Nestled at the foot of the South Downs, the Gardens are one of the greatest restored gardens open to the public today. Visitors can explore a wide range of historic features on a gentle walk around the grounds. From surreal trees in the Spring Garden to the sunken garden and restored walled garden, or a parkland walk with views over the South Downs, there's plenty to enjoy.
The West Dean Gardens Restaurant and Gift Shop overlooks the beautiful Lavant valley and West Dean park. The River Lavant runs alongside. Built in the local brick and flint, the licensed restaurant is light and airy with a large garden terrace where visitors can enjoy some refreshments whilst admiring the views. In the summer months Gardener's Cottage, which was formerly the residence of West Dean Gardens' head gardeners, is also open to enjoy teas, coffees and light snacks. Table service is available with a limited menu. Located next to the Garden's car park.
If you can more time, located in the grounds is West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary – starting in October 2021, the College offers a wide variety of short courses, many of which are inspired by the gardens, ranging from jewellery making to painting to textiles to photography to blacksmithing and actual gardening courses, the list is endless. The courses range in price from £128 upwards and suit all abilities. Click here to find out more.
Open daily except December 24/ 25 & 31st
January/ Feb/ Nov/ Dec Open 10.30-4pm March – October open 10.30am – 4pm
Last entry is 30 minutes before closing time. Free entry for children under 16 - additional charge may apply on event days
Please visit in-line with current restrictions, and check their website before visiting to ensure they are open.
Photography credits: Trevor Sims and Christopher Ison
Food & drink available
Free car parking
Location & details
West Dean College of Arts and Conservation – The Edward James Foundation Ltd, West Dean, Nr Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0QZ