36 Recommended British/English Drama + Period Pieces to watch – shows + movies

t’s almost the weekend and I thought I’d share some of my favorite shows that are currently streaming. I pay the extra $5.99 a month through Amazon Prime Video for Masterpiece and that has been one of the best subscriptions and I highly recommend it if you are a huge fan of British dramas like me.

I love watching period films because it makes me feel like I’m traveling to my happy places and many of you know how much I love European costumes, architecture, all of it! So here’s a quick roundup of my latest favorites for you to catch.

And if you’re really missing Europe and want to reminisce with me, feel free to hop over to my Europe travel category, I’d love to show you around some of my favorite European spots, perhaps we can get back over there and explore!

Recommended English/British Drama Shows and Period Pieces

Recommended British period piece shows English or Masterpiece Classics

  1. A Very British Scandal – formerly A Very English Scandal (Amazon Prime Video) – Two seasons based on true events, first season is 3 episodes on a political scandal, second season is 3 episodes about a aristocracy divorce.
  2. The Gilded Age (HBO Max) – 1882, New York City the beginning of the new mansions on 5th Avenue. From Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes.
  3. All Creatures Great or Small (new Masterpiece), in 1930’s taking place in Yorkshire Dales, it’s a story of a veterinarian, love, animals and beautiful English country! Based upon books.
  4. Dickinson (Apple TV) – Budding writer Emily Dickinson uses her outsider’s perspective to explore the constraints of society, gender and family in the 19th century.
  5. The Master Butcher (Masterpiece) in German with subtitles, my dad enjoyed this!
  6. Victoria (Amazon Prime TV and Masterpiece), watched this three times, reader recommended
  7. Sandition  (Masterpiece series)
  8. Les Misérables – a series, with no singing (Masterpiece series)
  9. Secrets of the Six Wives (Masterpiece historic documentary)
  10. Bonfire of Destiny (Netflix), loosely based on true events in French with subtitles
  11. The Best of Men (Masterpiece movie), based on true story
  12. The Windermere Children (Masterpiece movie), based on true story
  13. Mr. Selfridge (Masterpiece series), based on true story
  14. Mrs.Wilson (Masterpiece series), based on true story, craaaaazy
  15. Poldark, (Amazon Prime Video, Masterpiece series)
  16. Emma (Amazon rental movie), acting so-so, costume and set design amazing
  17. Alias Grace (Netflix series), a bit dark but I watched this three times.
  18. Outlander (A Starz series, some seasons on Amazon Prime)
  19. ANZAC Girls (Amazon Prime Video)
  20. Downton Abby (Amazon Prime)
  21. The Crown (Netflix)
  22. Anne with an E (Netflix series), Anne of Green Gables updated version. Most traditional Anne of Green Gables fans do not like this however this is the first of Anne I have seen.
    Honorable mention:
  23. Reign (Amazon Prime Video), young-adult but costumes are gorgeous. I never finished the series but I did see the filming of Reign when I was at Ashford Castle in Ireland.
  24. Atlantic Crossing (Masterpiece series), based upon true events, suspenseful, moving

Recommended period pieces and shows british english period drama masterpiece classics

Reader recommended

  1. The Paradise (Amazon Prime TV and Masterpiece)
  2. Land Girls (Netflix)
  3. Call the Midwife (Netflix)
  4. Horatio Hornblower
  5. War and Peace (Amazon Prime Video)
  6. Beecham House (Masterpiece and YouTube TV)
  7. The Great (Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube)
  8. Catherine The Great (HBO)
  9. Line of Duty (AMC, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu)
  10. Peaky Blinders (Netflix)
  11. Miss Scarlet and the Duke (Masterpiece)
  12. Wallander (BritBox)

The shows that weren’t for me but might be for you

  • The Foysyte Saga
  • The Durrells in Corfu
  • Bridgerton (gasp! Sorry, I prefer historically accurate not Hamilton style).
  • Jamestown

If you watch any British drama, period films or  I’d love to know what your favorite shows are in the comments!

Photography by Jennifer Bowen / Makeup and hair by Lizzy Marsh

This was originally published on July 30, 2020 and updated May 19, 2022.

Diana Elizabeth picked a photo that best represented her as if she were in an English garden. She said to Benjamin recently that she really misses France. She had no idea she’d spend more time in France than in Mexico and wishes she studied French instead – although knowing Spanish is pretty important too. 

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party. She continues to blog weekly.


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