Last entry is 30 minutes before closing time.
Free entry for children under 16 - additional charge may apply on event days.
|Jan, Feb, Nov, Dec||
Mon - Sun 10.30am-4pm
|Mar - Oct||
Mon - Sun 10.30am-5pm
24, 25 and 31 December 2021
* Gift Aid price.
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.
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, 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.
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
Following the latest Government guidance, the Gardens will remain open with the Restaurant open to pre-booked ticket holders, with full table service in place. The Gift Shop is now open. Please note we will be adjusting what is available and open as and when the restrictions allow. Tickets are bookable online and there are certain restrictions, 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. Tickets can be purchased online for up to two weeks in advance but due to the latest lockdown restrictions there will be a limit on the number of tickets available per transaction.
What are the opening times?
We are open seven days a week, 10.30am – 5pm.
Are there catering facilities available?
The Gardens Restaurant is open for those with pre-booked tickets. Currently our outside tables are open with full table service. Please adhere to the current government regulations whilst using the facilities.
Can we visit the Gardens Restaurant without a Gardens ticket?
The Gardens Restaurant is only accessible with a pre-booked ticket.
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 24 July by wearing a face covering when using the public toilets on site. Accessible toilets can be located in the Gardens toilet block.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. This is a legal requirement, we therefore hold the details for 21 days in order to meet this requirement.
What happens when I arrive?
Please enter the car park from the main Gardens entrance and enter the Gardens through the Biomass boiler yard. You will need your booking reference and any relevant ID or membership cards at the visitor centre once you have parked so please have this ready for a speedy arrival. Please ensure that you only arrive for your chosen timeslot and not before to help us manage visitor flow.
Where do I park?
Please arrive at the main Gardens entrance as usual, find a space within the car park or overflow. If you have a blue badge or need to park closer to the entrance please use the disabled car parking spaces. If they are all full you can get dropped near the door and the car can then be parked in the main car park.
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, which is a short walk from the main road. For an up-to-date timetable visit the Stagecoach website.
Is the entrance still through the Visitor Centre Shop?
No, the entrance is now through the Biomass boiler yard. To exit the gardens please use the gift shop to peruse some wonderful items! Or follow the signage through the walled garden.
Will all areas of the gardens be open?
Yes, apart from a few 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?
Yes, the gift shop is now open.
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 at the Gardens Restaurant.
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 email@example.com to let us know you won't be visiting, please provide your booking reference number and name.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for any vouchers which expired between 23 March-30 June 2020 and 5 November-2 December 2020 so we can advise you further. You will be able to use your Afternoon Escape voucher at our catering outlets on site when they are open. Please surrender the voucher and the team will be happy to offer you a hot drink and cake of your choice for two.
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 Government guidelines, you will be required to wear a face covering when you are in communal washroom areas. Face coverings do not need to be worn outdoors as you stroll around.
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