West Dean Gardens Opening Hours, Prices and Tickets

Pre-booking your visit to West Dean Gardens is essential. Tickets can be purchased online. Please read our FAQs for more information. We look forward to seeing you.

Follow us on social media @westdeangardens for regular updates.

Opening Hours and Admission Prices

Last entry is 30 minutes before closing time.
Free entry for children under 16 - additional charge may apply on event days.

Open Times Prices
Jan, Feb, Nov, Dec

Mon - Fri 10.30am-4pm

Sat, Sun & Bank Holidays 9am-4pm


Mar - Oct

Mon - Sun 10.30am-5pm


Christmas and New Year 2020/2021

Check back soon for closed dates  


Want to visit us more often?  Become a Friend of West Dean and enjoy unlimited entry year round during normal opening hours. 

Become a Friend

Useful information

NHS Staff

Free entry for NHS staff members, plus one, to enjoy unlimited visits for six months from the Gardens reopening 26 June. Please show your NHS ID on entry. Read more

RHS Members

Free access to the Gardens January - February and October - December. Applies to main member and excludes event days.


Dogs on a short lead are welcome at the Gardens. Please clean up after your dog. Bags are available from the Gardens Shop and a bin is located outside the gift shop. Water bowls are also provided. Please be aware that sheep freely roam the fields.

Gift Aid

When you add a donation of at least 10% to your admission price (the Gift Aid price), the Government allow us to claim Gift Aid on the entire amount you pay. Your gift aided entry at £7.70 enables us to claim £1.92 and entry at £11.00 enables us to claim £2.75 which helps to maintain our Gardens. Thank you! Read more about gift aid.

Become a Friend of West Dean

As well as supporting the upkeep and development of the College and Gardens, as a Friend of West Dean you'll get complimentary access to the Gardens during normal opening times. Find out more about Friend membership.


The shop, restaurant and the majority of the gardens are accessible to wheelchair users. Please contact us in advance to make the most of your visit. Read more about Gardens accessibility.

How to find us

West Dean Gardens is 6 miles north of Chichester on the A286 towards Midhurst.

The entrance to the Gardens is clearly signposted off the A286 (N.B. West Dean College has a separate entrance). Free parking is available, with designated spaces for disabled visitors and coaches.

For satellite navigation use postcode PO18 0RX to find West Dean Gardens.

By train: the nearest train station is Chichester, from where you can pick up a taxi or the number 60 bus.

By bus: the number 60 bus runs from Midhurst to Chichester bus station (opposite Chichester railway station) every half hour Monday - Saturday. On Sundays buses are every hour. For an up-to-date timetable visit the Stagecoach website.

Find us on Google Maps

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Pre-booking FAQs

As the Gardens re-open there will be certain restrictions, in-line with government guildelines including adhering to social distancing rules. Please read our FAQs below. 

How do I buy a ticket?
Tickets are available online. It is essential that you book in advance. This will require pre-payment and you will need to choose an arrival time slot.

What are the opening times? 
We are open seven days a week, 10.30am – 5pm. When the Gardens close at 5pm you will be asked to exit via the gift shop.

Are there catering facilities available? 
The Restaurant is open for table service with a limited menu on offer. We have amended our menu and opening times so breakfasts are not currently available. Limited seating is available in the Visitor's Centre with additional available outside in the gardens, benches are located around the grounds also. Please note that all catering facilities are taking contactless payments only.

Are there toilet facilities available?
Yes, we have more toilets available on site and a stringent cleaning regime in place. Please follow the Government instructions from 24th July by wearing a face covering when using the public toilets on site. Accessible toilets can be located in the Garden toilet block and at the exit in the Gift shop.

Can I bring a picnic?
You can bring a picnic to the gardens but you must maintain social distancing and we ask you not to meet in large groups. We encourage you to use our on-site catering facilities to support the Gardens income in these difficult times. Please be aware that we are operating a one way system for entry and exit and therefore it is preferred if you bring your picnic in at the beginning of your visit. Should you wish to return to the car during your visit, you will need to join the entry queue again so this may reduce your time spent in the gardens.

Can we visit the Gardens Restaurant without a gardens ticket?
No, because we have relocated the entrance route we now do not have an entrance into the Gardens Restaurant without entering the Gardens.

Are you limiting the number of visitors to the gardens?
Yes, we have a pre-booked arrival time system which will allow us to control the number arriving on site and reduce the need for queueing. Please only arrive in your allotted arrival time. We may have to ask you to return if you are too early.

Do I need a print out of my ticket?
Please do not bring a print-out as staff will not be handling paper, but do ensure you bring your booking reference number.

Do I need to book a ticket for my child?
You do not need to book a ticket for children under two years old, however please use the child ticket option for those between the ages of 2-15 years of age. 

I am a Garden Friend, do I need to book?
Yes, all visitors must book their visit in advance.

I am a key worker, can I get a discount?
We are offering free entry to NHS workers with a valid form of ID + 1 adult for 6 months from reopening. You must pre-book your visit online and show your ID on arrival. Find out more

What if I arrive late for my timeslot?
Our team will try to accommodate you if possible, but may require you waiting for a suitable gap and it may not be possible on busier days.

Can I get a refund on my ticket if I change my mind?
Unfortunately not, we are unable to process a refund or transfer dates for any pre-booked tickets. If you are feeling unwell, please do not come to the gardens. Please email reception@westdean.ac.uk providing your booking reference number and name.

Can I bring my dog?
Yes, as long as your canine companion is kept on a lead at all times (including the Arboretum) and you clean up after them.

Do you hold information about who has visited the Gardens?
West Dean Gardens is supporting the NHS Test and Trace service which requires the names and telephone numbers of visitors are made available to help isolate the spread of Covid-19. We therefore hold the details for 21 days in order to meet this requirement. 

Read more FAQs

What happens when I arrive?
You will be greeted by a member of our team on the entrance drive who will confirm your booking and timeslot. Please ensure that you only arrive for your chosen timeslot and not before to help us manage visitor flow. You will need your booking reference and any relevant ID or membership cards at the entrance kiosk once you have parked so please have this ready for a speedy arrival.

Where do I park?
Please arrive at the main gardens entrance as usual, our staff will direct you to a space within the main car park or overflow. If you have a blue badge or need to park closer to the entrance then please advise on arrival.

Can I get to the gardens using public transport?
Yes, trains run frequently in and out of Chichester station. Close to the train station, you will find the bus station which operates the Stagecoach number 60 bus from Chichester to Midhurst. Please depart the bus at the West Dean Gardens stop and walk along the road to the main Gardens entrance where a member of staff will check your booking and arrival time. The entrance is a short walk from the main road.

Is the entrance still through the Visitor Centre Shop?
No, we have made some adjustments to our entry point to allow for social distancing. Staff and signage will be in place to direct you to the new, temporary entrance.

Will all areas of the gardens be open? 
Yes, apart from the glasshouses. We have implemented one way systems and restrictions on visitor numbers where required so please adhere to any signage and guidance given to you on site. Some areas will be restricted at times due to staff working in those areas and we would ask that you respect any roped off areas or signage advising on this. Please note that due to the Coronavirus, we have had limited garden staff working on site during lockdown and therefore we have more wild flower areas throughout the grounds than you would normally see.

Is the gift shop open?
The shop is open for limited numbers of visitors on exit only. Shop staff may ask you to wait whilst others shop, we appreciate your patience. If you do not wish to visit the shop there is an alternative exit, please advise a member of the team so they can direct you. Please note, the Gardens Restaurant cannot be accessed through this way and has a separate route signposted.

Are you selling plants?
Yes, we have a selection of plants available at the entrance point. If you wish to make a purchase then we will have them ready for you at the exit so you won’t need to carry them on your visit.

Are you accepting cash payments?
No, in the interest of hygiene we are no longer accepting cash on site. Tickets can be pre-booked online and contactless payments can be made on our payment machines in the shop and catering outlets.

Do you have wheelchairs available? 
Yes, we have a limited number available on a first come first served basis. Request a wheelchair at the entrance and return it at the exit where it will be fully sanitised.

Can I change my booking for a different date?
Unfortunately we are not able to make amendments to bookings once they are made, this is so we can control numbers on site. If you are feeling unwell, please do not come to the Gardens. Please email reception@westdean.ac.uk to let us know you won't be visiting, please provide your booking reference number and name.  

I purchased a Spring Pass before lockdown - can I use this when booking online?
This entry was extended for two months from the date of the Gardens re-opening and expired on 26 August 2020.

I have an Afternoon Escape voucher or a Gardens gift voucher that has expired during the lockdown, what can I do?
Please contact us on reception@westdean.ac.uk for any vouchers which expired between 23 March and 30 June 2020 so we can advise you further. You will be able to use your Afternoon Escape voucher at our catering outlets on site. Please surrender the voucher and the team will be happy to offer you a hot drink and cake of your choice for two. Gift vouchers are also redeemable in the catering outlets and in the gift shop or plant sales area.

I am a Friend – are you going to make up for the three months entry I’ve missed?
We can extend your membership by three months if you would like us to. So that we can manage the administration, we'll give you the option to extend your membership by three months (even if you choose not to renew) when we write to confirm your renewal is due.

I have HHA/Gardener’s World membership – can I book online?  
Yes, there are now options for Gardeners World and Historic Houses Association membership holders. You will need to bring your vouchers or cards with you to validate your ticket at the admission kiosk.

Can I make a group booking?
Unfortunately we cannot take any groups bookings as we are working to the Government guidance on social distancing. We ask our visitors and staff to keep two metres apart on site therefore any large groups in the Gardens may be asked to disperse to maintain the appropriate distancing measures.

Is the House open?
The House operates as West Dean College of Arts and Conservation so it is not open to the general public. The College is currently closed with access only to essential staff, please do not try to enter the building.

Do I need to wear a mask and gloves? 
As per the latest Government guidelines, you will be required to wear a face covering when you are browsing in the Gardens shop and in communal washroom areas. Face coverings do not need to be worn outdoors as you stroll around, or in our cafés.

Are you participating in the Government's Eat Out To Help Out Scheme?
Yes, the scheme offers a 50% discount on food and drink purchased (not including alcohol) up to the value of £10 per person. This starts on 3 August and runs for the rest of the month of August; Monday-Wednesday only. If you wish to visit the Restaurant, please book your tickets in advance

What if I notice someone not adhering to the rules or I become worried about others behaviour?
Please call our Duty House Officer on 01243 818 206 with the details if you are concerned about any behaviour on site. We will have staff patrolling the grounds throughout the day and others stationed in key areas so please make them aware if there is an issue.

Is there any other information I need to be aware of?
We would be extremely grateful if you could follow the guidance below when on site to make all visitors feel safe and comfortable.

  • Maintain a 2m distance from other visitors and staff
  • Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds and use the sanitiser stations provided
  • Wear a face covering when you are in the Gardens shop and in communal washroom areas
  • Some of our paths are quite narrow so please be respectful and patient with others using them by allowing them to pass safely at a distance
  • Follow the signage in place on site for your own and others’ safety
  • No bicycles are allowed on site
  • No ball games are allowed on site
  • No use of drones are allowed on site
  • Access to the College is not available, please do not try to enter
  • Please pick up any litter and place in the bins provided or take it home with you
  • Please keep your dogs on a lead and clean up after them using the bins provided
  • Please keep your children close within your group

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.