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There are so many popular must-watch British TV series available on Netflix, Amazon Prime or other streaming services around the world. From period dramas, crime thrillers to comedy shows the choices of what to watch are comprehensive.

In this article you will find information about 25 of the best TV series which also showcase parts of the UK countryside, sights or attractions.

You will also find information about where each TV series was made as well as links to any related tours. All of these British shows are available on Netflix and/or Amazon Prime.

Why not sign up for Amazon Prime where you can watch thousands of movies and TV shows anytime. Start the free trial now!

Happy viewing!

British TV series filmed in England

Downton Abbey

About – An historical period drama following the trials and tribulations of the Grantham family at their grand estate Downton Abbey in Yorkshire.

The series also follows the lives of their servants below stairs and is a reflection of the British class system in the first half of the 19th century.

Period – Set between 1912 and 1926.

Number of series – 6 series (52 episodes) and one film

Filmed – Although set in Yorkshire the series was filmed at Highclere Castle in Hampshire and the village of Bampton in Oxfordshire.

Click to watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Click here to book a tour to Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey)

The Church at the village of Bampton in Oxfordshire as see on Downton Abbey

Midsomer Murders

About – Murder, mayhem and mystery in the villages of Midsomer in the British countryside. This detective series is based on the books of Caroline Graham about Chief Inspector Barnaby.

Starring John Nettles in the main role until 2011 when he was replaced by Neil Dudgeon this series has been immensely popular since its pilot episode shown in 1997.

Period – Set 1997 to 2020 (so far!)

Number of series – 21 series and 124 episodes

Filmed – Although set in the fictional village and county of Causton the series is filmed across South Oxfordshire.

The market towns of Thame, Henley-on-Thames and Wallingford as well as the village of Warborough and small town of Watlington all feature is the series.

Click to watch on Amazon Prime

Click here for a tour of the Midsomer Murder locations

Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire

Doc Martin

About – Set in the fictional Cornish village of Portwenn this comedy series stars Martin Clunes as a socially inept Doctor who moves into the village from London.

Period – Set in the present day

Number of series – 6 series (70 episodes)

Filmed – The series is filmed in the Cornish village of Port Isaac

Click to watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Click here for a Doc Martin tour of Port Isaac

The seaside town of Port Isaac in Cornwall

Poldark

About – An historical period drama based on the novels by Winston Graham.

The series also follows the life of Ross Poldark following his return to Cornwall after spending 3 years fighting in the army in America. A love triangle, fortunes lost and won and dramatic Cornish scenery make this series a winner.

Period – Set between 1781 and 1801.

Number of series – 5 series (43 episodes)

Filmed – A variety of locations along the north Cornwall coast (and some locations in England) were used for filming including St Agnes Head, Gunwalloe on the Lizard Peninsula and the Botallack Mine near St Just in Penwith.

Watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Click here for a tour of Poldark’s Cornwall

Penwith Coastline in Cornwall

Agatha Raisin

About – A comedy drama with Ashley Jensen starring as the retiree who finds murder, mystery and mayhem in and around the picturesque Cotswold village she has made her new home.

Based on the novels of Marion Chesney

Period – Present day

Number of series – 3 series (16 episodes)

Filmed – The Cotswold villages of Stow-in-the -Wold, Chipping Campden, Moreton-in-Marsh and others appear in the show.

Click to watch on Amazon Prime

Click here for a tour of the Cotswolds

Cotswold Village

Watch more – Best French TV series on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Vera

About – A crime drama based on the novels of Ann Cleeves about Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope.

Set in Northumberland and starring the wonderfully talented Brenda Blethyn (who does a mean Geordie accent) as the central character of Vera.

An 11th series has been confirmed which is fabulous news for fans of Vera!

Period – Present day

Number of series – 10 series (40 episode)

Filmed – Showcasing Newcastle upon Tyne and the county of Northumberland in the North East of England.

Click to watch on – Netflix and Amazon Prime

Click for a Vera filming locations tour of Newcastle

Northumberland - Dunstanburgh Castle

Call The Midwife

About – A period drama about a group of midwives working in Poplar in the East End of London in the 1950s and 60s.

Based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth the series doesn’t shy away from portraying some of the social issues such as poverty or historical events of the day.

Storylines cover numerous issues including around abortion, racial abuse, thalidomide, dementia, and domestic violence.

Period – Set in London in the 1950’s and 1960’s

Number of series – 9 series (78 episodes)

Filmed – Although set in the East End of London most of the filming takes place in Kent and Surrey. The Historical Dockyard at Chatham Kent is used to film the outdoor scenes.

Click to watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Click here to book a Call the Midwife tour

Chatham Docks in Kent

Peaky Blinders

About – Period crime drama about a notorious gang in Birmingham, England. The gang is led by the fierce Tommy Shelby, a crime boss set on moving up in the world no matter the cost.

Period – Set in Birmingham in the early 1900’s

Number of series – 5 series (30 episodes)

Filmed – Various locations in Liverpool, Leeds, Bradford, Saltaire and Yorkshire.

Click to watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Click for a Peaky Blinders tour

Port Sunlight in Liverpool

The Crown

About – The life and reign of Queen Elizabeth is portrayed in this award winning historical drama series.

Period – 1940s to modern times

Number of series – 3 series (30 episodes) with a fourth due in late 2020

Filmed – Locations include Belvoir Castle, Hatfield House, Old Royal Navy College in Greenwich and Ely Cathedral amongst others.

Watch on Netflix

Click to book The Crown themed walking tour of London

Belvoir Castle

Heartbeat

About – A drama centred around the lives of the police constabulary, medical staff and residents of Ashfordly and Aidensfield in Yorkshire.

The series is based on the “Constable” books by Nicholas Rhea.

Period – Set in the 1960s

Number of series – 18 series (372 episode)

Filmed – The series was filmed in Goathland in the heart of the North York Moors in Yorkshire.

Watch on Amazon Prime

Click here for a Heartbeat locations tour of Yorkshire

Goathland Village Green

Father Brown

About – A favourite in our hosehold the Father Brown stories are about a modest, compassionate priest who doubles as an effective crime solver in this series.

The series is based on the short stories by G.K. Chesterton.

Period – 1950s

Number of series – 8 series (90 episodes)

Filmed – Set in the fictional village of Kembleford the series is filmed in the Cotswolds village of Blockley.

Watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Click for information about Cotswold tours

The village of Bibury in the Cotswolds

Inspector George Gently

About – Crime drama series set in the North East of England in the 1960s. Martin Shaw stars as the Inspector in on the series based on the books by Alan Hunter.

Period – 1960s

Number of series – 8 series (25 episodes)

Filmed – Another fantastic series based in the North East George Gently was filmed on location in Durham, Teeside, Newcastle and Northumberland.

Watch on Amazon Prime

durham Cathedral

Sherlock

About – I am sure I don’t have to go into too much detail about Sherlock Holmes!

Featuring Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role and Martin Freeman as his sidekick Dr Watson.

Period – Present day

Number of series – 4 series (13 episodes)

Filmed – In London including around 221b Baker Street!

Watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Book a Sherlock Holmes walking tour of London

Sherlock Holmes hat and a sign for Baker Street

The Last Kingdom

About – Historical fiction. The series is based on the Saxon series of books written by Bernard Cornwell.

Alfred the Great defends his kingdom from Norse invaders when Uhtred of Bebbanburg a Saxon raised by Vikings seeks to claim his birthright.

Period – Anglo-Saxon England (9th and 10th centuries)

Number of series – 4 series (36 episodes)

Filmed – Not in the UK! The series was actually shot in Hungary.

Watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Broadchurch

About – Serial crime drama set in the fictional seaside town of Broadchurch in Dorset.

Starring Olivia Coleman and David Tennant all three series tie together and follow the investigations of police detectives DI Alec Hardy and DS Ellie Miller.

Period – Present day

Number of series – 3

Filmed – On the Jurassic Coast in Dorset in the harbour village of West Bay.

Watch on Amazon Prime

The Tudors

About – An history based drama focussing on the early years of the reign of Henry VIII including all six of his marriages.

Apparently not totally historically accurate but nevertheless a great way to learn something about UK history.

Period – Set between 1509 – 1547

Number of series – 4 series (38 episodes)

Filmed – Although Hampton Court Palace features in the series it was actually filmed mainly in Ireland

Watch on Amazon Prime

Click here for tickets to Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace

Inspector Morse and Endeavour

About – Endeavour is a detective drama series and prequel to the popular Morse.

Set in Oxford both series follow the career of police officer Endeavour Morse.

Period – 1960s (Endeavour)

Number of series – Endeavour 7 series (30 episodes) and Morse – 7 series (33 episodes)

Filmed – Oxford

Watch on Amazon Prime

Book a Morse and Endeavour walking tour of Oxford

Grantchester

About – This popular detective drama is set in the village of Grantchester in Cambridgeshire. The dual detective team of vicar Sidney Chambers (replaced in series 4 by new vicar William Davenport) and Detective Inspector Geordie Keating are based on the short stories by James Runcie.

Period – Set in the 1950s.

Number of series – 5 series (31 episodes)

Filmed – Grantchester does exist and is a small village on the River Cam a few miles south of Cambridge. The series is filmed on location in the village.

Watch on Amazon Prime

Click here for tours of Cambridge

Punting on the River Cam

British TV series set in Wales

Hinterland

About – Originally called Y Gwyll (The Dusk) this Welsh police drama series does feature some passages of Welsh dialogue (the original was shot in Welsh)

Set in Aberystwyth this is crime drama show follows the characters of DCI Tom Mathias and DI Mared Rhys.

Period – Present day

Number of series – 3 series (25 episodes)

Filmed – In Aberystwyth and surrounding areas.

Watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Click here for tours of North Wales

Aberystwyth countryside and coast

British TV series set in Scotland

Shetland

About – A Scottish TV crime drama initially based on the novels of Ann Cleeves (who also wrote the Vera Stanhope series) and based as the name suggests on the Scottish archipelago of Shetland.

Main character DI Jimmy Perez is played by Douglas Henshall.

Period – Set in the present day

Number of series – 5 series (26 episodes) 2 more series have been commissioned

Filmed – Although set on the islands of Shetland much of it is filmed near Glasgow. The town of Lerwick on mainland (the name of the largest Shetland island) and Fair Isle are used as film locations.

Watch on Amazon Prime

Click here to find out about some of the great tours of Scotland from Rabbies

Shetland Islands with some sheep features in the British TV Series of the same name

Case Histories

About – Based on the Jackson Brodie series written by Kate Atkinson and set in Edinburgh.

Working as a private investigator we follow Jackson as he tries to unravel 3 separate case histories.

Period – Present day

Number of series – 2 series (9 episodes)

Filmed – Set and filmed in the Scottish capital Edinburgh

Watch on Amazon Prime

Learn more about Edinburgh including recommended itineraries

A view of Edinburgh with the Scott Monument

Rebus

About – Another great Scottish detective show this time based on the Rebus novels by Ian Rankin.

John Hannah and Ken Stott have played the detective over the series.

Period – Set in present day

Number of series – 4 series (14 episodes)

Filmed – Rebus is set in Edinburgh and locations all over the city appear in the series.

Watch on Amazon Prime

Monarch of the Glen

About – A British drama series set in the Scottish Highlands about the running of a Scottish estate and the life and loves of the somewhat reluctant new laird of the Glenbogle estate Archie MacDonald.

Period – Present day (early 2000 when it was made)

Number of series – 7 series (64 episodes)

Filmed – The series was shot on location in Badenoch in the Scottish Highlands. Ardverikie House in Kinloch Laggan was used as the fictional Glenbogle Estate.

Watch on – Amazon Prime or purchase on Video

River Pattack near Kinloch Laggan in Scotland

Hamish Macbeth

About – Another older series (this one is from the 1990s) set in Scotland.

The series (a comedy/mystery drama) about local police officer Hamish Macbeth is set in the (fictional) town of Lochdubh on the west coast of Scotland.

The series is based on the novels by M C Beaton (who also wrote the Agatha Raisin novels).

Period – Set in the 1990s

Number of series – 3 series (20 episodes)

Filmed – Filmed on location in the village of Plockton and areas around the Kyle of Lochalsh

Watch on Amazon Prime

Click for tours of the Highlands of Scotland with Rabbies

Plockton in Scotland

Outlander

About – A historical romantic drama series based on the novels of Diana Gabaldon.

The main character in the series is Claire Fraser who we first meet on holiday with her husband in Scotland. Recovering from the brutality of WW2 with the help of some mysterious standing stones she travels through time to 18th century Scotland.

Period – Set between the second half of the 20th century and Scotland in the 1700s.

Number of series – 5 series (67 episodes)

Filmed – Numerous locations around Scotland feature in the series including castles, villages and Highland landscapes.

Watch on Amazon Prime

There are many Outlander Tours available leaving from various cities – click here for a full day tour from Edinburgh

Crops on the Isle of Skye

Which is your favourite British TV series?

Did you favourite British TV series appear in this selection? If not let me know in the comments below or pop over to my UK and London Travel Planning Group on Facebook.

Also you may have found some new series to watch too and ideas for your travels in the UK (so many great themed tours to choose from!)

If you enjoy foreign language films and TV shows (subtitled or dubbed) you may enjoy my selection of French TV series to watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime or my selection of the best French films. Also check out my choice of Australian movies and South African movies too!

P.S Don’t forget to sign up for Amazon Prime where you can watch thousands of movies and TV shows (including lots mentioned in this article) anytime. Start the free trial now!

Join my UK and London travel planning group on Facebook for more tips, inspiration and help from other travelers planning future travel to London and the UK.

This post may contain compensated links. Please read our disclosure for additional information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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