner at the end!

You can also check out the 1995 miniseries – among other adaptations.

Where to Watch: You can buy it on DVD – but copies are currently difficult to come by.

#27 A Little Princess (1939, 1986) 

the little princess 1939 with Shirley Temple
The Little Princess (1939). Credit: 20th Century Fox

Two excellent versions take place in Victorian London – the 1939 film starring Shirley Temple and the 1986 British miniseries starring Amelia Shankley.

The classic children’s story about Sara Crewe, a young girl forced to be a servant at a wealthy boarding school when her father dies, includes Christmas scenes and many memorable moments.

I also recommend the 1995 film – but it is an American film that takes place in New York City.

Where to Watch: You can stream the 1986 miniseries on Tubi, Amazon’s Freevee, and Pluto TV. You can also buy it on Digital (Amazon) and DVD.

The 1939 Old Hollywood production is available to stream on Prime Video, Paramount+, EPIX, Roku, Hoopla, Freevee, and more. You can also rent/buy it on Digital and DVD.

#28 Little Women (2017)

Little Women 2017 promo photo with Christmas decorations in the background
Credit: BBC/Playground Television UK

The 2017 miniseries adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic story comes from the UK – adapted from Call the Midwife screenwriter Heidi Thomas. So, while the story of the four March sisters still takes place in the US, the adaptation has more of a British feel with numerous British actors in the cast – including Emily Watson, Michael Gambon, and Angela Lansbury.

It’s lovely if an imperfect version of the story – and still captures some of the memorable Christmas scenes from the novel.

Where to Watch: Stream on PBS Passport, PBS Masterpiece Amazon Channel, and Prime Video. You can also buy it digitally and on DVD.

#29 Lost Christmas (2011)

lost christmas poster

A mysterious traveler helps people discover what they’ve lost throughout two Christmases. The British drama is set in Manchester and stars Eddie Izzard, Larry Mills, and Jason Flemyng.

Where to Watch: Stream on Roku and Tubi or rent/buy digitally.

#30 Love Actually (2003)

Love actually poster

Love Actually is a classic go-to British Christmas rom-com with an all-star cast! It’s funny, charming, and nostalgic. The Richard Curtis movie takes place in London during Christmas as various couples learn the true meaning of Christmas: it’s all about love.

Where to Watch: Stream on Peacock and AMC+ or rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

Content Note: Rated R for explicit sensuality, language, and nudity.

#31 The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)

the man who invented christmas publicity still with christmas tree and couple
Credit: Bleecker Street Media

The Man Who Invented Christmas is a period biopic about Charles Dickens as he creates the timeless Christmas story, A Christmas Carol.

The uplifting and incredible film is a must-watch movie for everyone! Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey), Christopher Plummer (playing a brilliant Ebenezer Scrooge), Morfydd Clark (from Rings of Power), and more stars.

Where to Watch: Stream on STARZ, Hoopla, Showtime, and Kanopy, or rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

#32 MillionS (2004)

Millions wide poster

A young British boy discovers a large bag of money and decides to help the poor. Much of this charming movie takes place at Christmas too.

Danny Boyle directed with Alex Etel starring.

Where to Watch: Stream on Disney+ or rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

#33 The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

The Muppet Christmas carol 1992 promo art
Credit: Jim Henson Productions/Walt Disney Pictures/Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

This holiday film is the Muppets’ version of A Christmas Carol, with Michael Caine brilliantly playing Scrooge. It’s become a Christmas classic for the entire family.

Where to Watch: Stream on Disney+ or rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

#34 The Nativity (2006) 

the nativity poster

The British BBC miniseries tells the tale of the original Christmas story – with a brilliant (primarily British) cast.

The cast includes Tatiana Maslany, Andrew Buchan, Peter Capaldi, John Lynch, Claudie Blakley, Ruth Negga, and more.

Where to Watch: Stream on Prime Video and Crackle or buy it on Digital.

#35 Nativity Film Series (2009-2018)

nativity 3 still
Credit: Entertainment One

The British family films consist of:

  • Nativity! (Martin Freeman stars)
  • Danger in the Manger (David Tennant stars)
  • Dude, Where’s My Donkey? (Martin Clunes stars)
  • Nativity Rocks!

The first in the series tells the story of a primary school teacher who lies about Hollywood coming to see his students’ nativity performance. I only liked the first two films – but the third film has a great cast.

Where to Watch: Stream Nativity 2 on Tubi; Nativity 3 on Prime, Hulu, and Tubi; Nativity 4 on Hulu, Roku, and Tubi. You can also buy the films on DVD.

#36 The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms 2018 still
Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Clara, a young girl from Victorian England, enters a magical world and discovers she’s a princess! The classic Christmas story comes alive in this gorgeous-looking holiday film with an all-star cast.

Where to Watch: Stream on Disney+ or rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

#37 On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

On Her Majesty's Secret Service still
Credit: Eon Productions/United Artists

The sixth James Bond film takes place at Christmastime! So, if you’re in the mood for an action thriller, this underrated Bond movie is a great choice. It stars George Lazenby as Bond.

Content Note: It’s PG but would likely be rated PG-13 today for innuendo and violence.

Where to Watch: Rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

#38 Paddington/Paddington 2 (2014; 2017)

paddington 2014 movie poster

Okay, so these British family films about Paddington the Bear aren’t technically Christmas movies – but both were released at Christmastime and have uplifting messages about family and belonging.

Plus, the first film ends at Christmastime with decorations and a fun family snowball fight. So, they totally count!

Where to Watch: Stream Paddington on Netflix and Paddington 2 on HBO Max. You can also rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

#39 A Princess for Christmas (2011)

A princess for Christmas promo image
Credit: Copyright 2012 Crown Media United States, LLC

A young woman receives an invitation from a relative to stay at a European castle for Christmas and falls in love with a handsome prince.

The adorable Hallmark romance is not technically British – it takes place in a fictional country and is an American production – but with the British cast and accents, it feels close enough to count!

Katie McGrath from Merlin and Supergirl, Sam Heughan from Outlander, and Roger Moore from James Bond films, star in A Princess for Christmas.

Where to Watch: Stream on Amazon’s Freevee, Tubi, and Vudu or Rent/Buy on Digital and DVD.

#40 Santa Claus (1898)

Arguably the Victorian Christmas short (yes, it was actually filmed during the Victorian Era) may be the first Christmas movie ever made! Watch this one if film history is of interest.

Where to Watch: Check out the YouTube clip above. The British film is preserved at the BFI National Archive.

#41 The Snowman/The Snowman and the Snowdog (1982; 2012)

the snowman poster

Based on the picture book by Raymond Briggs, The Snowman is a British animated TV movie that has become an annual tradition to watch in the UK. The gorgeous (and artistic) short film was listed as one of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes by the BFI.

The Snowman tells the tale of a young boy who builds a snowman that comes to life on Christmas Eve and then goes on a journey to meet Father Christmas.

The sequel, The Snowman and the Snowdog released in 2012 to commemorate the movie’s anniversary.

Where to Watch: Stream The Snowman on Prime Video, Vudu, and Pluto TV or rent/buy on Amazon Video and DVD. Stream the sequel on Hoopla and Vudu, or buy it on DVD.

#42 Spencer (2021)

Kristen Stewart in Spencer movie
Credit: FilmNation Entertainment/Neon and Topic Studios

It’s the Christmas holidays, and Princess Diana struggles with her mental health and her relationship with the Royal family.

The period biopic is not your typical British Christmas film, but Kristen Stewart gives an award-worthy performance in this psychological drama.

Where to Watch: Stream on Hulu and Kanopy or rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

Content Note: Rated R for language, innuendo, and a violent, intense sequence.

#43 Under the Greenwood Tree (2005)

Under the Greenwood Tree DVD poster

The Victorian Era costume drama is a lovely adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel. The story follows a new teacher in a British town as three suitors pursue her.

This romantic period drama has beautiful wintery scenes and a Christmas party. Keeley Hawes stars in Under the Greenwood Tree.

Where to Watch: Stream on Prime Video, Plex, Roku, and Tubi or rent/buy on Digital (Amazon Video) and DVD.

#44 A Very British Christmas (2019)

a very british christmas promo art
Credit: Studio KS1/101 Films International

Rachel Shenton from All Creatures Great and Small stars in this Yorkshire-based Christmas romance movie made in the style of a Hallmark film – but in a British style

When an opera singer’s flight gets delayed, she becomes stranded in Yorkshire – where she has to stay at an adorable bed and breakfast while also connecting with a handsome widower.

It’s a cute, sweet, family film.

Where to Watch: Stream on Showtime.

#45 Your Christmas or Mine? (2022)

Your Christmas or Mine 2022 movie still
Credit: Shiny Buttons Productions/Amazon Prime

The new Christmas romance movie stars Asa Butterfield and Cora Kirk, about a couple who secretly decide to surprise each other at Christmas – only to get stuck with their significant others’ families (from very different classes) for the holidays.

Other stars include Daniel Mays, Angela Griffin, Harriet Walter, Alex Jennings, David Bradley, Mark Heap (playing a hilariously similar character to his role as Thomas in Lark Rise to Candleford), June Watson, and more.

Where to Watch: Stream on Prime Video.

Content Note: 13+ for innuendo and language.


If you’re looking for even more to watch, check out this list of movies below!

  • Silent Night (Rated R)
  • Carol (Rated R) – It is a UK co-production, but it takes place in NYC
  • Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas: 30-minute special
  • Stick Man – TV Movie Short
  • The Royal Nanny – The Hallmark Christmas film is in an alternative version of England.
  • Anna and the Apocalypse (Rated R)
  • Boxing Day (PG-13)
  • Last Train to Christmas (NR) – New Time Travel movie with Michael Sheen
  • Christmas in the Highlands
  • Home for Christmas (2014) (NR)
  • Surviving Christmas with the Relatives (NR)
  • Lost at Christmas (NR)
  • The Nutcracker in 3D
  • Click and Collect (NR but likely 13+)
  • The Dead – Set in Dublin but is a UK co-production
  • Santa Claus: The Movie – The fun Christmas classic is a UK co-production
  • Pirate Radio/The Boat That Rocked (Rated R)
  • Clash of the Santas (NR)


These are just a few of our favorites and bring the ultimate in Yuletide cheer!

  • All Creatures Great and Small: Episode “The Night Before Christmas” (2020)
  • Call the Midwife Christmas Specials (2012-)
  • Cranford: Episode “November 1842” (2007) and the Cranford Christmas Special (2009)
  • Doctor Who Christmas Specials (2005-2017; although they will be coming back soon!)
  • Downton Abbey Christmas Specials (2011-2015)
  • Foyle’s War – Episode “Bleak Midwinter” (2007)
  • Lark Rise to Candleford Christmas Special (2008)
  • Miranda Christmas Specials: “The Perfect Christmas” and “It Was Panning”
  • Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries: Murder Under the Mistletoe (Technically, Australian, but the BBC counts it on their list of Christmas specials).
  • Poirot – Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (1994)
  • Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (2016)
  • The Vicar of Dibley Christmas Episodes: “The Christmas Lunch Incident,” “Winter,” “Merry Christmas,” “The Handsome Stranger/The Vicar in White”
  • Victoria: A Victoria Christmas Special (2017)

What are your favorite British Christmas movies? Did we leave any of your favorites off the list? Let us know your recommendations below!

Featured image credit: The Man Who Invented Christmas (Bleecker Street Media), The Holiday (Sony Pictures Releasing/Universal Pictures), and The Christmas Candle (Pinewood Studios/EchoLight Studios).

45 of the Best Christmas Movies to Watch this Holiday Season; pinterest image


By on December 13th, 2022

About Amber Topping

Amber works as a writer and digital publisher full-time and fell in love with stories and imagination at an early age. She has a Humanities and Film Degree from BYU, co-created The Silver Petticoat Review, contributed as a writer to various magazines, and has an MS in Publishing from Pace University, where she received the Publishing Award of Excellence and wrote her thesis on transmedia, Jane Austen, and the romance genre. Her ultimate dreams are publishing books, writing and producing movies, traveling around the world, and forming a creative village of talented storytellers trying to change the world through art.

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2 thoughts on “45 of the Best British Christmas Movies to Watch This Holiday Season”

  1. Hi,
    Great list, but I couldn’t find Crown for Christmas on it.
    Rupert Penry-Jones makes a fine king and his daughter Theodora is flipping adorable!


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