8 must-see British series

pride and prejudice - esl1. Pride and Prejudice 

This film is undoubtedly all time classics. Based on a gorgeous book, it leads you into the world of XIXth century England. The time, when upper-class men and women were trapped in the conventions of their society.

This adaptation is a hymn to the beauty of the English language. I personally adore long sentences with old-fashioned words.

This for example:

Mr. Darcy “Perhaps these offences might have been overlooked, had not your pride been hurt by the confession of the scruples which long prevented my forming serious design on you.”

I know a girl who totally fell in love with this film. She used it as a way to train her British accent. She would repeat each line, learn it by heart and copy the pronunciation. The results she achieved were unbelievable. You could never tell she wasn’t British.


Downton Abbey - esl2. Downton Abbey
This is a modern British series that has been running since 2010. So far there are 4 seasons of 8 episodes each.

From the first episode on I got carried away into the world of  an upper-class family living in a gorgeous castle, their everyday life, their worries, problems and moments of happiness. The action takes place in England in the beginning of the XXth century.  The series shows not only the lives of the aristocrats, but also their servants. English lovers will hear very different ways of speaking – clean standard British English versus Yorkshire dialect.

This film is a saga that follows its characters’ lives throughout a decade. Once I fell in love with the characters it was impossible to stop watching. If you are into this genre, you are bound to love it.


sherlock esl3. Sherlock

I should probably not have included this film into the list, because it needs no introduction. Let’s count the adjectives that can express my admiration of this series: thrilling, breathtaking, mind-blowing, intriguing, gripping, fascinating, captivating….

Warning for english learners – it may be rather difficult to understand the main character. He speaks really fast. Take it as a challenge:)





little dorrit esl4. Little Dorrit

This series is based on the novel by Charles Dickens. I believe this is the best way to get acquainted with the work of this writer, if you are not particulaly fond of reading 500 pages books.

It’s a lovely story about a young woman who stays true to herself, notwithstanding all the difficulties and troubles she comes across.






emma esl5. Emma (2009 BBC Version)

It’s a charming 4 episodes series about a witty, smart, but quite immature young woman, who goes through self-deceit and self-discovery.

I personally love the main actress in this film. It’s a pleasure to watch her performance.





ThePillarsOfTheEarth esl6.The Pillars of the Earth
When I started watching this series, I was surprised to find myself so deeply involved with the story, that I just was not able to press the stop button and take a break.

Adapted from Ken Follet’s novel, it tells fascinating stories of friendship, love, betrayal and longing for power.







bleak house esl7. Bleak House

Bleak House is a brilliant adaptation of Charles Dickens novel of the same name. It stars wonderful actors who make their characters vivid and unforgetable.

In my opinion watching this series is second best way to discover the work of Charles Dickens.





daniel deronda esl8.Daniel Deronda

This series is based on the novel of George Elliot. It is set in the middle of the XIXth century and follows the life of a young Jew and an upper-class young woman. Their destinies overlap in the most unexpected ways.





What are your favourite series? Have you seen any from my list? You’re welcome to share your experiences.