2018 Update: 160+ British TV Shows You Can Watch for Free on Amazon Prime

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If you have an Amazon Prime subscription and you don’t take advantage of the free videos it offers, you’re overlooking a quality source of British TV shows. It may not be as comprehensive or easy to navigate as Acorn or BritBox, but it does have a lot of programming you won’t find on either. As of right now, we’ve compiled a list of over 160 British programs free with Amazon Prime, and we’ve no doubt missed a few of the smaller independent programs.

If you don’t already have Amazon Prime and you decide you want it, you can click here to sign up. Your 1-year Prime membership gives you free 2-day shipping and viewing of all the titles below (and many more that aren’t British or Britain-related). It also gives you access to Amazon Channels, which allows you to use your Amazon account to subscribe to channels like BritBox, Acorn, Best of British Television, Walter Presents, and more.

If you’re not sure how to watch Amazon videos on your TV (as opposed to watching on your computer or tablet), scroll to the end where we talk about the options. There are devices that start at less than $30 that will help you get Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, and Acorn on your television so you can watch them on a full-size screen instead of your tablet or computer.

Dramas

Emma

Emma – This BBC production stars Jonny Lee Miller (Elementtary) as Mr. Knightley.

The Ambassador – This political drama centers around Britain’s newly appointed ambassador to Ireland.

Victoria – This ITV drama features Jenna Coleman as a young Queen Victoria during her early years on the throne. Only Series 1 is available at present, but they do have some previews and bonus content for the upcoming Series 2.

Upstairs, Downstairs – Amazon Prime offers two series of the modern reboot of this much-loved British classic.

Breathless – This period drama is set in a London hospital in 1961, just at the edge of a cultural revolution.

Masterpiece: Indian Summers – This drama dives into live in a social club during the final years of British colonial rule of India.

The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant – Beginning in Cornwall, this three-part epic tells the story of a woman convicted to death but saved after sentencing to a New South Wales penal colony.

Up North – Two neighbours, one posh and one common, show what life is like in Northern England.

Lark Rise to Candleford – Set in 19th century Oxfordshire, a young woman moves to begin an apprenticeship as postmistress.

The Durrells in Corfu

The Durrells in Corfu – This popular British series tells the story of a widow who moves her family out of 1930s England in search of a better life.

Downton Abbey – While some outlets edited the series for time, Amazon has the full and unedited Downton Abbey for your enjoyment. Special thanks to Joanne C. for pointing out that we’d missed this one!

Doctor Who – Fans of the science fiction/drama series will be delighted to know that series 1-6 of the modern Doctor Who are available for free viewing with a Prime membership. Also check out: Doctor Who: Best of Specials, The Science of Doctor Who, and Doctor Who: The David Tennant Specials.

The Sarah Jane Adventures – Fans of Doctor Who won’t want to miss this spin-off aimed at the younger generation.

Class – Class is another show from the Doctor Who universe, and this one features students at Coal Hill Academy who must fight off all manner of unusual creatures that threaten the world as we know it.

Torchwood – This Doctor Who spinoff features Captain Jack Harkness as head of Torchwood, an elite team of UK investigators using alien technology to solve crime.

Home Fires

Home Fires – In WWII-era Britain, a group of women get by in a small village.

Republic of Doyle – This one’s actually set in Newfoundland, but it’s been on Acorn and it’s a great watch. Jake Doyle and his father Malachy work together as private investigators with a lot of rough edges.

Mr. Selfridge – American Jeremy Piven stars in this ITV series about famed retail giant Harry Selfridge, the man behind the high-end UK department store chain, Selfridges. Series 3 and 4 are available free with Prime membership, and Series 1 and 2 are available for purchase.

Primeval – This unique series follows a professor and his team as they attempt to track down and capture dangerous prehistoric creatures using time travel.

Poldark – Ross Poldark returns home to Cornwall after fighting in the American Revolution, only to find his fortune in ruins and the woman he loves promised to another man.

Doctor Thorne – This series tells the story of penniless Mary Thorne and her relationship with a wealthy family nearby.

The Great Fire – This brief drama series showcases the events surrounding the Great Fire of London in 1666.

Bleak House – This suspenseful adaptation of the Dickens novel tells of legal injustices in Victorian England.

The Virgin Queen – This three-part series tells the story of Queen Elizabeth I.

Elizabeth I – If you’re really in the mood for Queen Elizabeth I, you can move on to this HBO miniseries starring Helen Mirren.

The White Queen – This 10-part drama is based on Philippa Gregory’s novels set against the War of Roses.

The Crimson Fields – This BBC One drama takes us onto the French battlefields of WWI with a team of medics and nurses. Stars Hermione Norris of Cold Feet, Rupert Graves of Sherlock, and Suranne Jones of Doctor Foster and Scott & Bailey.

Wolf Hall on Amazon Prime

Wolf Hall – Based on Hilary Mantel’s novel, this historical drama is set in Henry VIII’s court in Tudor England.

Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot – This three-hour BBC series features Robert Carlyle (Hamish MacBeth) and centers around the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots and her son King James VI of Scotland. Though of dubious historical accuracy, it is entertaining.

We’ll Meet Again – Set in 1943, this series shows us what happens in a small East Anglian town when war-weary Brits play host to American troops.

Being Human – A vampire, werewolf, and ghost try to coexist as roommates.

Monroe – James Nesbitt stars as a genius neurosurgeon with a complicated personal life.

Secret Smile – David Tennant stars as a smooth and manipulative spurned lover seeking revenge.

The Street – This drama features a number of familiar faces as they go on about their lives in a rough-around-the-edges Northern English town.

Thomas & Sarah – This spin-off of Upstairs, Downstairs follows Thomas, the chauffeur, and Sarah the house and nursery maid after they leave Eaton Place.

Mysteries

Endeavor

Endeavor – This series is a prequel to Inspector Morse, and a Prime membership lets you watch four series for free.

Archangel – Daniel Craig stars in this BBC series about an Oxford historian whose idle library enquiry gets him caught up in a series of murders.

Vexed – Two English detectives have complicated personal lives and just a hint of sexual tension.

The Living & the Dead – When a man inherits his family estate in Somerset, strange things begin to happen.

The Missing – James Nesbitt (Cold Feet) stars in this drama about the disappearance of a 5-year-old and the manhunt that follows.

The Worricker Trilogy – This political thriller stars Bill Nighy (Billy Mack from Love Actually, among other roles) as MI5 officer Johnny Worricker, and features an impressive set of British and American guest stars.

Tales of the Unexpected – Though not a traditional mystery series, this Roald Dahl-created show features a variety of unusual and bizarre stories.

The Night Manager – Based on John le Carre’s novel focuses on an ex-British soldier recruited to join MI-6 and infiltrate a group of arms dealers.

Undercover – This series tells the story of Maya, a barrister about to become the first black director of public prosecutions as her personal life falls apart.

The Nightmare World of HG Wells – This four-part series dramatizes several of Wells’ short stories.

Prime Suspect: Tennison – Set in the 1970s, this series is a prequel to the Helen Mirren classic, Prime Suspect.

Whitechapel

Whitechapel – This investigative  mystery series focuses on modern day murders copying historic homicides.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood – This is actually more of a film, but it was aired in two parts originally, and Amazon offers it in two parts. It’s an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ final novel, left unfinished at his death.

Touching Evil – Robson Green and Nicola Walker star in this series about a police officer with a special ability to detect criminals.

Masterpiece: Inspector Lewis – Amazon Prime currently allows you to view the first seven series of this popular Oxford-based mystery series.

Single-Handed – Newly transferred from Dublin back to his small Irish hometown, Gardai Officer Jack Driscoll finds the quiet town to be considerably less quiet than he remembered.

Casanova – The aging Casanova looks back on his life. Starring David Tennant as young Casanova.

Cracker – This is a US remake of the original British detective series,

Grantchester – Series 1 and 2 are available for this detective series about a vicar and veteran cop working together to solve crimes.

The Detectives – More true crime than mystery, this documentary series follows a special sex crimes unit in the Greater Manchester Police.

The Kettering Incident – Though this drama is technically Australian, BBC Worldwide and Channel 4 were involved in the production, and it has the feel of a British drama. The show begins when Dr. Anna Macy returns to the small Tasmania town of Kettering 15 years after the mysterious disappearance of her friend. When another little girl disappears, things get interesting.

Arthur & George – Martin Clunes (of Doc Martin) stars as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in this lovely adaptation.

Amnesia – Detective Stone struggles mightily to unravel and come to terms with the disappearance of his wife.

Thirteen – This BBC Three series centers around a 26-year-old woman who manages to escape from a cellar she’s been trapped in for 13 years.

The Widower – This ITV series tells the story of a mild-mannered nurse who poisons and kills his wives. Based on a true story.

Thorne

Thorne – Based on Mark Billingham’s crime novels, this series features David Morrisey as Detective Thorne.

The Tunnel – This British-French show focuses on two teams of detectives who work together on cross-channel investigations.

Tin Star – A former British detective moves to the Canadian Rockies and fights crime near a massive new oil refinery.

Colonel March of Scotland Yard – This vintage detective series offers 26 episodes of classic 1950s British mystery.

The Widower – This miniseries is based on the crimes of convicted murderer Malcolm Webster.

City of Vice – This historical crime drama is set in Georgian London and executed with incredible attention to detail.

Comedies

Detectorists

Detectorists – Although Series 3 is currently exclusive to Acorn TV, you can watch Series 1 and 2 free with your Prime subscription.

Peep Show – At present, Amazon Prime offers 8 series of this popular British odd couple roommate comedy.

Little Britain USA – British tourists Lou and Andy travel around the United States.

Family Tree – This hilarious series follows one man’s efforts to track down long-lost members of his family tree.

Rovers – This working class comedy centers around the people who spend time at the Redbridge Rovers Football Club.

Green Wing – Green Wing is a hospital comedy that has almost nothing to do with actual medicine.

Life’s Too Short – Warwick Davis stars as a scheming actor aiming to be nothing less than Britain’s number one little person.

At Last the 1948 Show – A must for Monty Python fans, this 1967 series features future MP collaborators John Cleese and Graham Chapman.

Do Not Adjust Your Set – This nine-part sketch series preceding Monty Python and included many future cast members.

Mr. Bean – Rowan Atkinson stars in this classic British comedy. Also check out Mr. Bean: The Animated Series.

David & Olivia? Naked in Scotland – A businessman’s attempt to repair his relationship takes a turn when he finds a naked woman in his car.

Lunch Monkeys – This comedy focuses on the administrative staff at a British law firm.

Father Ted

Father Ted – The classic Britcom about zany priests on the fictional Craggy Island in Ireland.

Black Books – This quirky comedy features Bernard Black, the misanthropic owner of a bookshop.

That’s My Boy – Mollie Sugden (of Are You Being Served?)  visits an employment agency and quickly finds herself under the employ of the son she gave up for adoption years earlier.

Laid (Australia) – When she realizes all her former lovers are dying in unusual ways, a young woman tries to save the remaining men.

Bridget & Eamon – This comedy focuses on the lives of Bridget and Eamon, an unhappily married Irish couple with an unknown number of children.

Drifters – Meg, Bunny, and Laura share a flat in Leeds and face the ups and downs of post-university life.

Last Contact – This low budget Sussex-based production concerns a team of university researchers seeking out novel ways to communicate with aliens.

Vicious – This series stars Sir Ian McKellan and Sir Derek Jacobi as a grumpy old gay couple in London.

The Delivery Man – Former police officer Matthew begins work as a midwife.

The Inbetweeners – This much-loved comedy focuses on a group of teenage boys who aren’t quite children and aren’t quite men.

Very British Problems – This hilarious program interviews celebrities about the cultural quirks of being British.

British History & Culture Programs

The Celts – Amazon Prime offers all 6 episodes of this award-winning series.

The Celts: Blood, Iron, and Sacrifice with Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver – Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver examine the origins of the Celts in this three-part documentary.

Chatsworth – Explore this stately home in a one-hour video tour.

Bomber Boys – This PBS-aired documentary series intersperses modern upcoming “bomber boys” with World War II history and footage.

Mud Men – Johnny Vaughan and Steve Brooker go mudlarking along the banks of the Thames in search of history.

Hidden Killers – This series dives deep into the hidden killers in Victorian and Edwardian homes.

Shakespeare’s Tomb – This one-hour PBS Special sees a team of archaeologists embark on the first-ever scientific investigation of Shakespeare’s tomb.

Edward & Mary: The Unknown Tudors – This two-part special tells the story of King Edward and Queen (Bloody) Mary, eldest daughter of Henry VIII and first English queen since Matilda.

The Secret World of Lewis Carroll – This one hour documentary goes into the man behind Wonderland – Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll.

The Scottish Covenanters – If you enjoy 17th-century Scottish history, you’ll love this 54 minute program.

Ghosts of the Underground – This fascinating program discusses the history and  ghostly happenings in the London Underground.

London: A City in Time – This program walks you through the city and history of London.

Westminster – Learn what goes on behind closed doors of Westminster in this documentary filmed by Tony Benn over 12 months.

The Tube: Going Underground – This documentary gives you a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to keep the Tube functioning.

Six Wives of Henry VIII – Though the title is a bit dry and self-explanatory, this series is worth a watch for the locations alone.

Henry VII: Winter King – Author Thomas Penn dives into the world of the first Tudor King, Henry VII.

The Man Who Killed Richard III – This documentary presents a theory about a Welshman who may or may not have killed Richard III.

Harrow: A Very British School – A reality program set in a posh boarding school.

The Special Needs Hotel – On the Somerset coast, a grand Victorian hotel trains special needs individuals for careers in hospitality.

Rosslyn Chapel, from the Great Estates of Scotland

Great Estates of Scotland – This four-part series includes episodes on locations around Scotland, including Rosslyn Chapel (perhaps best known because of the Da Vinci Code).

Great British Ghosts – I’ve never been a fan of the night-vision, over-hyped ghost shows here in the US, but this series offers a ton of interesting stories and gorgeous scenery. It’s not technically a history show, but it’s the closest fit to our categories.

Fred Dinenage Murder Casebook – Fred Dinenage takes a modern forensic look at various murders that shocked the UK over the 20th century.

Lord Montague – Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey fans will enjoy this documentary on one of 20th century England’s most controversial aristocrats.

To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters – This two-part series takes a look at the incredible Bronte sisters and their unexpected success in light of their male-dominated time period.

Windsor Castle: After the Fire – This one-hour program goes into the aftermath of the fire at Windsor Castle.

Inside Asprey: Luxury by Appointment – Since Queen Victoria’s reign, Asprey has provided jewelry to the royal family. This documentary gives you a deeper look at this iconic British company.

Tudor Monastery Farm at Christmas – Historians and archaeologists look at how the Tudors celebrated the 12 days of Christmas.

King of Scots – This documentary looks a the life and times of Robert the Bruce.

Manor House – This reality show gives us an idea of what life was really like in an early 1900s manor house.

The Harbour: Aberdeen – This documentary-style show explores the history and modern reality of Aberdeen Harbour, a busy industrial harbour along the Northeastern coast of Scotland.

Antiques Ghost Show – Psychic and medium Derek Acorah works with antiques experts to explore the histories of old items.

Secrets of the Stones – This two-part series dives into the history and archaeology of Ireland.

Building Ireland – This new series explores the art, architecture, history, and culture of Ireland.

Inside the Tower of London: Crimes, Conspiracies, Confessions – This four-part series goes into the gruesome history of the Tower of London.

The Tower – This eight-part series takes an in-depth look at the Tower of London.

British Travel Shows

Smart Travels with Rudy Maxa – Although not exclusively about Great Britain, this series includes episodes in London, the London countryside, Dublin, Ireland’s West Coast, Bath, South Wales, Edinburgh, and St. Andrews (not to mention a lot of other lovely cities around the world).

Derek Acorah’s Ghost Towns – This paranormal investigation show takes you around England with host Derek Acorah.

The village of Haworth, England

Discover England – With 13 episodes on different regions of England, this series is a wonderful way to experience England when you can’t actually be there.

Ireland with Ardal O”Hanlon – This three-part series is a quick romp around Ireland with famed comedian Ardal O’Hanlon.

Trolley Dollies – This docu-soap features the lives of a charter flight crew that travels to some of the most popular vacation destinations in the world.

Flavors of Scotland – 6 great episodes that take you to places often overlooked by other travel shows.

The Shelbourne Hotel – This Irish reality show (we’re counting it because hey, Ireland is in the British Isles) takes us behind the scenes at one of Dublin’s poshest hotels.

British Bouncers – This isn’t quite a travel show, but if you want to shatter all your posh illusions about Britain, this show about drunken Brits going up against bouncers might be just the thing.

Scotland! – It’s a bit dated, but this 1 hour and 23 minute program on Scotland still offers beautiful scenery.

Discover Scotland

Discover Scotland – Heavy on the history, this series offers four 1-hour episodes that take you around Scotland.

Discover Ireland – Once you’ve watched Discover England and Discover Scotland, why not check out Discover Ireland? Sadly, there is no Discover Wales or Discover Northern Ireland.

English Towns & Villages: The Cotswolds – Few parts of England are as immediately recognizable as The Cotswolds. Though dated, this one hour program does an excellent job of showing off the scenery and including local history.

Memories of Scotland – This 48-minute program focuses on the major tourist attractions in Scotland.

The English Lake District – This series gives you a glimpse into life in the far northwest corner of England.

Europe’s Classic Romantic Inns: Scotland – It’s short, and the quality is a bit lacking (it’s rather old), but it’s still an enjoyable 18 minutes.

Bath, England

Bath, England – This extremely short 4-part series offers excellent views of Bath, and would be perfect for anyone who is considering including it on an upcoming trip.

The North York Moors: A Land for All Seasons – This one-hour program focuses on the gorgeous landscapes of North York.

British Inland Waterways – If you’ve ever dreamed of lazily floating along the beautiful canals of England and Scotland, this series will be sure to delight.

Mysterious Places of Scotland and Ireland: Swans of Loch Lomond– No dialogue, just scenery. Enjoy the views.

Warwickshire, Home of Shakespeare – This hour and a half documentary takes you on a lovely tour of the county of Warwickshire.

Wales Land of Song – This hour and a half program features a musical journey through Wales.

Alternate Routes: Edinburgh – This unusual travel piece lets you follow along with young backpackers in Edinburgh.

Yorkshire Dales: A Landscape of Longing – Travel around the beautiful Yorkshire countryside in 52 minutes.

The Perfect British Village – Actor and broadcaster Nigel Farrell takes you out in search of the perfect British village.

The Seasoned Traveler: Scottish Castles – This brief program tours a number of Scottish castles.

It’s Great Britain: A Jolly Great Journey Round England, Scotland, and Wales – This program offers a historical tour of many of the great sites of England, Scotland, and Wales.

Undiscovered Wales – Often overlooked, this series takes you on a lovely journey around Wales.

Walks Around Britain – Britain is one of the greatest places in the world to go walking, and Amazon Prime lets you enjoy two series of short scenic walks around the countryside.

Europe’s Classic Romantic Inns: Shakespeare Country – Though the quality is a bit lacking, this is still a lovely way to explore the region from your couch.

Secrets of the Irish Landscape – This series sets out to explore how Ireland came to look as it does.

All Saints Church in Icklesham

East Sussex Medieval Village Churches – This hour-long program explores 12 medieval churches in East Sussex.

English Towns & Villages: Stratford-Upon-Avon – Though a  bit dated, this program offers great scenery and a bit of history.

Travelview International English Countryside – This 25-minute program takes you rambling through the British countryside.

Kent and Sussex Visits – This brief program takes you to three historic sites in Kent and Sussex.

Visions of Britain & Ireland – Enjoy wonderful footage of the British Isles.

Daniel & Majella’s B&B Road Trip – This show offers a delightful journey through some of the loveliest B&Bs in Ireland.

British Gardening TV Shows on Amazon Prime

Gardening fans are in luck. We found enough of these to justify their own subcategory within travel and documentaries.

Gardens of the National Trust – Four episodes take you to some of England’s finest gardens.

The Great Gardens of England – More eyecandy for English garden lovers.

English Cottage and Country Gardens – This video explores 8 private gardens and offers a bit of advice along with the scenery.

Greatest Gardens – Our hosts set out to find the loveliest gardens in Northern Ireland.

The Great Gardens of England – Though it has the same name as another entry on this list, this one is actually a series of episodes that each feature gardens in different parts of England.

Secret Gardens of England – In this program, you’ll visit 8 lesser-known but still very beautiful gardens in England.

Gardens of the World: The Exotic Gardens of Cornwall – With a different climate and culture from much of England, Cornwall’s gardens may surprise you.

British Railway Journeys

If you’ve never traveled England, Scotland, and Wales by rail, it’s hard to emphasize how important the rails are to British life.

On Tour Exploring the Extraordinary The Jacobite – This short program is perfect for the railway lovers.

British Railway Journeys – Each of these episodes is roughly an hour long, and they take you through interesting railway journeys around Britain. There is some commentary, and plenty of scenery around the rails (you’re not just looking out a train window). The footage is slightly dated, but they’re worth a watch.

How Can I Watch British TV Shows from Amazon Prime on My Television?

If you have a smart TV or a streaming device like a Roku or Fire Stick, you’re in luck. On a Roku or Smart TV, just look for the Amazon app (or install it if it’s not already there). From there, you can link the device with your Amazon account. With a Fire Stick, the entire device is basically an Amazon app. Just use the search function to find the ones you want and you’re set.

If all of this is over your head, check out this article we put together: What’s a Roku and How Can it Help You Watch More British TV?

Is There MORE British TV on Amazon?

Yes – through Amazon Channels subscriptions. Check out the full list of Amazon channels (with a special list of those of interest to British TV lovers) here.

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10 Comments

  1. Hi there, am wanting to gift this to my mom. I know she has a smart tv, and they have Dish network for cable. Is it compatible with Dish? Or do I have to order something else? Or do I just buy a membership for Amazon Prime, by chance does also carry MHz? Sorry lots of questions! Thanks!

    • No worries, let’s see if we can help answer them 🙂 It doesn’t have anything to do with your cable provider, so you can have Dish, anyone else, or no cable at all. The important thing is that you have either a smart TV, a Roku device, or an Amazon Fire Stick. Once you have one of those devices, you can access Amazon. All you need is the annual Prime membership to watch the shows listed above. With an Amazon Prime membership, you can also add other channels with British or European content – including BritBox, Acorn TV, MHz, and Walter Presents. Hope that helps!

  2. Thank you for this wonderful list. We watch British tv almost exclusively now. Have Amazon and Acorn and we love the British detective series. I’m excited to know about the travel and garden shows. Thank again!
    Blessings,
    GG

  3. “We’re sorry, but this video is not available in your region due to right restrictions.”

    Yup… So much for PBS. :/

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