17 Excellent British Period Dramas You Can Binge Right Now

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Highclere Castle, is pictured in Highclere, southern England, on May 12, 2016.

As Britain mulls questions of identity and its possible exit from the European Union, 2016 is an anniversary year for three of its most potent symbols: the queen, Shakespeare and gardener ‘Capability’ Brown. Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown is credited with having created over 170 gardens, among them the grounds of Highclere Castle, made famous as the set of the hit television series Downton Abbey. / AFP / NIKLAS HALLE’N / TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY FLORENCE BIEDERMANN (Photo credit should read NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP/Getty Images)

Do you swoon for gorgeous costumes, witty repartee and good manners? We got you. Here are 17 great British period dramas you can watch online right now.

Period dramas are having something of a moment again these days. In many ways, this makes perfect sense. 2016 has been a rough year. And when modern times feel like too much for you, there’s nothing for it like a good old fashioned costume drama.

After all, period dramas are the epitome of escapist fun – there are gorgeous sets, beautiful costumes, and compelling characters of every type.  They’re set in the past, which allows us to get a little bit of history in, but still feel free to write off the problems of the poor and downtrodden as remnants of a bygone era. Characters have posh accents, are unbearably witty, and probably drink a lot of tea. And there’s lots and lots of romance – whether you enjoy chaste kisses, forbidden attractions or friends who suddenly realize that they’ve really loved each other all along. Plus,  almost everyone seems to end up marrying a rich gentleman in the end.

If only real life could be like that.

So the next time you need a quick binge to pick your spirits up or rekindle your dreams of being the heiress of a grand estate one day, try one of these 17 great period drama offerings, all of which you can stream online right now.