The 7 Dirtiest British Period Dramas That You Can Stream Online Right Now

The Tudors/Showtime

Whether it’s a deepdive into historical British royalty or an action packed tale of epic battles of the past, I love a period drama. And no one seems to do them quite as well as the Brits. On the whole, they may not be short in gory scenes, evil rulers, and more drama than you can swing a cat at, but they’re also pure escapism. Oh, and some of them are pretty raunchy AF too. So, if you’re looking for something to get you a little hot under the collar, here are the seven dirtiest British period dramas. These definitely aren’t safe for watching around parents and you need to prepare to blush a little.

There’s no denying that, over the last few years, some epic period dramas have come out. From Downton Abbey to Call The Midwife, you’re pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to what you want to sit down and marathon on a Sunday afternoon. And, as a genre, period dramas have always been a little sexy. And none more than the seven below. From paving the way in telling queer love stories to lifting the veil of the bedrooms of the British monarchy, these period dramas are not for the faint hearted.


'Tipping The Velvet'

Tipping the Velvet is a story of love, lust and epic adventure written by Sarah Waters, who essentially threw away the rule book for period dramas. With some incredibly strong queer characters and love scenes that will leave you blushing, Tipping the Velvet should be the next period drama on your must-watch list.

Set in Victorian England, country girl Nan packs a bag and escapes to London. What happens after that? You’ll have to see for yourself. But, as Nan experiences everything the big city has to offer, she realises it isn’t all fun and games.

You can watch it here.


‘The Tudors’

Did you learn about the Tudors at school? Not like this you didn’t.

This series follows the earliest part of a young Henry VIII’s reign. From marrying Catherine of Aragon to meeting Anne Boleyn, this series is not for the eyes of children or your grandparents. As well as featuring all of the filth you could possibly want, the show highlights the importance of the likes of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey on Henry’s reign. It’s like a really naughty history lesson.

You can watch it here.



A champion of raunchy period drama and queer stories, Sarah Waters also wrote Fingersmith and, if you’re into love triangles, big dresses, and lots of mysteriously gazing out of the window then you need to check it out. You’ll love and hate all of the characters and will be rooting for every single one of them.

Told in three parts, Fingersmith will take you on an epic, romantic adventure and by the end you won’t want to turn it off.

You can watch it here.


‘Gentleman Jack’

When it comes to period dramas that have been released in 2019, there’s only been one name on everyone's lips. Suranne Jones has received massive critical acclaim for her role as Anne Lister in Gentleman Jack.

Set in 1832, Gentleman Jack tells the story of a charismatic entrepreneur on the lookout for a wife. Jones will have you feeling *things* while watching this series, with scenes hotter than anything you’ve read in Fifty Shades of Grey.

You can watch it here.


‘The Favourite’

The Favourite needs very little introduction after the hype that has surrounded the phenomenal Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz since it came out.

The dark comedy follows the story of Queen Anne (Colman) as her health is suffering she becomes increasingly reliant on her confidante, adviser, and secret lover Sarah Churchill (Weisz.) That is, until Churchill’s cousin Abigail Hill (Stone) comes on the scene and the battle is on for the queen's affections.

While The Favourite is definitely a comedy and will have you laughing, prepare to blush. This is Colman, Weisz, and Stone like you’ve never seen them.

You can rent it here.


‘The Devils Whore’

Set in 17th century, The Devils Whore tells the story of Angelica Fanshawe, a fictional character and how her life is changed by the English Civil War. As the title suggests, this is not for the faint hearted as Fanshawe finds herself intertwined with the rich and powerful, including Charles I and Oliver Cromwell themselves. With no shortage of salacious and gory scenes, The Devils Whore will have you gripped from start to finish.

You can watch it here.


‘Vanity Fair’

If you have a thing for raunchy period dramas but need a strong female lead to get behind, then look no further than ITV’s adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's classic, Vanity Fair. Becky Sharp is insatiable and, while she always seems to be getting herself and her friends into trouble, you won’t be able to not love her. Managing to attach herself to a line of rich men, the series is set during the Napoleonic wars and follows Sharp as she cuts a swathe through Regency society. A strong female and a ton of sex scenes? It’s got my vote.

You can watch it here.


All of these period dramas will definitely get your pulse raising and what makes them even better is they're all great stories. If you've found yourself with a spare weekend and need something new to watch, give one of these a go.