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The 35 Best BritBox Shows with Romance to Stream Right Now

These are the best BritBox shows for Anglophiles in the mood for romance!

When deciding which BritBox shows to watch, it’s hard to know what to stream next. (Though, who isn’t always in the mood for watching Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy?) If you’re like me, it probably depends on your mood.

best britbox shows with romance featured image with collage of British shows including Jane Eyre in the center.

On BritBox, you’ll find mysteries, soaps, classics, sitcoms, drama, and their popular romantic period drama series and miniseries. From Pride and Prejudice to Jane Eyre, no one does the romantic series quite like the British with their smoldering stares and swoon-worthy dialogue. 

RELATED: 100+ of the Best British Period Dramas of All Time to Watch

So, what are the best BritBox shows to watch when you’re in the mood for a British romance series?

The list below of BritBox shows includes different genres to match every mood. From a contemporary spy series with great TV couples to British romance shows to classic rom-com sitcoms. 

Now, if you’re into super explicit romance stories, this probably isn’t the list of British TV shows for you.

RELATED: 100+ Best Period Dramas on Amazon Prime Video to Watch (2022)

However, if you’re in the mood for some sweet, classic romances or engaging dramas and comedies, check out this list of the 35 best BritBox shows to stream with love stories right now! There’s something here for everyone.

Note: This list was first published in 2020 and has been updated in 2022. Availability is for the US and is subject to change at any time. This list was last updated in December 2022.


(In No Particular Order)

the ruby in the smoke - the sally lockhart mysteries
The Sally Lockhart Mysteries. Credit: BBC/WGBH

1. Aristocrats (1999)

aristocrats promotional image
Photo: BBC

BritBox Synopsis: Chronicling the lives of the Lennox sisters in eighteenth century England.

Why You Should Watch: This British miniseries has a fantastic cast telling fascinating stories about real women from history. It’s an intriguing series you won’t want to miss!

Content Note: TV-14

2. As Time Goes By (1992-2005)

As Time Goes by promotional image; best britbox shows with romance
Photo: BBC

BritBox SynopsisLove gets a second chance – 38 years on – in this warm and witty comedy. Sweethearts Jean (Judi Dench) and Lionel lost touch after a whirlwind romance in the early 1950s but are reunited when Lionel returns to England to write his memoirs.

Why You Should Watch: Judi Dench stars in this sweet romance series full of nostalgia.

Content Note: TV-PG

3. Ballykissangel (1996-2001)

Ballykissangel - best BritBox shows with romance
Photo: BBC

BritBox SynopsisA young English priest discovers that life in a rural Irish village isn’t what he expected. For starters, he must contend with driving and local gossip-mongers.

Why You Should Watch: If you enjoy quirky small-town shows and slow-building romance, this is must-watch television! There’s an intriguing forbidden romance between a priest and a pub owner.

Content Note: TV-PG

4. Bleak House (2005)

Bleak House poster with the cast; best Britbox shows
Photo: BBC

BritBox SynopsisGillian Anderson and Denis Lawson head a star-studded cast as acclaimed writer Andrew Davies turns his talents to one of Charles Dickens’ most brilliant novels – arguably the greatest ever depiction of Victorian London.

At its heart is the story of the icily beautiful Lady Dedlock, who nurses a dark secret, and merciless lawyer Tulkinghorn, who seeks to uncover it.

Why You Should Watch Bleak HouseThis romantic period drama miniseries was brilliant and nominated for 2 Golden Globes.

You can also watch the 1985 version.

Content Note: TV-PG

5. Brideshead Revisited (1981)

Brideshead Revisited poster

BritBox SynopsisA generation of wealthy, careless, and independent men and women cling to a way of life that is eroded by one war and soon to be swept away by another.

Why You Should Watch: The miniseries deservedly won numerous awards for its excellent script and acting.

Content Note: TV-14

6. Cranford (2007-2010)

Judi Dench and Michael Gambon in Cranford.
Photo: BBC

BritBox SynopsisThe incomparable Judi Dench stars in this story of Cranford, a small-town hub of intrigue where everyone talks – and everyone is talked about. The town is on the cusp of change, and the lives of its residents push ever forward.

Why You Should Watch: Cranford is simply delightful! With an all-star cast including Judi Dench, Eileen Watkins, Michael Gambon, Jodie Whittaker, and Tom Hiddleston (Season 2), this is a romantic series worth your time.

Content Note: TV-PG

7. David Copperfield (1999)

promotional image of David Copperfield with Daniel Radcliffe - best BritBox shows
Photo: BBC

BritBox SynopsisDramatization of the classic Charles Dickens novel. A young man attempts to overcome adversity after he is sent away by his stepfather.

Why You Should Watch: This is the best adaptation of the famous novel to date! It includes a fabulous cast such as Maggie Smith, Daniel Radcliffe, Ian McKellen, Imelda Staunton, and Bob Hoskins.

Also, see the 1986 version on BritBox.

Content Note: TV-PG

8. Dickensian (2015-2016)

Dickensian promotional image
Photo: BBC

BritBox SynopsisSet within the fictional realms of Charles Dickens’ novels, Dickensian brings together some of literature’s most iconic characters, including Scrooge, Fagin, and Miss Havisham, as their lives intertwine in 19th century London.

With a wealth of backstories sourced from the novels, Dickensian delivers fast-paced storylines with surprising twists and turns.

Why You Should Watch: If you enjoy literary prequels or retellings, you’ll want to watch this underrated series. It’s like Once Upon a Time but with Charles Dickens’ characters and much darker.

Content Note: TV-PG

9. The Doctor Blake Mysteries (2013-2017)

The Doctor Blake Mysteries DVD cover; included in best Britbox shows with romance list

BritBox SynopsisSet in 1959, after decades away from his native Australia, Blake returns to his rural hometown to run his late father’s medical practice.

But his inquisitive nature draws him into the task of solving murders that perplex local law enforcement.

Why You Should Watch: If you enjoy romantic mystery shows, this Australian series should work just fine! The Doctor Blake Mysteries is wonderfully acted with a romance everyone will root for.

Content Note: TV-14

10. Doctor Zhivago (2002)

Doctor Zhivago promotional image; best britbox shows with romance
Photo: ITV/PBS

BritBox SynopsisThe sweep and scale of the Russian Revolution acts as the backdrop for the intense and ultimately heart-breaking love story of Doctor Yury Zhivago, the physician and poet who wrestles with the anguish of being torn between the love of two women, Tonya and Lara.

Why You Should Watch: While it’s not as good as the classic ’65 adaptation, it is well done. I also think Keira Knightley was a little too young for the role, but it’s still a good miniseries with an excellent cast, including Sam Neill.

Content Note: TV-14 for some explicit love scenes.

11. Emma (2009)

Romola Garai in Emma; best BritBox shows with romance
Photo: BBC

BritBox SynopsisRomola Garai is Jane Austen’s fickle heroine, fatally convinced she is good at matchmaking, but unaware she is playing a dangerous game that might finally force her to grow up.

Why You Should Watch: Arguably the best adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel, Emma, the length gives ample time to explore the characters. Plus, Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller are perfect onscreen together.

Watch the 1972 version on the streaming platform for more of the story.

Content Note: TV-PG

12. Great Expectations (1999)

Great Expectations 1999 poster

BritBox SynopsisViolence and Victorian gentility meet in one of Dickens’ greatest creations, and this adaptation is appropriately dark, sometimes savagely comic, and wholly unsentimental.

Why You Should Watch: Ioan Gruffudd is the king of starring in good period dramas! The ’99 miniseries is my favorite version of the novel, mostly because I love the actors.

But you can also see the 1981 and 2012 adaptations on Britbox.

Content Note: TV-G on BritBox but TV-14 elsewhere.

13. Jane Eyre (2006)

Jane Eyre 2006 promotional image; best Britbox shows with romance
Photo: BBC

BritBox SynopsisDramatization of Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel.

Why You Should Watch: If you’ve never seen an adaptation of Jane Eyre, the 2006 miniseries is the one to watch! It has a fantastic script, and the romantic chemistry between Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens sizzles onscreen. It’s definitely one of the best Britbox shows to watch!

You can also check out the equally brilliant 1983 miniseries of Jane Eyre.

Content Note: TV-PG

14. Lark Rise to Candleford (2008)

lark rise to candleford photo
Photo: BBC

BritBox SynopsisSeen through the eyes of young Laura, the inhabitants of Lark Rise, the small hamlet gently holding on to the past, and Candleford, the small market town bustling into the future, endure the many upheavals of inevitable change.

Why You Should Watch: If you enjoy heartwarming romantic period dramas, trust me, this series will become your one weakness! Lark Rise to Candleford is an addictive and outstanding drama series.

Content Note: TV-PG

15. MI-5/SPOOKS (2002-2011)

MI-5 (Spooks) publicity photo; best britbox shows
Photo: BBC

BritBox SynopsisWelcome to the thrilling underworld of MI-5, Britain’s clandestine security service and the elite spy team who work around the clock to safeguard the nation against organized crimes, terrorist activities, embassy sieges and so much more.

Why You Should Watch: If you enjoy romantic spy series, you’ll love MI-5. It stars actors like Peter Firth, Matthew Macfadyen, Sophia Myles, Hermione Norris, Rupert Penry-Jones, and more.

There’s also a compelling romance between Keeley Hawes and David Oyelowo, among other engaging love stories. Just don’t expect a bunch of happy endings.

Content Note: TV-14

16. The Moonstone (2016)

The Moonstone DVD cover; best BritBox shows

BritBox SynopsisFive-part drama series based on the detective novel by Wilkie Collins.

Why You Should Watch: The Moonstone is considered the first detective novel! This lovely adaptation of the book is an entertaining watch.

Content Note: TV-PG

17. Our Girl (2013-2020)

Our Girl promotional photo; best Britbox shows
Photo: BBC

BritBox SynopsisSeason One is the story of East London lass Molly Dawes’ emotional rite-of-passage as a young medic and woman in the British Army’s final deployment of troops to Afghanistan.

Why You Should Watch: This military-themed show has a lot of romance! See our romantic moment about Molly and Captain James for more persuading (beware of spoilers, though). 

Content Note: TV-14

18. Pride and Prejudice (1995)

Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy
Photo: BBC

BritBox SynopsisCelebrate the 25th anniversary of the lauded adaptation of Jane Austen’s timeless romance, broadcast for the first time in 4K.

Why You Should Watch: It’s the ultimate romantic period drama! If you haven’t seen it, watch it as soon as possible. The Jane Austen adaptation is a modern masterpiece.

For more Pride and Prejudice, check out the 1980 version on the streaming site.

Content Note: TV-PG

19. The Sally Lockhart Mysteries (2006-2007)

Ruby in the Smoke promotional image (the Sally Lockhart Mysteries); best BritBox shows with romance
Photo: BBC

BritBox SynopsisTV adaptations of a series of children’s books by Philip Pullman.

Why You Should Watch: The romantic mystery series (only two episodes) is must-watch television for Doctor Who fans. But it also stars JJ Feild as the love interest for Billie Piper. And yeah, he excels at romance. Hayley Atwell also stars.

Content Note: TV-PG

20. Tutankhamun (2016)

Tutankhamun photo; best BritBox shows with romance
Photo: ITV

BritBox SynopsisThe true story of Howard Carter’s epic quest to discover the lost tomb of the Boy-King Tutankhamun, set against the sweeping backdrop of an Egypt caught in the violent spasms of World War One and Revolution.

Why You Should Watch: This one’s for people in the mood for escapist entertainment.

Content Note: TV-14

21. Upstairs, Downstairs (original and new continuation)

Upstairs Downstairs with Keeley Hawes; best Britbox shows
Photo: BBC

BritBox Synopsis (original)Popular period drama series. 30 years in the life of the Bellamy family and their below stairs servants between the years 1903 and 1930.

BritBox Synopsis (2010 continuation): Jean Marsh returns as maid Rose Buck, six years after the classic Seventies period drama ended. It is 1936, and 165 Eaton Place has a new family moving in.

Why You Should Watch: It was one of Britain’s most popular period drama series ever aired! If you like shows like Downton Abbey, you should enjoy this one.

Content Note: TV-PG

22. The Vicar of Dibley (1994-2015)

the vicar of dibley poster with dawn french and richard armitage; best britbox shows

BritBox SynopsisDawn French stars in this beloved BAFTA-winning sitcom as the Vicar of the sleepy rural parish of Dibley. Co-written and created by Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Love Actually).

Why You Should Watch: It’s one of the funniest shows ever on television, and there is a lot of romance. The most romantic episodes are the last couple of episodes with Richard Armitage, and they are perfect. 

Content Note: TV-PG

23. The Paradise (2012-2013)

the paradise for list of best britbox romance shows
Credit: BBC

BritBox Synopsis

A young woman moves to the city and is seduced by the intoxicating charms and luxuries of Britain’s first department store.

Why You Should Watch: The Paradise is one of the most romantic period drama series ever written. Prepare to swoon over the love story between Denise and Moray – while also appreciating the many incredible female characters.

Content Note: TV-PG

24. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1996)

the tenant of wildfell hall miniseries promo art
Credit: BBC/WGBH

BritBox Synopsis

After moving to a remote village, a widow remains mysteriously silent about her past – until she becomes the focus of malicious village gossip.

Why You Should Watch: Tara Fitzgerald and Toby Stephens give standout performances in this striking adaptation of Anne Bronte’s revolutionary classic novel about a courageous woman. 

See our review for more information on this romantic period drama miniseries.

Content Note: TV-14 for scenes of abuse/assault. Nothing graphic.

25. Daniel Deronda (2002)

daniel deronda 2002 promo art
Credit: BBC/WGBH

BritBox Synopsis

The spirited Gwendolen Harleth falls for a sensitive, intelligent young man, haunted by the secrets that surround his birth.

Why You Should Watch: Hugh Dancy and Romola Garai have sizzling chemistry onscreen together. The BAFTA-winning miniseries is a stunning adaptation of George Eliot’s masterpiece.

Content Note: TV-PG for implied abuse.

26. Downton Abbey (2010-2015)

downton abbey matthew and mary about to kiss
Credit: Carnival Films/WGBH-TV/ITV

BritBox Synopsis

After a tragedy at sea claims the life of the presumed heir, Lord Crawley is faced with the possibility that the house he’s loved his whole life might someday belong to a distant cousin he’s never met.

Why You Should Watch: Downton Abbey became a pop culture phenomenon helping the period drama genre to become more mainstream. Julian Fellowes’ romantic series went on to win 15 Primetime Emmys and is one of the best TV shows ever made. 

The love stories, the writing, the gorgeous costumes, the beautiful setting at Highclere castle, witty one-liners, lovable characters, and superb actors make this a show to remember.

Content Note: TV-PG for mild sensuality, language, and one assault scene.

27. Little Dorrit (2008)

little dorrit publicity still with claire foy
Credit: BBC/WGBH

BritBox Synopsis

Upon Arthur Clennam’s return to England, his curiosity is piqued by young seamstress Amy Dorrit. The cold Mrs Clennam is not usually one to give to charity, so why has she made an exception in taking on Amy?

Why You Should Watch: See Claire Foy and Matthew Macfadyen (among other superb British actors) star in this Emmy-winning romantic miniseries of Charles Dickens’ book adapted by Andrew Davies. 

Little Dorrit is simply marvelous from start to finish.

Content Note: TV-PG for violence.

28. Lorna Doone (2000) 

Lorna Doone 2000 poster

BritBox Synopsis

Having watched the ruthless Doones clan slay his father as a child, John Ridd swears revenge. As he grows older, he falls for the beautiful Lorna Doone, not realizing she is on the side of his sworn enemy.

Why You Should Watch: Richard Doddridge Blackmore’s classic tale of star-crossed lovers comes to the screen in this underrated miniseries set in the 17th century. Expect lots of romance, secrets, and intrigue. 

Find out more about Lorna Doone in our review.

Content Note: TV-PG

29. Middlemarch (1994)

Middlemarch 1994 poster

BritBox Synopsis

Provincial life is on the brink of momentous change in Middlemarch, where the Industrial Revolution will split the town into two opposing factions.

Why You Should Watch: Middlemarch is a beautiful period drama miniseries based on another George Eliot masterpiece. Juliet Aubrey and Rufus Sewell star in this cerebral but also romantic adaptation.

Content Note: TV-G/PG

30. Miranda (2009-2015)

miranda tv show promo photo
Credit: BBC

BritBox Synopsis

When her long term crush Gary returns from his travels, Miranda attempts to be smooth but fails miserably.

Why You Should Watch: Miranda Hart and Tom Ellis have adorable chemistry in this hilarious and sweet rom-com series. Miranda Hart showcases brilliant physical comedy, while the rest of the cast will make you laugh out loud with their fun antics.

The entire series is a pleasure to watch, leading to the perfect HEA. 

Content Note: Episodes range between TV-PG and TV-MA for suggestive humor/innuendo. TV-14 would be a fair rating.

31. North & South (2004)

north and south bbc still
Credit: BBC

BritBox Synopsis

When Margaret Hale exchanges her middle-class rural life for a northern mill town, she witnesses the hardships of the poor working class firsthand and develops contempt for mill owner John Thornton.

Why You Should Watch: North and South is a period drama masterpiece and one of the most romantic pieces of entertainment (from any medium) ever put to screen. 

The powerful love story between John Thornton and Margaret Hale, the emotional and authentic storylines, the artistic visual atmosphere, and so much more make this adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s underrated classic novel a must-see.

Plus, you won’t want to miss the miniseries that helped make Richard Armitage a star. Lesley Manville also stars.

Content Note: North and South is TV-PG with mild violence and thematic elements.

32. Our Mutual Friend (1998)

Our Mutual Friend 1998
Credit: BBC

BritBox Synopsis

Set against the contrasting backgrounds of new money and squalid poverty, two love stories unfold amid bitter tensions over money, class, and passion in this Dickens tale.

Why You Should Watch: Our Mutual Friend is an underrated romantic miniseries adaptation with tremendous performances from the cast – most notably Keeley Hawes and Paul McGann. 

The Charles Dickens tale is heartbreaking, romantic, and perfect.

Content Note: TV-PG for mild violence and thematic elements.

33. Sense and Sensibility (2008)

Sense and Sensibility 2008 Elinor and Edward
Credit: BBC/WGBH Boston

BritBox Synopsis

Two sisters learn what it takes to find love and happiness in a restrictive high society, where wealth and status trump all.

Why You Should Watch: Jane Austen’s novel comes to life in this outstanding romantic miniseries. 

Sense and Sensibility received two Primetime Emmy nominations and starred Hattie Morahan, Dan Stevens, Charity Wakefield, Dominic Cooper, David Morrissey, Janet McTeer, Lucy Boynton, Linda Bassett, Mark Williams, and more.

Content Note: TV-PG/TV-14 for a scene of sensuality.

34. Hope Street (2021-)

hope street season 1 promo art
Credit: BBC/BritBox

BritBox Synopsis

Amara Karan (Bancroft) stars in this uplifting original crime drama. A small town in Northern Ireland sees the mysterious arrival of English DC Leila Hussain, the first Muslim officer in the town’s history.

Why You Should Watch: The crime drama is uplifting, cozy, and romantic (particularly in Season 1). Plus, the setting of the Northern Irish seaside town is gorgeous.

Content Note: TV-PG for violence, mild sensuality, and thematic elements.

35. Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (2022)

Why didn't they ask evans 2022 review: picture of promotional poster

BritBox Synopsis

The mysterious death of a stranger prompts amateur detectives Bobby Jones (Will Poulter) and Frankie Derwent (Lucy Boynton) to set out to find the meaning behind the man’s enigmatic last words.

Why You Should Watch: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans is an old-fashioned romantic mystery show from the writer (and actor) Hugh Laurie. 

Check out our review on why you need to see this fun series. It is one of the best Britbox originals and a compelling murder mystery.

Content Note: Episodes are between TV-PG and TV-MA for brief violence and language. TV-14 would be the most fitting rating.


  • Bramwell
  • London Hospital
  • Love in a Cold Climate
  • Mansfield Park (1983)
  • Murder in Provence
  • Oliver Twist (2007)
  • Little Women (1970)
  • Partners in Crime (1983)
  • Tess of the D’urburvilles (2008)
  • The Cinder Path
  • The Buccaneers
  • The Café
  • The Darling Buds of May
  • The Duchess of Duke Street
  • Gavin & Stacey
  • The Girl
  • The Glass Virgin
  • The Man Who Cried
  • The Mallorca files
  • The Moth
  • The Tide of Life
  • The Wingless Bird
  • The Woman in White (1982)
  • Tipping the Velvet (TV-MA)
  • All Creatures Great and Small (Classic Series)
  • Ashes to Ashes
  • Luther
  • Vanity Fair (1998)
  • Wuthering Heights (1978)
  • Small Island (TV-MA)
  • The Inspector Lynley Mysteries
  • Jonathan Creek (TV-MA)
  • Shakespeare and Hathaway
RELATED: 35 Amazing Romantic British Mystery Series to Watch


  • A Bit of Fry and Laurie
  • Marple
  • Poirot
  • Absolutely Fabulous
  • Fawlty Towers
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Doctor Who (Classic Series)
  • Cadfael
  • Black Adder 
  • Father Brown
  • Inspector Morse
  • Life on Mars – Stars John Simm
  • Maigret
  • Prime Suspect
  • Coronation Street
  • Rosemary & Thyme
  • Sharpe – Stars Sean Bean
  • Shetland
  • Sister Boniface Mysteries
  • The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco
  • The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries
  • Vera – Brenda Blethyn stars
  • Wallander (TV-MA)
  • Single Father (TV-MA) – stars David Tennant
  • Rev. – Stars Olivia Colman

What do you think are the best BritBox shows with romance to watch? What’s your favorite on this list? Let me know in the comments.

Featured image at the top: Miranda, North & South, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, and The Vicar of Dibley. Credit: BBC

The 35 Best BritBox Shows with Romance to Stream Right Now; pinterest image


By on December 16th, 2022

About Amber Topping

Amber works as a writer and digital publisher full-time and fell in love with stories and imagination at an early age. She has a Humanities and Film Degree from BYU, co-created The Silver Petticoat Review, contributed as a writer to various magazines, and has an MS in Publishing from Pace University, where she received the Publishing Award of Excellence and wrote her thesis on transmedia, Jane Austen, and the romance genre. Her ultimate dreams are publishing books, writing and producing movies, traveling around the world, and forming a creative village of talented storytellers trying to change the world through art.

More posts by this author.

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