Best UK streaming services and how to try them for free

Best UK TV and film streaming services and how to try them for free

Michael Jordan behind the scenes for The Last Dance (Netflix) / credit: Jon Roche

Hunker down through the pandemic with cinematic blockbusters, original Netflix and Amazon content and Disney favourites

The evolution of 'staying in is the new going out' has been on ultralight speed in recent years and the world's biggest streaming giants have a huge hand in this. From Netflix to Amazon Prime Video to MUBI, they've all been continuously uploading must-see films and TV shows, as well as crafting equally unmissable original content.

Those thinking of getting into a boxset — new or old — or hoping to use lockdown as a time to discover some of the best in overlooked cinema, there is a streaming service for you. Here is a list of the best TV and film streaming services and how to try them for free.

Acorn TV

As the country that gave the world Sherlock, Poirot, Wimsey and Marple, there's no doubt that Brits love their crime dramas, and that they do them oh-so-well. Luckily for us, Acorn TV has gathered the best of British crime and thrilling drama into one convenient platform, from period dramas and pacey police procedurals to unforgettable dramatic features that will keep our little grey cells firing. Here's everything you need to know about Acorn TV, the newest platform to hit the UK which which can be tried for 30-days, absolutely free.
Try 30-days free.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon swanned into the streaming game late, but that's better than never at all. Amazon Prime members can unlock Amazon Prime Video and with it tonnes of top-rated originals like Star Trek: Picard, Jack Ryan, Outlander, Vikings and more, whilst enjoying all the perks of the service including next-day delivery, Prime Music, Audible and much more.
Try a 30-day free trial.


NOW TV provides a pass for almost every member of the family (dogs not included). The NOW TV Entertainment Pass has over 300 box sets including acclaimed shows The Wire, Westworld, Game of Thrones, Park and Recreation and many more ready to binge. If it's streamable movies you're after, then try the Sky Cinema Pass for 7 days free and choose from over 1000 available films including recent blockbusters like Rocketman, Aladdin, The Lion King and more.

For the children off school, the Kids Pass features channels not available on Freeview like Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and Boomerang, as well as a host of streamable kids shows and films.
Try a 7-day free trial of the NOW TV Entertainment Pass, Sky Cinema Pass or Kids Pass.


Is Disney+ the streaming service the whole world has secretly been waiting for? There isn't a member of any household that doesn't love at least one (if not 100!) Disney productions wholeheartedly.

Now families can enjoy unlimited Disney, Pixar, Marvel and all the Star Wars films on demand. The full list of Disney+ releases revealed that everything from '90s hit That's So Raven to the 2020 remake of Lady and the Tramp are included in this magical subscription package so don't worry, you won't run out of Disney shows and films to watch anytime soon.
Try 7-days free Disney +..

The best streaming services and how to try them for free

image: Disney's Lady and the Tramp (2020)


If you've not tried Netflix yet then quite frankly we're shocked, but also excited because you've got some serious catching up to do. From groundbreaking originals like Breaking Bad to the latest Chigago Bulls documentary everybody is talking about — The Last Dance — there is some seriously fantastic TV on this platform.

What about films you say? We'll get to that too. Some of the most anticipated films to come out on Netflix recently include The Irishman, A Quiet Place and not to mention the whole of Studio Ghibli's catalogue.
Get a 30-day free trial.


MUBI is not only one of the leading online cinema services, but it's also one of the most well-curated streaming services out there. Each month the MUBI library is refreshed with a new selection of 30 films including festival-fresh releases, forgotten gems, cult classics and award-winning masterpieces.

Film buffs can enjoy their laboriously-curated selection of extra content that includes filmmaker retrospectives, spotlights on major film festivals and more deep-diving material.
Try 30-days free with Amazon Prime or get 7-days free.

BFI Player

Prepare to expand your cinematic horizons and rediscover old favourites with the British Film Institute's streaming service. The BFI Player features an impressive collection of critically acclaimed films and hidden gems all in one place.This unique subscription allows you to rent the world's latest releases, subscribe to classics and explore the best from the BFI's national and regional archives for free.
Try 30-days free with Amazon Prime or 14-days direct.

NextUp Comedy

With this unique subscription, you can watch the world's latest stand-up shows, your favourite household names and uncover the hidden gems of comedy. A regularly refreshed library of over 150 stand-up specials means it's impossible not to find a comedian you love. You can even search by mood; how's that for tailoring?
Try 7-days free.


For those who love reality TV, now there's a whole platform full of it. hayu features big hits like Keeping Up With The Kardashians and The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Kim Kardashian-West: The Justice Project, alongside throwbacks like Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie's The Simple Life and the original Queer Eye. Watch over 250 reality TV shows, any time, anywhere. Enjoy premiers the same day as the US.
Try for free.

Apple TV+

Apple TV launched with hit shows The Morning Show, Mythic Quest, See and Visible at the helm. These acclaimed originals sit in a library of hundreds more TV shows and films. This streaming service can be enjoyed on — you guessed it — any Apple device and, to get folk started, they are offering a year's free streaming.
Try 1-year free when you buy an Apple device.

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