West Dean Gardens

Nestled at the foot of the South Downs, West Dean Gardens in West Sussex is one of the greatest restored gardens open to the public today.

Visitors can explore a wide range of features on a gentle walk around the grounds. From surreal trees to the restored walled garden, West Dean Gardens proudly presents its rich creative and social heritage.

A stop in our Visit England-endorsed restaurant and on-site gift shop will complete every visit.

Yours to explore

Creatively inspired by its rich heritage and setting, West Dean Gardens is brimming with features to enjoy.

An impressive collection of working Victorian Glasshouses, a 300 foot pergola, a spring garden and the occasional surreal fibreglass tree offer year-round interest to garden visitors.

Explore the gardens

25 Years of Glorious Gardening

This year we mark 25 years since our head gardeners Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain first began work transforming West Dean into the award-winning gardens and pleasure grounds you enjoy today. Since they first arrived in 1991, husband and wife team Jim and Sarah have revitalised the 19th century landscape and overseen tremendous changes which have brought the gardens international respect from both professional horticulturalists and the visiting public. You can see some of the changes in a special photographic exhibition, 25 years of Glorious Gardening, on display in the mushroom shed.

The jewel in the crown of the Walled Garden is the magnificent set of Victorian Glasshouses which remain in constant use to this day. Thank you to everyone who has generously supported our fundraising appeal this year to restore Glasshouse 24, the fig house. Thanks to you, we have raised over £30,000 and the newly restored glasshouse has now re-opened to visitors. But there is more to do! Please help us restore the nectarine and late vinery Glasshouse so that it can once again give pleasure to all its visitors. Your gift really will make a difference. Donate now

About the gardens

View a map of the gardens, meet the gardening team and find out what’s new in the garden this month. Learn about the history of the gardens and how they became what they are today.

Jewellery for sale at West Dean Gardens Shop

Restaurant and Shop

Our Gardens Restaurant at West Dean has a Visit England Quality Food & Drink status (2015). Relax and enjoy home cooked food overlooking the South Downs. Browse the extensive plant and gift range in the shop and treat yourself to something special.

Victorian glasshouses at West Dean Gardens

What's new at West Dean Gardens?

As we await our visits from Father Christmas and perhaps eat too many mince pies in the meantime, a walk in the Gardens can be a welcome escape at this busy time of year. This month Sarah Wain also reflects and writes about the importance of our Glasshouses, it's been a busy year with their recent restoration.

Garden Gallery

Autumn view of the College from the Spring Gardens. Image credit: Chris Ison Photography.
Autumn walks at West Dean Gardens. Image credit: Stephen Tattersall
The Artichoke House in the Spring Gardens. Image credit: Chris Ison Photography.
Garden visitors enjoying the Spring Gardens in October.
The wonderful walled gardens with a view of the apple store at West Dean Gardens.
View of the stunning Edwardian pergola in the summer at West Dean Gardens, with the gazebo at the northern end.
The glorious summer sunshine highlighting the beauty of the Edwardian pergola at West Dean Gardens
A view of the gorgeous pergola at West Dean Gardens - a sight not to be missed.
Another look at the pergola in the summer months at West Dean Gardens with the stunning flowers in bloom, draped over the Edwardian structure.
A walk through the Spring Gardens in autumn. Image credit: Chris Ison Photography.
Morning mist at West Dean Gardens. Image credit: Stephen Tattersall.

Try a garden-themed creative short course

Let the gardens be your inspiration on a short course at West Dean College. Learn practical gardening skills or garden design from the experts. Get behind the camera lens and discover how to get the best images of the garden, or join an art course and interpret the landscape on canvas.

Find out more about gardening courses and lectures or the wide range of creative courses available here.

For shorter garden talks please visit our gardens events page.

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Support West Dean Gardens

West Dean Gardens is part of a registered charity and its upkeep and care are only possible with the support of generous donors, friends and legacy gifts.

If you share our passion for the gardens and gardening excellence,
please find out how you can help support their upkeep.