Sanditon season 3: What will happen? Will the cast return? All we know about the third and final season of the period drama

Sanditon seasons 2 and 3 were commissioned in 2021, and both series were filmed back-to-back, so does that mean we can soon expect a return to the seaside town? Here’s all we know.

By Sophia Moir Updated: 18 July 2022 - 9.20am
ITV Sanditon Season 2 Rose Williams as Charlotte Heywood

Sanditon season 2 ended on a major - not to mention heartbreaking - cliffhanger for fans following its run on BritBox and PBS Masterpiece (season 2 starts on ITV this Friday), so the third season of the Regency-era period drama can’t come soon enough.

The sumptuous Jane Austen adaptation will bow out with its third and final series, but what’s in store for Charlotte Heywood, Georgiana Lambe and the town's other residents?

Here, we reveal everything we know so far about Sanditon season 3, including the rumoured release date, cast and characters, plot, trailer, and more.

Read more: Sanditon to Bridgerton - top book-to-TV adaptations 

What is the Sanditon season 3 release date?

A release date for Sanditon season 3 has not been confirmed, but we do know that it will air in early 2023 on BritBox UK and PBS Masterpiece in the US. 

When the channels have shared the information about when Sanditon season 3 will be released, we’ll update this article with the date, so keep it bookmarked.

Season 3 is definitely on its way because it was commissioned back in May 2021. Sad news though: it’s confirmed to be the show’s final series.

How many episodes are in Sanditon season 3?

It’s not confirmed how many episodes are in Sanditon season 3, but we predict there will be six episodes, as there were in Sanditon season 2.

What happened at the end of Sanditon season 2? (spoilers)

The Sanditon season 2 ending was a major shock to fans, as a plot twist saw Charlotte Heywood (played by Rose Williams) announce her engagement to local farmer Ralph (Cai Bridgen), who we'd not met in the series.

In fact, Charlotte was involved in a love triangle throughout season 2 that saw Alexander Colbourne (Ben Lloyd-Hughes) and Colonel Lennox (Tom Weston-Jones) compete for her affections, so her engagement to Ralph was a storyline we didn’t see coming.

The season 2 ending also saw the wedding of Allison Heywood (Rosie Graham) and Captain Fraser (Frank Blake), after she was lied to by Captain Carter (Maxim Ays).

Meanwhile, Georgiana Lambe (Crystal Clarke) learnt some secrets about Charles Lockhart (Alexander Vlahos), namely that he was conspiring to get his hands on her money.

And Clara Brereton (Lily Sacofsky) followed through with her plans to abandon her baby, leaving him for Esther Babbington (Charlotte Spencer) to mother instead.

Catch up on the final episode of Sanditon season 2 below:

What’s the plot of Sanditon season 3? 

The plot synopsis for Sanditon season 3 hasn’t been revealed, but we do know some details as showrunner Justin Young has given interviews to press.

Season 3 will further explore the relationship between Charlotte and Colbourne, following their romance in season 2 and their kiss in the penultimate episode. Of course, there’s a slight hiccup, as Charlotte is engaged to another man!

“The kind of cliffhanger of the season is that Charlotte is now engaged to Ralph,” Sanditon showrunner Justin Young told Decider. “So at the top of season 3, that’s where we will find her.

"And that’s the question going into season 3: She loves Colbourne. He loves her. We know that. But now she’s engaged to Ralph and how is that going to play out?”

Who’s in the cast of Sanditon season 3?

The full cast list for Sanditon season 3 hasn’t been revealed, but we expect all the main players from Sanditon season 2 to return. They are:

  • Rose Williams as Charlotte Heywood
  • Crystal Clarke as Georgiana Lambe
  • Anne Reid as Lady Denham
  • Kris Marshall as Tom Parker
  • Kate Ashfield as Mary Parker
  • Jack Fox as Sir Edward Denham
  • Lily Sacofsky as Clara Brereton
  • Rosie Graham as Alison Heywood
  • Ben Lloyd-Hughes as Alexander Colbourne
  • Alexander Vlahos as Charles Lockhart
  • Frank Blake as Captain Declan Fraser
  • Maxim Ays as Captain William Carter

It’s been confirmed that Tom Weston-Jones will not be returning as Colonel Francis Lennox. Charlotte Spencer will also not be returning as Esther Babbington.

Sanditon season 2 and 3 showrunner Justin Young explained to Decider: “I don’t think it’s spoiling much to say, I don’t think we’ll see Lennox again in season 3. He’s kind of gone.

“I think Esther, where we leave her at the end of season 2, I think she’s got everything she’s ever wanted. She’s happy, married, and now she has a child that she adores so I think that’s the end of Esther’s story as far as I’m concerned.”

Read more: Who are the cast and characters in Sanditon? 

Who created Sanditon?

Sanditon was English author Jane Austen’s final, unfinished novel. She began writing it just two months before her death in March 1817, and although she completed 11 chapters, it remained unfinished.

It was adapted for TV by period drama king Andrew Davies, whose previous successes have included War & Peace, Les Miserables and Pride and Prejudice.

Justin Young (Death in Paradise, Ripper Street), who wrote four episodes of Sanditon season 1, also developed seasons 2 and 3, taking on the role of lead writer and executive producer.

Davies, who originally created the series, returned to write several episodes and executive produce the show.

Is there a trailer for Sanditon season 3?

There’s not currently a full trailer for Sanditon season 3, but there is a short teaser clip, which you can watch here:

We shouldn’t have to wait too long for a trailer, as Sanditon seasons 2 and 3 were shot back-to-back between July and December 2021.

TV shows like Sanditon: Watch if you liked…

Bridgerton, Downton Abbey, Outlander, Poldark, War & Peace, Les Miserables, Pride and Prejudice

 

A release date for Sanditon season 3 has not been confirmed.

Sanditon series 2 begins on ITV on Friday 22 July at 9pm. You can also catch up on Sanditon season 2 on BritBox UK. 

Season 1 is available to stream now on ITV Hub and BritBox UK.