What to watch after 'Bridgerton'

What to watch after 'Bridgerton' - Phoebe Dynevor and Rege-Jean Page.
Our guide on what to watch after Bridgerton. (Image credit: Netflix)

If Regency-era drama Bridgerton has left a Duke of Hastings-shaped hole in your life, then fear not, because we have put together this handy guide with all the shows you can binge on as you wait for Bridgerton season 2 of the Netflix hit to arrive. Here's what to watch after Bridgerton.

The first season of Bridgerton saw Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and the rakish Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) tie the knot after a bumpy ride to the altar and attention will soon turn to Julia Quinn's second Bridgerton novel (The Viscount Who Loved Me) which follows Daphne’s older brother, Lord Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey)

With filming underway, it seems we won't have to wait too long for the next installment of Bridgerton. While a Christmas launch (as with season 1) seems unlikely, it is hoped that we won't have to wait too far into 2022 to see the new season arrive on Netflix. 

But while we're waiting for the corsets and carriages to return to our screens, here are some other brilliant period dramas to pass the time.

What to watch after Bridgerton...

Downton Abbey 

'The Gilded Age' writer Julian Fellowes created Downton Abbey.

'Downton Abbey' is a treat for any period drama fan.  (Image credit: ITV)

Downton Abbey was such a huge hit that it seems unlikely there is any period drama fan out there who hasn't seen an episode. However, if the show has completely passed you by, or you'd like to relive the trials and tribulations of the Crawley family once again, then look no further. The drama, set on a fictional Yorkshire country estate between 1912 (just after the sinking of the Titanic) and 1926, follows the Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville), his American wife, Cora (Elizabeth McGovern), and their family as they're served by their loyal house staff.

Since season 6 aired, two films have also been made. The first was released in 2019 and the second, Downton Abbey: A New Era is due to hit cinemas on March 18, 2022. 

Number of seasons: 6, plus one feature film with another on the way

Episodes: 52

Average episode length: 48 - 66 minutes

Where to watch: UK: BritBox and Netflix US: Amazon Prime, Peacock, and Netflix


Sanditon Season 2

'Sanditon' was a huge hit with fans when it first aired in 2019.  (Image credit: ITV)

Sanditon was a big hit in both the UK and the US when it first aired, and now there is a second season due to be released next year. The period drama, set in the Regency era, just like our beloved Bridgerton, was adapted from an unfinished Jane Austen novel and follows main character Charlotte as she arrives in the coastal town of Sanditon and is soon shocked by the secrets that the area's inhabitants all share. 

Number of seasons: 1

Episodes: 8

Average episode length: 60 minutes 

Where to watch: UK: Britbox US: Amazon Prime 

Pride and Prejudice 

Pride and Prejudice Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle

Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle star in the BBC adaptation of 'Pride and Prejudice'. (Image credit: BBC)

While there have been many adaptations of this Jane Austen novel, the BBC series of Pride and Prejudice from 1995 is renowned to be one of the best. Not only does it follow the novel in more detail than others, but it also features Colin Firth diving fully clothed into a lake, which alone surely makes the series well worth a watch! 

Number of seasons: 1

Episodes: 6

Average episode length: 54 minutes 

Where to watch: UK: Netflix, Amazon Prime, BritBox US: Hulu, Amazon Prime, BritBox (remastered to 4K for the 25th Anniversary of the series).

'The Crown'

Olivia Coleman as Queen Elizabeth in Season 4 of The Crown.

Olivia Coleman won rave reviews for her role as Queen Elizabeth.  (Image credit: Netflix)

The Crown follows the life of Queen Elizabeth II from her wedding to the Duke of Edinburgh until the early 21st century, with each stage in her life being portrayed by a different actress. Claire Foy played the Queen in seasons 1 and 2, with Olivia Colman taking the reins for seasons 3 and 4. Imelda Staunton has taken over the role for the forthcoming season 5 which airs in November 2022

Number of seasons: 4

Episodes: 40

Average episode length: 47 - 61 minutes 

Where to watch: UK and US: Netflix


Janne Coleman as Victoria

Jenna Coleman wows as Queen Victoria.  (Image credit: ITV)

Doctor Who and The Serpent star Jenna Coleman stars as the legendary monarch as she ascends the throne aged just 18, following Queen Victoria's life as she marries Prince Albert and welcomes her first child into the world. Soon we see Victoria’s marriage struggle as she juggles family life and Royal duty, while real-life historical events are also featured, including the Anglo-Afghan War and the Irish Famine of 1840. 

Number of seasons: 3

Number of episodes: 25

Average episode length: 45 minutes

Where to watchUS: PBS Masterpiece; UK: Britbox.

Gentleman Jack 

Suranne Jones as Gentleman Jack

Sophie Rundle and Suranne Jones in Gentleman Jack.   (Image credit: BBC)

This historical drama is set in Halifax, West Yorkshire in 1832, with ex Coronation Street favourite Suranne Jones starring as endearing landowner and industrialist, Anne Lister. 

The series, which sees Anne return to her hometown to restore her uncle's estate, is based on a collection of diaries written by Lister, which document a lifetime of romances with other women, mainly written in a secret code. Gentleman Jack season 2 is currently in production and is expected to air in late 2021 or early 2022. 

Number of seasons: 1

Episodes: 8

Average episode length: 58 minutes

Where to watch: UK: BBC iPlayer and BritBox US: HBO

Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair cast 2018

Olivia Cooke (centre) as heroine Becky Sharp.  (Image credit: ITV)

This opulent period drama series, which first aired in 2018, is adapted from William Makepeace Thackeray's classic novel. Olivia Cooke wows as heroine Becky Sharp as she attempts to claw her way out of poverty and scale the heady heights of English society all against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars.

Number of seasons: 1

Episodes: 7

Average episode length: 60 minutes 

Where to watch: UK: ITV Hub US: Amazon Prime 


Hailee Steinfeld as Emily Dickinson

Hailee Steinfeld as wowed Dickinson fans as poet Emily Dickinson.  (Image credit: Apple TV+)

Hailee Steinfeld stars as American poet Emily Dickinson who resists her parent's attempts to find her a suitor in order to follow her dream of becoming a poet.

With modern dialogue and period-accurate costumes, the show plays fast and loose with the usual conventions and is an entertaining drama that sees Hailee Steinfeld performing at her very best. 

The third and final season arrives on Apple TV+ later this year. Season 3 will be set at the breakout of the American Civil War, all while another battle starts to divide Emily's own family.

Number of seasons: 

Episodes: 20

Average episode length: 26-34 minutes

Where to watch: UK & US: Apple TV+

The Pursuit of Love 

Linda and Fanny in The Pursuit of Love

Fall in love with Linda and Fanny's unbreakable friendship.  (Image credit: BBC)

Set in Europe between the two World Wars, this romantic drama follows the adventures of fearless Linda Radlett (Cinderella and Downton Abbey star Lily James) and her best friend and cousin Fanny Logan (Emily Beecham).

Obsessed with love and marriage, the pair are on the hunt for their ideal husband. But their friendship is rocked as Fanny decides to settle down and get married while Linda, who is full of spark and passion opts to follow her heart - leading her down an increasingly wild path.

Number of seasons:


Average episode length: 59 minutes

Where to watch: UK: BBC iPlayer US: Amazon Prime 

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.