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35 Romantic Movies and TV Shows Like Sanditon to Watch

These are the perfect movies and shows to watch when you find yourself missing Sanditon!

Based on Jane Austen’s unfinished manuscript, Sanditon (from Pride and Prejudice screenwriter Andrew Davies) first premiered on ITV in August 2019 and then premiered in the US on PBS Masterpiece in January 2020. Sadly, the unabashedly romantic series, Sanditon, was canceled after only one season. (UPDATE: The #SaveSanditon campaign went into full force, and it has now been picked up! Still, it may be a while before it’s back on television, so here are some movies and shows like Sanditon to watch in the meantime.)

shows like sanditon collage
Movies and Shows like Sanditon. Featured image credit: Belle (Fox Searchlight Pictures), Persuasion (ITV), Poldark (BBC), Sanditon (ITV), Becoming Jane (Buena Vista International), Vanity Fair (ITV), and Pride and Prejudice (BBC).

SPOILERS ABOUT SANDITON

While Sidney and Charlotte may not get their happy ending, here are several romances and period dramas to watch if you’re missing the underrated period drama. From movies and shows similar to Sanditon to other memorable romances and period dramas featuring the same writers or cast members.

Sanditon TV Show
Sanditon. Photo: PBS/ITV.

NOTE: Availability of where to watch these movies and shows is based on the US availability as of the publication date (March 2021). Availability is subject to change at any time.


35 Movies and TV Shows Like Sanditon to Watch

(In Alphabetical Order)


#1: Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar (2019)

Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar Poster

Why You Should Watch: Agatha Christie adaptations and movies about Agatha Christie are in no short supply, but there’s always room for more! In this fictional story about Agatha Christie finding romance and murder on an archaeological dig in Iraq, you’ll recognize Crystal Clarke (Miss Lambe from Sanditon) in a role. 

While I haven’t seen this one yet, it sounds like fun entertainment: Jonah Hauer-King (Little Women, World on Fire) and Lyndsey Marshal (Rome) star.

Watch the trailer

#2: Becoming Jane (2007)

Becoming Jane Movie Poster

Why You Should Watch: Sanditon fans will love this fictionalized biographical romance of a young Jane Austen falling in love with the Irishman, Tom Lefroy. Becoming Jane has a similarly bittersweet feel to the cliffhanger ending of Sanditon but remains one of the most romantic period pieces.

Both Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy shine in the leading roles, and their chemistry is palpable.

Content Note: PG

Where to Watch: HBO Max, HBO Now, and HBO Amazon Channel. You can also rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

#3: Beecham House (2019)

Beecham House Poster

Why You Should Watch: Full of romance, handsome period drama men, and oh yes, Leo Suter (Young Stringer in Sanditon) starring in one of the leading roles, Beecham House is a stylish and entertaining Masterpiece drama about the mysterious John Beecham who arrives at his new Delhi mansion with a mixed-race baby and lots of secrets. 

Like Sanditon, it too was canceled too soon but is still worth watching. Just maybe skip the last five minutes due to the cliffhanger ending. It has a satisfactory conclusion otherwise.

Content Note: TV-14

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

#4: Belle (2013)

Belle 2013 Promo image
Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Why You Should Watch: Belle tells the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (a real person in history), a mixed-race young woman raised by her aristocratic Great Uncle. She faces racism but fights and falls in love with a young man intent on helping end slavery. 

Like SanditonBelle deals with race issues and is also a Jane Austen-like romance. With a fantastic cast and a swoony love story, everyone should see this underrated romantic period drama. 

Content Note: PG

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

#5: Bleak House (2005)

Photo: BBC

Why You Should Watch: Dickens’ famous story comes to life in this brilliant adaptation highlighting the unjust Victorian legal system. With numerous characters, fabulous performances, and even some romance, this British series is one of the best period dramas ever made.

It was nominated for (and won) numerous awards from the Emmys, Golden Globes, and the BAFTAs. 

Anne Reid (who played the wickedly caustic Lady Denham) also stars in Bleak House as the housekeeper, Mrs. Rouncewell. The main cast includes Gillian Anderson, Anna Maxwell Martin, Carey Mulligan, Charles Dance, etc.

Content Note: TV-PG

Where to Watch: Hulu, BritBox, BritBox Amazon channel. You can also buy on Digital/DVD.

#6: Cranford (2007)

Cranford Cast Promo Photo
Photo: BBC

Why You Should Watch: Cranford aired for a total of two seasons (the second season called Return to Cranford) and, like Sanditon, follows a brilliant ensemble of characters. This excellent period piece is about the women of a small town in the 1840s and how they support each other.

It has all the recognizable bells and whistles of a British period drama and delights from start to finish. 

Plus, with an all-star cast and guest stars including Judi Dench, Imelda Staunton, Jim Carter, Michael Gambon, Julia McKenzie, Eileen Atkins, Claudie Blakley, Simon Woods, Francesca Annis, Lesley Manville, Julie Sawalha, Tom Hiddleston, Michelle Dockery, Jodie Whittaker and more, you can’t go wrong.

Content Note: TV-PG

Where to Watch: Hoopla, BritBox, BritBox Amazon channel. You can also buy on Digital and DVD.

#7: Daniel Deronda (2002)

Daniel Deronda Promo photo
Photo: BBC

Why You Should Watch: Andrew Davies wrote the screenplay for this brilliant adaptation of George Eliot’s famous classic novel. The unrequited love story between Gwendolen and Daniel captivates, as do their separate stories.

You’ll either love the ending or feel frustrated by it (or perhaps feel a bit of both – depending on your reaction to the characters and the various love stories presented as it is a bit of a love triangle). Although, I feel the ending is the right one for the characters and their story.

Still, the ending has polarized readers and now audiences for a very long time. But Sanditon fans have thick skin after that Charlotte/Sidney cliffhanger! And this miniseries is simply fabulous. Romola Garai and Hugh Dancy star.

Content Note: TV-PG

Where to Watch: Hulu, BritBox, BritBox Amazon channel. You can also buy on Digital and DVD.

#8: Dear Frankie (2004) 

Dear Frankie poster

Why You Should Watch: Andrea Gibb, one of the TV writers for Sanditon, wrote this beautiful indie romance film starring Emily Mortimer and Gerard Butler. It’s an underrated and lovely movie about a woman who hires a kind stranger to pretend to be her son’s Dad for a day. 

A subtle love story follows. If you’re in the mood for something sweet but also genuine, Dear Frankie is a must-watch. Like Sanditon, the sea is an integral part of the story.

Content Note: PG-13

Where to Watch: Paramount+, Hoopla. You can also rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

#9: Dickensian (2015)

Dickensian promo image
Photo: BBC

Why You Should Watch: Dickensian is an intriguing series that brings several of Charles Dickens’ characters together into one show, working as a prequel to stories like Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol

Sanditon fans will appreciate the large ensemble of fascinating characters and the writing since one of the prominent writers of Sanditon, Justin Long, also wrote a couple of episodes of Dickensian

Content Note: TV-PG

Where to Watch: Prime Video, BritBox, BritBox Amazon Channel, Hoopla, and Pluto TV. You can also buy on Digital and DVD.

#10: The Divergent Series (2014-2016)

Divergent Promo Shot
Photo: Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate

Why You Should Watch: While only three of the four planned movies ever premiered, the romantic YA series is a fun watch with Sanditon leading man Theo James also playing the main love interest in these movies. He, of course, shines in the role. 

The story tells the dystopian tale of Tris, a young woman who discovers she’s “divergent,” in a world where that is dangerous. People separate into four groups based on their strengths, but she’s divergent and doesn’t quite fit in. 

If you’re in the mood for some action and romance and enjoy dystopian YA stories, Divergent is a must-see. If you want to know the ending (since the studio canceled the final film), the last book in the series is available to read.

Content Note: PG-13

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

#11: Downton Abbey (2010)

Lady Mary and Matthew in Downton Abbey
Photo: ITV

Why You Should Watch: Downton Abbey follows both the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the early 20th century, and it is a fun, addictive watch.

Like Sanditon, Downton Abbey is a British period drama series full of captivating characters, charming romances to root for, compelling plot twists, and it’s not afraid to showcase a scandal or two. Plus, Theo James guest stars in a memorable episode as he romances Lady Mary!

Content Note: TV-PG

Where to Watch: Prime Video, BritBox, BritBox Amazon Channel, Peacock, and PBS Passport. You can also buy on Digital and DVD. (Don’t also forget to watch the Downton Abbey 2019 movie.)

#12: The Four Feathers (2002)

The Four Feathers promo image
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Why You Should Watch: Kris Marshall of Sanditon-fame also co-stars in this epic period romance film starring Heath Ledger and Kate Hudson. When a British officer quits his regiment, he is sent white feathers representing what they believe to be his cowardice. He soon fights to regain his honor. 

Content Note: PG-13

Where to Watch: HBO Max, HBO Now, and HBO Amazon Channel. You can also rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

#13: Last Tango in Halifax (2012)

Last Tango in Halifax poster

Why You Should Watch: It’s Anne Reid’s turn to shine as the leading lady in this excellent romantic drama/comedy series about long-lost lovers who find each other once again in their older years and get married. Sally Wainwright writes.

Content Note: TV-14

Where to Watch: Netflix. You can also buy on Digital and DVD.

#14: Little Dorrit (2008)

Little Dorrit Cast Photo
Photo: BBC

Why You Should Watch: Andrew Davies, the creator of Sanditon, also pens this exquisite romantic period drama based on Dickens’ novel of the same name. It won numerous awards and starred period drama darlings, including Claire Foy (The Crown) and Matthew Macfadyen (Pride and Prejudice). 

The story of Amy Dorrit and her unstoppable spirit to overcome her family’s hardships will win you over. Plus, the romance is perfect.

Content Note: TV-PG

Where to Watch: BritBox, BritBox Amazon Channel, Prime Video, Plex, STARZ, STARZ Amazon Channel. You can also buy on Digital and DVD.

#15: The Living and the Dead (2016)

The Living and the Dead Promo photo
Photo: BBC

Why You Should Watch: Charlotte Spencer (Esther Denham in Sanditon) co-stars in this haunting supernatural period horror series that will keep you in suspense! In this British show, a young couple moves to a new farm only to uncover a supernatural threat. Watch The Living and the Dead if you don’t mind getting scared.

Content Note: TV-14

Where to Watch: Prime Video. You can also buy on Digital and DVD.

#16: Love & Friendship (2016)

Love & Friendship Poster

Why You Should Watch: If you enjoyed the wit and social-climbing characters in Sanditon, you’ll love Love & Friendship, an adaptation of Jane Austen’s lesser-known story about the scheming Lady Susan; she is a character who resolves to make a good marriage match for her daughter and herself! 

Content Note: PG

Where to Watch: Prime Video or buy on DVD.

#17: Mansfield Park (1999) 

Almost First Kisses
Mansfield Park (1999). Photo: Miramax

Why You Should Watch: Like Sanditon, this adaptation of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park about the timid Fanny who goes to live with her snobbish relatives caused some controversies amongst Janeites – most notably for a scandalous scene and changes from the novel.

That said, the irony and wit in this film feel true to Austen’s spirit, and it is one of our favorite movies of all time! It’s a must-watch Austen adaptation with a brilliant script, captivating performances, a heartwarming love story, and skillful direction. 

Content Note: PG-13

Where to Watch: Hoopla. Buy on Digital and DVD.

#18: Medici (2016)

Medici: Masters of Florence, Richard Madden, Period Dramas, Florence
Photo: RAI

Why You Should Watch: Rose Williams, the star of Sanditon, appears in four episodes of this historical drama series set in Italy about the Medici family dynasty. Watch Medici if you love the Renaissance and you want to see Rose Williams in another period drama role.

Content Note: TV-14 or TV-MA depending on the episode. There are some nudity and sex scenes, but not in every episode.

Where to Watch: Stream on Netflix or buy on DVD.

#19: The Merchant of Venice (2004)

The Merchant of Venice promo photo
Photo: UK Film Council/Optimum Releasing

Why You Should Watch: In this fantastic Shakespeare adaptation full of romance, a man defaults on a loan only to be rescued by Portia, a woman pretending to be a man and a lawyer. Kris Marshall from Sanditon co-stars. 

Content Note: Rated R for brief partial nudity. The movie should be PG-13. 

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

#20: Misbehaviour (2020)

Why You Should Watch: Sanditon is full of female empowerment. So, if you’re looking for more, you’ll find a lot in the period film, Misbehaviour. It’s inspired by the true story of the Women’s Liberation Movement when they disrupted the 1970 Miss World pageantCharlotte Spencer of Sanditon co-stars.

Content Note: NR but would likely be rated PG-13

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

#21: Mr. Selfridge (2013) 

Mr. Selfridge poster

Why You Should Watch: Andrew Davies is Mr. Selfridges creator and brings a similar addictive quality to this period drama series as he did Sanditon. The fictionalized story of the founder of Selfridge’s department store is full of romance, intrigue, and excellent characterization.

Content Note: TV-14

Where to Watch: PBS Masterpiece Amazon Channel and PBS Passport.

#22: Northanger Abbey (2007)

Northanger Abbey promo photo
Photo: ITV

Why You Should Watch: Heroine Catherine Morland lives in her imagination much like Charlotte Heywood does with a similar taste for adventure. If you love Charlotte, you’re bound to love Catherine in this fun Jane Austen adaptation about a young woman who may just read too many Gothic novels, leading to misunderstandings. 

The best part of this adaptation of Northanger Abbey is the excellent chemistry between Felicity Jones and JJ Feild as Catherine and Mr. Tilney. Their love story is sweet, and Mr. Tilney flirtatious and charming. 

Content Note: PG

Where to Watch: Hoopla, Kanopy, PBS Masterpiece Amazon Channel. You can also buy on Digital and DVD.

#23: Ordeal by Innocence (2018)

Ordeal by Innocence
Photo: BBC

Why You Should Watch: Crystal Clarke co-stars in this Agatha Christie miniseries adaptation about the murder of a wealthy philanthropist, soon, everyone in her family and around her estate becomes a suspect. 

You’ll want to watch this entertaining British production with a brilliant cast, including Bill Nighy, Matthew Goode, Eleanor Tomlinson, and more. Ordeal by Innocence takes place in 1954.

Content Note: TV-MA for language (a few f words throughout) and sexual references. 

Where to Watch: Stream on Prime Video or buy a copy digitally on Apple TV.

#24: Our Zoo (2014)

Our Zoo Poster

Why You Should Watch: Based on a true story about the family who established the Chester Zoo in the 1930s, this lesser-known British period drama deserves more attention! Sanditon star Anne Reid co-stars. Other cast members in Our Zoo include Lee Ingleby, Stephen Campbell Moore, and Sophia Myles.

Content Note: TV-PG

Where to Watch: Hoopla. DVD copies are hard to find.

#25: Persuasion (2007)

Persuasion (2007)
Photo: ITV

Why You Should Watch: Persuasion is the ultimate must-watch for Sanditon fans. Persuasion is adapted from Jane Austen’s famous novel, and like Sanditon, it also takes place at the seaside. Ultimately, the powerful love story between Anne and Captain Wentworth will have you hooked! 

Content Note: PG

Where to Watch: Stream on BritBox and BritBox Amazon Channel. You can also buy it on DVD.

#26: Poldark (2015)

Poldark Ross and Demelza image
Photo: BBC

Why You Should Watch: Poldark is a sweeping romantic period drama series with similar production quality to Sanditon. Both series include brooding heroes, romances you’ll root for, and excellent characterization. 

Poldark, based on the popular series of books, tells the story of Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) when he returns from the Revolutionary War in America, only to find nothing has remained the same at home.  

Content Note: TV-14

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

#27: Pride and Prejudice (1995)

Pride and Prejudice 1995 promo image
Photo: BBC

Why You Should Watch: Pride and Prejudice, the most famous of Austen’s novels, has a similar romance as Sanditon with pride and misunderstandings between the witty Elizabeth Bennet and the seemingly arrogant Mr. Darcy. 

RELATED: 15 of the Best Pride and Prejudice Adaptations, Ranked

Andrew Davies, the creator of Sanditon, also wrote this period drama adaptation. You’re bound to see numerous similarities between the two. 

Content Note: TV-PG

Where to Watch: BritBox, BritBox Amazon Channel, HBO Max, Hulu, BYU TV, Passionflix. You can also buy on Digital and DVD.

#28: Reign (2013)

Megan Follows and Rose Williams in Reign
Rose Williams (R) in Reign. Photo: CW

Why You Should Watch: Reign is more historical fantasy than drama, but it is fun if you go in without expecting historical accuracy. The cast is excellent (particularly Megan Follows and Craig Parker as the story’s sleuthing adults), the romances swoony, the costumes gorgeous, and the plots addictive. 

Rose Williams, the star of Sanditon, also plays Princess Claude in this series, getting some fantastic storylines.

Content Note: TV-14

Where to Watch: Stream on Netflix. Buy on Digital and DVD.

#29: Room at the Top (2012)

Room at the Top bbc poster

Why You Should Watch: See Theo James co-star in this period drama about a man (Matthew McNulty) who must choose between two women.

Content Note: TV-MA for some steamy scenes.

Where to Watch: BritBox, BritBox Amazon Channel, and Prime Video.

#30: The Secret Scripture (2016)

the secret scripture poster

Why You Should Watch: Rooney Mara and Vanessa Redgrave star in this compelling romantic drama about a woman in a mental hospital and her diary entries that unravel the mysteries and secrets of her life. The story switches between the past and present. Theo James co-stars.

Content Note: PG-13

Where to Watch: Tubi, Kanopy, Pluto TV. Rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

#31: Sense and Sensibility (2008)

sense and sensibility 2008 group promo photo
Photo: BBC

Why You Should Watch: While this is my second-favorite adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, this miniseries is fantastic! Surely, Sanditon fans will love the story about two sisters who lose their inheritance when their father dies. Plus, Andrew Davies also wrote the romantic miniseries, and he has a distinct writing style!

Content Note: TV-PG

Where to Watch: BritBox, BritBox Amazon Channel, and Hulu. You can also buy on Digital and DVD.

#32: Upstairs Downstairs (2010)

upstairs downstairs with keeley hawes
Photo: BBC

Why You Should Watch: With a brilliant period drama cast (including Sanditon’s Anne Reid) and scripts from Call the Midwife’s Heidi Thomas, you’ll want to watch this period drama remake about a family and their servants living in a 1930s London townhouse. It’s full of good, old-fashioned melodrama.

Content Note: TV-PG

Where to Watch: BritBox, BritBox Amazon Channel, Hulu. Buy on Digital and DVD.

#33: Vanity Fair (2018) 

Vanity Fair promo image; the sea is behind the two characters
Photo: ITV

Why You Should Watch: Sanditon had some social climbing characters. If you liked that aspect of the series, then you’ll love Becky Sharp, the ultimate social climber. The recent 2018 adaptation of Vanity Fair is excellent and worth watching!

Content Note: TV-14

Where to Watch: Prime Video, BritBox. Buy on Digital and DVD.

#34: Victoria (2016)

victoria and albert
Photo: ITV

Why You Should Watch: In this historical fiction series about a young Queen Victoria, the love story of Victoria and Albert takes center stage. Fans of Sanditon will like this series because both Sanditon and Victoria are full of Romanticism. Plus, Leo Suter co-stars!

Content Note: TV-PG

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

#35: Wives and Daughters (1999)

Justine Waddel, Keeley Hawes, and Anthony Howell in Wives and Daughters. Photo: The BBC

Why You Should Watch: Wives and Daughters is a wonderful British period drama based on Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel about a young woman dealing with a stepmother and a new stepsister, not to mention affairs of the heart. It’s a love series also penned by Sanditon creator Andrew Davies. 

Content Note: TV-PG

Where to Watch: Buy on DVD.

What movies or shows like Sanditon do you plan to check out? Do you have other recommendations to share? Let me know in the comments. 


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By on March 26th, 2021

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