Become a Friend of West Dean

West Dean College and Gardens is a special place with so much to discover.  Enjoy unlimited visits, get exclusive access to events and discounts, and support our work to inspire learning in arts and conservation.  Be part of the story!

Make the most of West Dean with unlimited visits for you and your loved ones. Become a member today or buy the perfect gift for someone special.

With acres of extraordinary pleasure grounds to explore and a changing vista throughout the seasons, there is so much at West Dean to inspire and entertain you all year round.

What’s more, by becoming a Friend, you’ll be supporting our mission to inspire learning in the arts and conservation for everyone.

Membership Benefits

Friends go behind-the-scenes at West Dean and discover more

There are two levels of membership - College and Garden - which enable you to enjoy the parts of West Dean that interest you most.

Click to see what's included

Complimentary entry - all Friends enjoy the changing face of West Dean Gardens throughout the year during normal opening hours, every day except 23-26 December and 1 January.

Events - your chance to discover more about the College and meet the people who look after West Dean House and the glorious Gardens that you enjoy year round.  An additional charge may apply and certain events are restricted to College Friends only.

Regular Newsletters - packed full of information to help you make the most of your membership, keep informed and right up to date with all the latest news and events.

Relax and have a brew! - After a long walk around the gardens, perhaps it's time for a cream tea? You can enjoy a 10% discount in the Gardens Restaurant (excluding alcohol and special menus/events) - just show your Friend membership card at the till.

College Friends receive the following additional benefits

Make use of the College Craft Shop, Dining Room and Steward's Bar - Connect with like-minded Friends and become part of our artistic community. Stock-up with supplies from the Craft Shop, have a drink in the bar or dine with us in the College dining room. Advance booking is essential. Please note: due to current restrictions the bar and restauarant are not open to College Friends. Please continue to enjoy refreshments and meals in the Gardens restaurant. 

Monthly Coffee Morning - Join us on the second Friday of each month from 10.30am for a cup of coffee and to meet other College Friends. We will also be joined by a guest speaker every other month - a great opportunity for you to hear from the people who work hard to protect the historic house, its collection and grounds. There's no need to book, just show your College Friend membership card and sign-in at the College reception. We look forward to seeing you.

Choose the membership that suits you

Select your package

Garden Friend

College Friend




Individual + guest*






*Guest must be accompanied by the card-holding Friend.

**Two named individuals can enter together or separately.

There is no charge for children under 16 to enter the gardens except on some event days.


West Dean College or Garden Friend membership also makes the perfect gift for friends or loved ones to enjoy all year round. We can send the membership pack directly to your gift recipient or return it to you to give them directly. When you purchase gift membership online, please enter the recipient's details on the first page and complete your own details on the second page.

Upgrade your visit to Friend membership

If you have recently paid to visit the Gardens and would like to become a Friend, we will refund the cost of your first visit when you sign up for membership.  It's our way of saying thanks for joining us! You can use the offer for one month after your visit.

Please use the following steps to receive your refund:

1. Complete your Friend membership purchase using the buttons above.

2. When you've done that, click on the link below to email us your original booking reference. And that's it, we'll do the rest. Please just allow us two weeks to process your refund.

Click here to email us to upgrade

It has felt like a privilege to have become a Friend. The monthly coffee mornings have been a wonderful opening to the living history of the Edward James Foundation. The warm encouragement to participate with ideas of our own gives a sense that this is not simply coffee & chat! I look forward to attending more of the special evenings arranged at the College.



We've suspended event bookings for now.  If you have booked a place on a Friend-only event which has to be cancelled due to coronavirus, you will be able to convert this to a donation in support of the Gardens or receive a full refund.  We will contact you individually.

To enhance your Friend membership, we are pleased to offer a programme of exclusive Friends-only events in 2020, giving you the opportunity to enjoy private access to the Gardens and College, to meet like-minded Friends and members of the Fundraising and Gardens Teams.

Friends with an individual membership may buy one ticket for each event, those with individual and joint memberships may buy two tickets for each event.



See the full list of Friend-only events here

Dawn Chorus Walk to the Arboretum
Friday 24 April, 5.00-6.30am, Gardens, Arboretum and College



Foxgloves Display Private View
Friday 5 June/Friday 19 June, 6.00-9.30pm (approximate finishing time)
Gardens and Gardens Restaurant


Friends' Garden Party
Sunday 19 July, 6.00-8.00pm


West Dean Gardeners' Question Time
Friday 11 September, 6.00-8.00pm, in the Old Library and Oak Hall, West Dean College
West Dean's own version of the popular Radio Programme. On our panel will be West Dean Head Gardener, Tom Brown; Martin Duncan, Head Gardener, Arundel Castle; Benjamin Pope, Head Gardener, Trotton Place Private Estate, with Annie Guilfoyle, Creative Landscape, garden design consultancy and West Dean College Tutor, as the compère.

When you book your tickets, you will be invited to send us your gardening question. We will let you know if your question has been selected for the evening. Question Time will be followed by drinks and a buffet of small bowl food and mini desserts in the Oak Hall, with the opportunity to meet the panellists.

Tickets £25

Christmas Carols at West Dean
Thursday 10 December, two performances 2.30pm and 7.00pm
Old Library and Oak Hall, West Dean College
Look out for information about all our Christmas activities at West Dean later in the year.  Bookings for the Friend Carols and other events will open nearer the time.

Contact the Friends Team

The Friends office is open Monday to Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm.

You can contact us via email or telephone us on 01243 818256.

Help preserve our future

West Dean is part of a registered charity and relies on the support of generous donors, friends, legacies to help us deliver world-class education in conservation and the creative arts and maintain our award-winning gardens.

Find out how you can help support us