I've been enjoying searching the National Archives website The National Archives is the official archive of the UK Government and they hold over 10 million records.
I've discovered that you can search the archives, then order records of interest if an ancestor's name appears. For example I searched for my King and Dawson ancestors who lived in Suffolk England in the late 1700s, early 1800s. Lo and behold I found 6 very interesting records, including a Bastardy maintenance order served on my 4th great grandfather James King in 1792. The order was for the maintance of a child of Hannah Blandon, single woman - who later married James and became my 4th great grandmother.
Depending on the record you find, you can order it online through the National Archives or you order it from whatever archives has it in their possession. In my case the Bastardy order is housed in the Ipswich Record office, and a clickable link was provided to their website. I wrote to the email address provided and asked for the records. It took several days but I received a reply quoting me a cost (very reasonable) and two forms to fill out and mail back.
I spent several hours last week searching this amazing resource and plan to go back tonight to search for more English ancestors.