Friends

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.

View the Terms and Conditions for Garden Friend membership or College Friend membership.

Complete your application form to become a Friend.

Become a Friend of West Dean College and Gardens

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 that the gardens are closed from 23 December 2016 to 3 February 2017.)

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 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 the latest news and events.

Entry to West Dean events - Garden Friends will be provided 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.

In addition, 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. 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 of Friend membership that suits you. Download and complete an application form.

Terms and conditions apply.


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.

Download your application form and return it completed with your preferred options.

2017 Events for Friends

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

Book online by clicking the links below or download the booking form and send it back to us. You can download a copy of the summer programme here.

Find out about other garden talks and events.


Weds 21 June, 5.30pm, West Dean College - The Swan and The Elephant

A new lecture by Antony Penrose in collaboration with West Dean College Archives. United by a love of Surrealism and its commitment to peace, freedom and justice, Roland Penrose and Edward James made an unlikely collaboration. New material from our archive informs this story of their collaboration that lives on in the legacy of James at West Dean College and in Penrose's Elephant Trust.

Find out more or book your free place now.


Fri 30 June, 4-7pm, West Dean College - Preview of Critical Paths Art Show

West Dean Summer Show 2017 will showcase the work of twelve students graduating from the full-time Visual Arts programme. Exhibiting students will present work developed over a year of intensive study, providing visitors with the opportunity to view original pieces from a group of newly emerging artists. The show is open 1-7 July.

There is also the opportunity to see the show in London from 12-15 July.


25 & 26 Aug, from 6.30pm, West Dean Gardens Restaurant - Tasty Tapas

Choose a selection of your favourite tapas from our specially developed menu. Dine in the Gardens Restaurant or eat al fresco on the terrace.

£10 per person deposit required. Use this form to book your place.


Tues 5 September, 6.30pm, West Dean Gardens Restaurant - An evening tour of the garden with our Head Gardeners

Join us for an evening talk with Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain whilst they take you for an exclusive walk around the gardens.

£15 (includes canapes, appetizers and drinks). Use this form to book your place.


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

Book now


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

Book now

'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.

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 and we shall be happy to help.

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.