How to Watch British TV in France

Watch British TV in France flag

In this article I’m going to look at how you can watch British TV in France.

For those of you lucky enough to live in France or travel there then you’ll already know the great sights, the amazing food and the atmosphere that France has. Who can deny the quality of the lifestyle there especially if you now live there regularly. Even if you travel there for a holiday you can definitely appreciate the way of life.

While France is a great country and over quarter of a million Brits now call it home with countless more visiting for shorter periods of time one thing I often miss is British TV.

Although TV in France has some good offerings there is nothing like watching TV in your mother tongue with humour that only us Brits would understand.

So today I’m going to show you how you can keep up with home and watch British TV in France from soaps like Eastenders to documentaries from the likes of David Attenborough and everything in between.

How to Watch British TV in France

The UK has some of the best online coverage for TV services in the world with the likes of BBC iPlayer, ITV PlayerAll 4 and Demand 5 covering the terrestrial channels. The initial three have both live and catch-up services available online.

Online streaming also extends to subscription services like Sky Go from Sky and Virgin TV Anywhere from Virgin Media allowing you to watch premium pay for TV online.

Unfortunately, one downside of every service mentioned there is they are only accessible from within the UK and as soon as you travel outside they’re blocked. If you try to access them outside the UK you’ll see a message similar to the following:

Blocked TV

The great news is it is possible to bypass these blocks and watch all of the services mentioned above plus more with a really simple solution.

What you need is a VPN. A VPN allows you to disguise your location and virtually reside in any country. For the purpose of watching British TV in France, you want to appear as if you’re in the UK.

A VPN takes your connection and feeds it through the UK making the services think you are in the UK. Once you’ve finished watching you can simply disconnect and your internet connection reverts to normal.

Below I’ll show you where you can get a VPN and how to use it to watch British TV in France.

Where can I get a VPN

A quick search of Google will produce thousands of VPN services from various companies around the world.

The first feature to look for is that they have a VPN server in the UK. Most VPN services do so it won’t be hard to tick this box.

The second feature to look for is a fast VPN provider because streaming video from the UK to France requires good speeds. As France isn’t too far away it isn’t overly important but if you live or are staying rurally then a fast VPN provider can make the difference between smooth playback and buffering.

A good VPN service should cost no more than about £4-£7 per month depending on how long you sign up for.

Below are my three recommended VPN providers to watch British TV in France.

  1. IPVanish
  2. StrongVPN
  3. ExpressVPN

How do I use the VPN to watch British TV in France

The next stage after signing up is to download the required software or app for your device.

Most of the streaming services work on computers, laptops, tablets and phones with the exception of BT Sport that doesn’t work on an iPad only.

If you’re using a PC or Mac desktop or laptop then the process is simple. Just download the software for the VPN service you signed up to, connect to the UK and then visit the required streaming website.

Rather than being hit with a block message you’ll be able to stream live and catch-up TV.

If you want to watch streaming services on your tablet or phone then you must have that streaming service’s app installed on your tablet while you’re in the UK. For example, you will need the BBC iPlayer app installed on your mobile device already to watch it in France.

The process is exactly the same on a tablet or phone. Just download the VPN provider’s app from the app store either the Google Play or Apple App Store and then connect to the UK.

Once you’re connected run the app for the streaming service you want to watch and again instead of seeing a block message you’ll be able to stream whatever programmes and shows you want.

If you’re wondering if the process will be hard then you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Just take a look at the example screenshot of the Windows VPN software from IPVanish below. All you have to do is click Server Selection, press UK Media or Gaming, wait a few seconds for it to Connect and then you can watch British TV in France from any of the streaming services.


IPVanish UK Media or Gaming

Some TV services you might want to try with your new VPN service are below.

Free to view:

Subscription Services:

Enjoy watching British TV in France!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

  • pausten

    Thanks for your roundup: I currently subscribe to pure VPN, but actually, not happy:
    I always intended to use it to watch TV on the, err, TV.
    However, it works fine on the P.C. but was involved to set-up on the router.
    Having purchased a new TV for Christmas, I sat down & tried to program my router, only to discover that Pure VPN does not support Linksys Genie routers, running Linksys original software.
    QUESTION? – Will IPVanish?

    • VPNCompare

      Hi Pausten,

      Does the router have VPN capability built in? I’m not familiar with that exact router.

  • pausten

    Thanks for your speedy reply.
    Yes. See screen shot below:-

    • VPNCompare

      Not seeing any screenshot Pausten?