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.
Complete your application form to become a Friend.
Friends go behind-the-scenes at West Dean and discover more.
There are two levels of membership (Garden and College) that enable you to enjoy the parts of West Dean that interest you.
The following benefits are included in both Garden and College Friend membership:
Complimentary entry - all Friends can enjoy the changing face of West Dean Gardens throughout the year during normal opening hours. (Please note the gardens close from 23 December 2017 to 1 February 2018.)
Events - your chance to get behind-the-scenes. Discover more about the College and Gardens and meet the people who look after West Dean house and the glorious gardens. 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 the latest news and events.
Entry to West Dean events - Garden Friends receive a complimentary event ticket that can be used on an event day of your choice. Entry fees will apply on all other event days. College Friends enjoy complimentary entry on all event days.
College Friends can also:
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 through our monthly coffee morning. 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.
Give a Gift of Friend Membership this Christmas
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 it to you to give them directly.
To catch the last Christmas post make sure your Friend Membership application is with The Friends Team by Friday 15 December. Alternatively, you can purchase a membership in person at the Gardens Shop until Friday 22 December. Merry Christmas!
To buy or renew a Friend membership download your application form and return it completed with your preferred options. Friend memberships are also available to buy in the Gardens Shop or can be purchased by phone, please call us on 01243 818256.
Each year we organise a few events that are your chance to get behind-the-scenes and enjoy West Dean all year round. Come along, discover more and meet the people who look after West Dean house and the glorious gardens. We look forward to welcoming you.
Find out about other garden talks and events.
Sunday 3 December, 3pm and 4.30pm - Japanese Tea Ceremony
The traditional tea ceremony was introduced to Japan from China during the 16th century and even in today's hi-tech environment continues to be part of everyday life. Come and watch or participate in this ancient, graceful ceremony led by Tea Master Chizuko Kimura.
Free to watch. £10 to participate. Find out more and book here.
Tuesday 5 December, 5.30-7pm, West Dean College - Author talk with Isabel Ashdown
Isabel Ashdown is a novelist and creative writing tutor. Her debut Glasshopper won the Mail on Sunday Novel Competition and was listed among the best books of the year. She has a Masters in Creative Writing, is a member of the Society of Authors and is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow based at the University of Chichester. Her latest novel, Little Sister, a psychological thriller, is published in July 2017.
Find out more and book a place at this free talk.
Thursday 14 December, 2.30pm, West Dean College - Carols by the Christmas Tree
Join us for our annual celebration in the Oak Hall with carols around the Christmas Tree led by a local choir. A festive afternoon by a roaring log fire, with mulled wine and mince pies to refresh you in the interval.
£10 - Open to all Friends
Thursday 14 December, 7pm, West Dean College - Carols by the Christmas Tree
Come sing with us this festive season at our annual Christmas carols. Join in with the choir as you sing in the Oak Hall by the Christmas Tree. During the interval you can enjoy mulled wine and mince pies.
£10 - Open to all Friends
Saturday 13 January 2018, 8pm, West Dean College - Music From America and More
An evening with Oliver Nelson (Violin) and Roy Stratford (Piano) held in the magnificent surroundings of the Old Library, one of the State Rooms in West Dean House with its opulent Edwardian décor, book-lined walls and a splendid early 18th-century tapestry panel. Drinks can be purchased in the Steward's Bar before and after the recital.
Tickets £10 - Book now
Remember that you can use your complimentary event ticket on an event day of your choice within the period of your 12 month membership. This can be used for our Arts & Craft Festival (June 2018) or Chilli Fiesta (10-12 August 2018).
You will find your complimentary ticket in your membership/renewal pack. Remember to bring it with you with your membership card to gain entry into the event of your choice.
'West Dean Gardens are so special because they are where horticultural skills are honed, traditions preserved and plants of all types grown and tested.'TOBY BUCKLAND, Gardener and TV presenter.
The Friends office is open Monday to Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm.
You can contact us via email or telephone us on 01243 818256 and we shall be happy to help.