The best Sarah Lancashire TV shows to watch if you can’t get enough of her Happy Valley performance

If you're looking for Sarah Lancashire TV shows after Happy Valley's emotional finale then we have you covered with some absolute gems

Sarah Lancashire TV shows if you loved Happy Valley; she's seen here playing Catherine Cawood
(Image credit: BBC/Red Productions/Ben Blackall)

Sarah Lancashire TV shows range from period dramas to intense thrillers and whilst Happy Valley might be one of her most high-profile roles it’s well worth diving into her wider repertoire.  

All the way through Happy Valley, Sarah Lancashire’s determined and empathetic Sergeant Catherine Cawood was the emotional anchor that kept us desperate for more. The lead star outdid herself with her heart-wrenching performance in the Happy Valley ending that rounded off Catherine’s story with a surprising call-back to season 1. Sadly, it’s already been confirmed that there won’t be another season of Happy Valley. So as some people continue to reel from *that* finale and others wonder how to watch Happy Valley in the US, we’ve selected some of the best Sarah Lancashire TV shows that fans need to watch, from heart-warming classics to chilling crime dramas.  

Catherine Cawood (SARAH LANCASHIRE)

(Image credit: BBC/Lookout Point)

Our pick of the best Sarah Lancashire TV shows if you loved Happy Valley

The Accident

If you couldn’t help being transfixed by the powerful performances and heart-wrenching reveal in The Light in the Hall ending then fellow Channel 4 drama, The Accident, could be just what you’ve been looking for now Happy Valley has ended. This is one of the Sarah Lancashire TV shows that has a similarly poignant impact and was first released in 2019. Starring Sarah as well as The Light in the Hall’s Joanna Scanlan, The Accident also follows a Welsh community that has been fractured by traumatic past events. In this case, it was an explosion on a construction site that led to the deaths of local children. Sarah plays Polly Bevan, a hairdresser who leads the campaign to uncover who was responsible for the horrific incident only her quest for justice uncovers far more than she bargained for… 

Available on All 4, Disney Plus and ITVX. 


Stepping into an entirely different and much less grisly world, HBO’s Julia sees Sarah Lancashire portraying the late American TV chef Julia Child. Despite the challenge of playing a real-life figure, Sarah more than convinced viewers with her wonderful performance as a second season has already been confirmed. Julia was a pioneer of the modern cooking show format on US TV with her series, The French Chief, and the HBO drama explored her intriguing life and career in this field. Acting alongside Sarah Lancashire is David Hyde Pierce as Julia’s husband Paul Child and the show also depicts their loving marriage and the shifting dynamic within it as the chef’s career took off big time. 

Available on HBO Max and NOW TV and to rent on Amazon Prime Video.

The Paradise

Another of the best Sarah Lancashire TV shows out there with a historical setting is The Paradise which features sumptuous costumes and follows the lives, romances and inevitable dramas of those who work and shop at the country’s glamorous first department store. Set in the North of England in the 19th century, The Paradise sees ambitious Denise arrive to start working at the store, only to catch the eye of the very handsome and charismatic owner. Sarah plays Miss Audrey, the head of Ladies Fashion, who is Denise’s watchful boss at The Paradise. Charming and binge-watchable, The Paradise transports you back in time with its scenes of Victorian society after the gruesome finale of Happy Valley season 3.  

Available on Amazon Prime Video.

Last Tango in Halifax

Whilst Happy Valley might have been the most recent of the Sarah Lancashire TV shows out there and earned her a highly-prestigious BAFTA, it’s not the only one to have done so. Although it’s an entirely different genre and a major change of pace from the BBC crime series, her role as Caroline in comedy-drama Last Tango in Halifax is another of Sarah’s brilliant performances. Caroline is the daughter of 70-something-year-old Celia, who’s reunited with her former flame Alan after years apart after reconnecting on Facebook. Uplifting and also written by Sally Wainwright like Happy Valley, Sarah’s Caroline learns to fully accept who she really is across the five seasons. 

Available to watch on BBC iPlayer and ITVX. 

Lark Rise to Candleford

Anyone who thought Sarah Lancashire TV shows would all be modern-set shows or mysteries might be excited to learn that the acclaimed actor has also been in a few period dramas in her time, including Lark Rise to Candleford. Set in the rural hamlet of Lark Rise in 19th century Oxfordshire, it has plenty of familiar faces alongside Sarah, including Dawn French and Julia Sawalha. The show is adapted from Flora Thompson’s semi-autobiographical trilogy about life in the countryside and the show was a major success in the UK, going on to have 4 seasons. Just like we’ve got used to the narrator in Call the Midwife, Sarah is the narrator, playing Laura Timmins as an adult, proving she doesn’t have to be on screen to make a huge impact.  

Available on ITVX.


Set in the English city of Bristol and delivering plenty of emotional impact , Kiri is one of those Sarah Lancashire TV shows that will stick with you. Playing social worker Miriam Grayson, Sarah’s character is responsible for young girl Kiri who disappears just as she’s about to be adopted by a middle-class family. Soon Miriam is facing intense scrutiny as her decisions are questioned and the search for Kiri takes a sinister turn when her body is found. Whilst the mystery of what happened to Kiri is of course a theme, the consequences of the decisions made surrounding her and the impact of her loss on those who knew her is an equally major focus. 

Available on All 4, Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime Video. 

Wuthering Heights

Amongst all the other amazing Sarah Lancashire TV shows out there is this classic adaptation of Emily Brontë that sees the Happy Valley star playing Nelly Dean to Tom Hardy’s Heathcliffe and Charlotte Riley’s Catherine. For those who might not have read the original much-loved novel, Nelly is one of the book’s narrators and is the Housekeeper of Wuthering Heights on the moors. It’s here that a young Heathcliffe is brought by Mr Earnshaw to live with him and his children Catherine and Hindley who live near the wealthy Linton family. Over the course of decades, love and rivalry threaten to destroy not only their lives, but the next generation’s too.

Available on ITVX, though if you’re abroad when you want to watch Wuthering Heights or any of the other brilliant Sarah Lancashire TV shows available via UK streaming platforms, then sadly you won’t be able to watch like you normally would due to regional restrictions.

Sarah Lancashire poses after she was awarded an OBE by Duke of Cambridge

(Image credit: Photo by Yui Mok-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Luckily there’s an easy solution and you can use a VPN to continue watching. This is a handy bit of software that changes your IP address so that you can access on-demand content or live TV just as if you were at home.

Our sister site, TechRadar, has tested all of the major VPN services and they rate ExpressVPN as the absolute best. They say, “It’s compatible with all of your devices, supports most streaming services, and ranks among the fastest. You can even install it on devices like an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox, and PlayStation. So for a one-stop-shop, you can’t go wrong with Express.”  


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Ranked among one of the fastest VPN providers, this risk-free service is also compatible with all of your devices. Enjoy access to almost any streaming service, and if you don't like it there's a 30-day money-back guarantee.

If you've never installed a VPN before, don't worry, it's quick and easy. Just follow these three steps:

  1. Download and install the VPN following ExpressVPN's easy-to-follow instructions.
  2. Once you've installed your VPN, open the app and select your server location as anywhere in the UK.
  3. With your VPN installed and server location set to UK, you can now watch Happy Valley online. 

VPN disclaimer

(Image credit: Future)
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!