The 7 Best British Streaming Services in 2023

Netflix, BritBox, and other ways to watch Doctor Who

Whether you're looking for classic British TV, old British movies, or the latest shows and movies that Britain has produced, what you want is probably available on a streaming service. The platforms below work on multiple devices, including your computer, TV, phone, and even games console. Some are even free to use, while others are services you already have but hadn't considered for watching British shows.

Where Can I Stream British TV?

Streaming British TV services is much like streaming other content. These British streaming services will work on most devices, including smartphones, computers, tablets, and smart TVs. The signup process is much the same as with regular streaming services. 

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Acorn TV: Best for Mystery and Crime British TV

AcornTV homepage
What We Like
  • Very well priced with free trial available.

  • Extensive content that includes originals and well-known favorites.

  • Extensive app support.

What We Don't Like
  • No 4K support available for any shows or movies.

  • Limited selection of movies.

  • No parental control settings.

Acorn TV offers plenty of British mystery and crime shows—generally the genres that Britain does exceptionally well. These include cozy mysteries like Pie in the Sky, Midsomer Murders, and Foyle's War. Each is ideal for a relaxed Sunday evening viewing. 

It also has more modern content, such as Keeping Faith, a Welsh drama about a lawyer whose husband suddenly goes missing. Crime fans won't run out of content here any time soon, although if you're looking for movies, you might be a bit disappointed. Acorn TV is primarily about TV shows rather than anything feature-length. 


$6.99 per month or $69.99 for a yearly subscription plan.

Where does it work?

Acorn TV works on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, Android mobile and tablets, smart TVs, Chromecast, and any device with a web browser.

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BritBox: Best Source for Classic British TV

BritBox homepage
What We Like
  • Decades worth of popular British TV available.

  • Varied genres ranging from comedy to drama to crime and more.

  • Free trial available.

  • Offline viewing support.

What We Don't Like
  • Limited film selection.

  • 4K support is limited to Roku and Samsung smart TV owners only.

  • Original content is a bit patchy.

BritBox offers a reliable mixture of new and old content. Fans of classic facial British humor will love being able to watch the likes of Mr. Bean or Fawlty Towers. From there, you can switch over to something more provocative like Inside No 9 before deviating to classic comedy like Waiting for God or As Time Goes By. Ever wanted to see famous actors like Judi Dench before they hit the big time? Here's your chance. 

Plenty of genres are covered here, so comedies, dramas, crime series, and much more are available. Original content is hit and miss in terms of quality, but fantastic dramas like Line of Duty and The Pembrokeshire Murders make up for the misses. 


$7.99 per month or $79.99 per year with a free 7-day trial available.

Where does it work?

BritBox works on Roku, FireTV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Samsung smart TVs, LG smart TVs, all computers, iOS, and Android systems.

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BFI Player Classics: Best Catalogue of Old British Movies

BFI Player Classics homepage
What We Like
  • All killer, no filler—movies are hand-picked.

  • Curated collections make it easy to find something to suit your mood.

  • Movies from the silent era upwards included.

  • Ideal for movie buffs.

What We Don't Like
  • No 4K streaming support.

  • No TV shows included on service.

  • No yearly subscription plan.

  • Content is relatively limited compared to competitors.

BFI Player Classics might 'only' have a couple of hundred movies on the service, but pound for pound, these are some of the highest quality British movies out there. True classics like The Third Man and The Wicker Man (the original film) are on the service, along with terrific Ealing comedies that will make you laugh as you've never laughed before. 

If you don't know where to start, the BFI Player Classics Collection tab helps you pick out some highlights, so there's something for every mood or interest here. The only downside is that content isn't available in 4K, which is unfortunate given some of these classic movies are available in the format now. 


$5.99 per month with a 7-day free trial available. 

Where does it work?

BFI Player Classics works on Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, AndroidTV, Chromecast, all iOS and Android devices, and web browsers.

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Netflix: Best Streaming Service You Probably Already Have

Netflix homepage
What We Like
  • Thousands of different shows and movies to choose from.

  • Very simple to use.

  • You probably already subscribe anyhow.

  • Variety is almost ridiculously vast.

What We Don't Like
  • Not the cheapest option out there.

  • Not exclusively for British content.

  • You may have already got the most from it.

You already know Netflix. The one-stop-shop for all things streaming also offers plenty of British shows and movies. These include The Great British Baking Show, The Crown, Peaky Blinders, and Broadchurch.

If you're looking for some of the biggest names out there, you'll be happy with Netflix—the service you probably already use. 


$6.99/month for the basic plan with ads, $15.49/month for HD viewing up to 1080p, or $19.99/month for up to 4K.

Where does it work?

Netflix works on Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, all smart TVs, Chromecast, all iOS and Android devices, and web browsers.

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PBS: Best Free British TV Streaming Service

PBS homepage
What We Like
  • Easy to use.

  • Entirely free.

  • Reasonably high quality content.

  • Shows include fairly recent releases.

What We Don't Like
  • Interface is pretty clunky.

  • Lacks the wow factor.

PBS is a subtle jewel in the crown. Still free in most of the U.S., it offers some fantastic British shows like Poldark and All Creatures Great and Small. Unlike other options, it keeps up to date with the newly aired Around the World in 80 Days available on the service already. 

Just don't count on an exceptionally stylish experience. The PBS site feels like something free to use, but that does mean it's, well, free.


Free for US residents

Where does it work?

PBS works on Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, all smart TVs, Chromecast, all iOS and Android devices, and web browsers.

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HBO Max: Best Modern British TV

HBO Max homepage
What We Like
  • Plenty of critically acclaimed British content.

  • High quality movies and TV shows.

  • 4K option for some movies.

  • Parental controls.

What We Don't Like
  • Little expensive.

  • Ads on standard plan.

  • Still somewhat US focused.

HBO Max is best known for having Warner Bros 2021 movie premieres the same day as they hit theaters, but it's also the home of some of the latest British dramas too. These include Russell T. Davies's It's a Sin and I May Destroy You—both truly exceptional dramas. 

Elsewhere, British movies like Dunkirk and The King's Speech ensure you can enjoy the best of British easily through the service too.


$9.99 per month or $99.99 per year for the standard/HD plan, which is ad-supported, or $14.99 per month or $149.99 per year for the 4K plan, which is ad-free.

Where does it work?

HBO Max works on Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, all smart TVs, Chromecast, all iOS and Android devices, as well as web browsers.

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Amazon Prime Video: Best Variety

Amazon homepage
What We Like
  • Comes with Amazon benefits.

  • Simple to use.

  • Vast catalogue of content.

  • Shows are generally high quality.

What We Don't Like
  • Only good value if you use other Amazon services.

  • Content can switch out regularly.

Amazon Prime Video offers a little bit of everything. That means it's not perfect, but it's convenient with the likes of Fleabag, a genuinely hilarious modern comedy, and Luther, the Idris Elba starring crime drama, both available on the service. Older British content is also sometimes available on Amazon, but its content can change quite rapidly, meaning some shows soon end up on other services if you wait too long.

Still, if you want the benefits of faster delivery with Amazon, the variety of Prime Video makes it even more appealing. 


$8.99/month without Amazon Prime; a Prime membership is $14.99/month or $139 annually. The student discount brings it down to $7.49/month or $69/year.

Where does it work?

Amazon Prime Video works on Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, all smart TVs, Chromecast, all iOS and Android devices, and web browsers.

What Is the Best Streaming Service for UK Programs?

There is no one best streaming service for UK programs. It all depends on what you enjoy watching. For instance, if you're keen on classic British TV, your best option is something like BritBox, while for newer content, HBO Max has you covered. It's a similar story for British movies, too, so it's essential to work out what's best for you to avoid subscribing to too many services at once.

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