Put The Kettle On

The cast of 'All Creatures Great and Small.'
PBS Masterpiece
10 Soothing British Shows To Watch Cozied Up With A Cup Of Tea

These charming shows are the perfect way to unwind.

Originally Published: 

To everything, there is a season, and this is particularly true of TV shows. There’s a time for the unhinged docuseries about weird online cults. A time for a fantasy epic. A time for trashy reality dating competitions. A time for the award-winning drama series everyone talks about on Monday morning. But there’s also a time to just sort of settle down and watch something that feels like a little brain massage. And for those times, nothing fits the bill quite like a cozy British TV show.

I genuinely don’t know what it is about shows made in the UK that’s so soothing, but the British seem to be particularly adept at creating series that just make us feel good watching them. For this list, we’ve rounded up some of our very favorites. Mostly, they’re feel-good shows with tension, but not stressful tension, and stakes, but usually not life or death stakes. That’s not to say we’ve loaded this list with completely vapid or schmaltzy entertainment. Trust me, even the lighter fare can bring a happy tear to your eye. We’ve also put some shows on here that have gravitas, but is balanced by humor or the kind of sentimentality that makes us feel OK with the tougher moments. We also tried to find shows with lots of seasons (or, as they say in Britain “series”) so you can marathon watch to your heart’s content.

So put the kettle on get ready to hunker down for a delightful evening of quality fun from the other side of the pond.

The Great British Baking Show

Mark Bourdillon

We probably don’t have to tell you this one, because I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you’re likely looking for cozy British shows specifically because you’ve run out of GBBO episodes. Still, we have to recognize the sweet, comforting goodness of this delightful baking series. As my friend has so aptly put it: the best part about this show is that it’s always the bakers versus the challenge, never the bakers versus each other.

Stream The Great British Baking Show on Netflix.

All Creatures Great And Small

Masterpiece PBS

When James Herriot heads to Yorkshire Dales to be a veterinarian, little does he know that the countryside and its residents, human and animal, are going to leave an indelible mark on his soul. This charming show will absolutely inspire you to buy a cottage in northern England.

Stream All Creatures Great And Small on Amazon Prime with a PBS Masterpiece subscription, Britbox, or on for free on the PBS App.

Big Dreams, Small Spaces

Amazon Video

Best known for Gardener’s World, Monty Don is a beloved broadcaster and noted horticulturist. In this series, he helps homeowners realize their big dreams for their small backyard (or “garden”) spaces. This is the perfect cozy British show to watch to inspire you to start that long-delayed outdoor project!

Stream Big Dreams, Small Spaces on Amazon Prime.

The Repair Shop


This show is a delight. Families from across Britain come to The Repair Shop with their antiques and heirlooms to be restored by a team of experts ranging from leather workers to upholsterers, carpenters to clockmakers and more. The objects themselves are always interesting, but what’s truly heartwarming about the show is the sentimental meaning they hold not only to the owners but to the dedicated artists determined to “restore it to its former glory” (get ready to hear that phrase a lot).

And these folks are good at what they do. In fact in a recent season, the Repair Shop was visited by none other than His Majesty King Charles, who trusted the team to restore a royal artifact.

Stream The Repair Shop on Britbox.

Derry Girls


Northern Ireland, 1990s. Derry resident Erin, her cousin Orla and their friends Clare, Michelle, and James (Michelle’s English cousin) navigate the ups and downs of high school during The Troubles, a violent era in British-Irish history that said bloodshed between Catholics and Protestants. The teens attend a Catholic girls’ school (yes, even James: being English it’s far too dangerous for him to go to a Catholic Irish boy’s school) where they must be careful not to run afoul the sarcastic but terrifying headmistress, Sister George Michael.

Despite the violence that mars their everyday lives, their hijinks and shenanigans will have your sides aching with laughter. But this isn’t simply a madcap comedy: the teens’ story is told with great tenderness and affection.

Stream Derry Girls on Netflix.

The Great Pottery Throw Down


Think “Bake Off but make it clay.” This charming competition series highlights Britains best amateur potters to create gorgeous ceramics. And don’t get my mom started on how Keith Brymer Jones frequently cries over his love of his craft.

Stream The Great Pottery Throw Down on Max.

Midsomer Murders

OK, I know what you’re thinking “What about murder is cozy?” It’s a fair question but, in my defense “cozy mystery” is actually a genre. Technically, this classic, long-running “murder of the week” series isn’t actually a cozy mystery (the detectives in those are usually women and almost always amateurs), but the episodic exploits of Detective Chief Inspector John Barnaby are cozy adjacent. The tranquil country setting involves lots of lovely villages with adorable names (Badger’s Drift, for example) and while there are murders aplenty (there’s more than 130 episodes as of 2024), you never wonder if they won’t be wrapped up over the course of the 90 to 100 minute episode.

Stream Midsomer Murders on Tubi or Acorn.

Downton Abbey

This is another one I’m guessing we don’t have to tell you about, but would be remiss in not reminding you of. This sweeping historical drama has a lot going on — machinations! scandals! romance! — but all routinely turns out for the best of the wealthy, aristocratic Crawley family and their “downstairs” staff of plucky domestics. That’s not to say there aren’t heartaches along the way, but none that are likely to cause lasting emotional damage.

Stream Downton Abbey on Amazon Prime, Peacock, or Britbox

Call The Midwife


This series follows nuns and nurses of Nonnatus House serving as midwives to the poor of East London in the ‘50s and ‘60s. The series deals with heavy subject matter — women and infant health, poverty, racism, genetic and infectious illness, and much more — and, as such, it can be heartbreaking. But it’s also a delight and is equally as sentimental and heartwarming as it is emotionally difficult.

Stream Call the Midwife on Netflix.

Rosemary & Thyme

Amazon Prime

Remember when I talked about cozy mysteries? Well, look no further than Rosemary & Thyme.

Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme (we’ll give you a minute) begin the series down on their luck. Rosemary has been (unjustly) fired as a professor of botany. Laura, a former detective and avid gardener, has been left by her husband of 20 years for a younger woman. The pair team up to start a horticulture business but, it seems, wherever they go to restore a garden, the stumble upon a murder!

Stream Rosemary & Thyme on Britbox.

Doc Martin


Dr. Martin Ellingham is a brilliant (if curmudgeonly) vascular surgeon with a thriving practice at Imperial College in London. But when he suddenly develops a bizarre fear of blood, he has to give up surgery and becomes a general practitioner in the small town of Portwenn in Cornwall. There, the locals irritate him, especially in their insistence on referring to him has “Doc Martin” but, in time, they work their way into his heart (and vice versa).

Stream Doc Martin on Acorn or Sling.

Happy watching!

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