Friends of West Dean

West Dean College and Gardens is a special place with so much to discover.

Every penny raised thanks to your Friend membership supports the upkeep and development of West Dean College and Gardens for present and future students and visitors.

If you share our love for the arts and conservation or have a passion for the gardens then become a Friend of West Dean and be part of our story.

You can view the Terms and Conditions for Friend membership.

Become a Friend and click here for an application form.

Become a Friend of West Dean College and Gardens

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

The two levels of membership (College and Garden) enable you to enjoy the parts of West Dean that interest you most.

The following benefits are included in your Friend membership:

Complimentary entry - all Friends can enjoy the changing face of West Dean Gardens throughout the year during normal opening hours. (Please note that the gardens are closed from 23 December 2016 to 3 February 2017.)

Friend events - your chance to get behind-the-scenes with an event programme exclusively for Friends. 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 will apply and certain events are restricted to College Friends only.

Annual Discover more magazine - packed full of information to help you make the most of your membership, keep informed and find out what's going on.

Regular eNewsletters - keeping you right up to date with all the latest news and events.

Entry to West Dean events - Garden Friends enjoy complimentary entry to Chilli Fiesta (Friday) and Apple Affair (Saturday & Sunday). Come and relax in our Friends area at events. Entry fees will apply on all other event days. College Friends enjoy complimentary entry on all event days.


College Friends receive the following additional benefits:

Entry to West Dean events - In addition to the above events, complimentary entry to the following public events: Design and Craft Fair (all 3 days) and Chilli Fiesta (all 3 days). Come and relax in our Friends area at events.

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.

Friend membership levels

Choose the level and type of Friend membership that suits you. Click here for an application form.

Terms and conditions apply. View them here.

Gift membership

Give a Gift of Friend Membership

West Dean College or Garden Friend membership for an individual or a couple, is the perfect gift for a friend or loved one to enjoy all year round. We can send the membership pack directly to the person of your choice or return to you to give.

Click here to download your application form and return the completed form with your preferred options.

'West Dean College makes a significant contribution to the education of the artists, writers and conservators of the future and to ensuring that their important work is valued and understood.'

Francine Norris, Director of Education, West Dean College

2016 Friend Event Programme

Every year we organise a number of exclusive Friend events. Come along and discover more about the College and meet the people who look after West Dean house and the glorious gardens. This is your chance to get behind-the-scenes and enjoy West Dean all year round. We look forward to welcoming you.

Book online by clicking the links below or download the booking form and send it back to us.


Thursday 15 September, 6p.m. - 8.30p.m. - Discover more…about the history of West Dean

Explore West Dean house with a guided tour and learn about the fascinating life of Edward James and his vision for a College dedicated to the arts and crafts. Wine and canapes included.

£20 - College Friends Only

Click here to book


Tuesday 20 September, standard garden opening times - Bring a friend for free

Share your love of West Dean and just for today, you can bring in a friend free of charge. Enjoy the last of the summer sun and admire the gardens bathed in the glorious autumnal light. Then you could treat yourself to tea and cake in the Gardens Restaurant.

£ free - Open to all Friends


Tuesday 11 October, 10a.m. - 11.30a.m. - "Highlights of Autumn" garden tour

Walk through the Gardens with Sarah Wain, Garden Supervisor, where she will explain how the team create interest and focal points throughout the year.

£10 - Open to all Friends

Click here to book


Thursday 8 December, 2.30p.m. - 4.30p.m. - Christmas words and music around the Christmas Tree

Join us in the afternoon this festive season for readings and carols around the Christmas Tree. Enjoy a roaring log fire, a glass of mulled wine and mince pies.

£10 - Open to all Friends

Click here to book


Thursday 8 December, 7p.m. - 9p.m. - Christmas words and music around the Christmas Tree

Come along in the evening this festive season for readings and carols around the Christmas Tree. Enjoy a roaring log fire, a glass of mulled wine and mince pies.

£10 - Open to all Friends

Click here to book

Support West Dean College

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