West Dean College and Gardens

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West Dean College is internationally recognised for conservation and creative arts. It has one of the greatest restored gardens open to the public. A unique place to study, visit or stay, it is a centre of excellence, creativity and tranquillity. Underpinning it all is the vision of founder and Surrealist patron Edward James, connecting today's students and visitors with a rich hertiage of arts, craft and creative possibility.

Venue Type:

Historic house or home, Garden, parklands or rural site, Artist studio or collective, Archive, Festivals

Opening hours

West Dean College - all year round
West Dean Gardens:
22 December to 31 January - closed
1 - 29 February - 10.30am to 4.00pm
1 March to 31 October - 10.30am to 5.00pm
1 November to 21 December - 10.30am to 4.00pm

Admission charges

Various. Please refer to details of individual events and courses

Collection details

Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Design, Fine Art

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
West Dean Arts and Craft Festival


  • 2 — 4 June 2017

Over 200 artists, makers, writers and performers gather together for the UK's definitive arts and craft festival.
Be inspired by an outstanding showcase of arts and craft. Enjoy the theatre of live demonstrations, get hands-on in taster workshops, drop in and have-a-go on the craft hut trail, and shop with MADE from 120 superb makers and designers. Tap into the College's rich history of arts and craft as you discover works from the collection and enjoy tours, talks and screenings inside West Dean House.
What's on?
• Arts and craft demonstrations
• Live artist talks and performances
• Arts and craft fair marketplace with 120 stallholders by MADE
• Print Fair by MADE
• Talks inside the historic West Dean House
• Annual House Opening
• Hands-on workshops (additional charge)
• Creative writing talks, readings and bookstall
• Garden tours
• Grass maze
• Hut trail - drop in and join in crafts
• Micro exhibitions
• Food and drink

Suitable for

  • Any age


Adults early bird £10 (until 26 May) Gate £12. Students 16+ early bird £5 (until 26 May) Gate £6 Children free. Hands-on Workshops, additional charge

West Dean Chilli Fiesta 2017


  • 11 — 13 August 2017

The UK's biggest chilli festival returns. Join the party and dance to live Latin music, watch cookery and gardening demonstrations and taste delicious chilli foods 'til your tongue sizzles. Make the most of the family-friendly festival atmosphere and camp onsite with great facilities.
"Plenty of chances to taste chilli food, plus live Latin music and a family-friendly festival atmosphere"
The Daily Express
What's on?
• Live music including DJs and Latin bands
• Los Amigos, champagne and cider bars, cocktail camper van
• Browse over 141 stalls offering chilli gifts, plants seeds and produce
• Cookery and gardening demonstrations
• Children's activities
• Explore the gardens
• Camping
• Family area
• NEW Hidden cinema
• NEW Art installations
• NEW Pop up restaurant
• NEW Workshops - dance, drumming, food and children’s cookery.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Adult day ticket from £14.40, 3-day pass £40, Children £2 per day. Camping tickets also available. Please visit website



West Dean College and Gardens
West Dean
West Sussex
PO18 0QZ






Bookings office

01243 811300


01243 811343

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.