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.

Japanese Tea Ceremony

  • 3 December 2017 3-4pm, 4:30-5:30pm

Now in the 21st century the tea ceremony continues to influence a nation and its people's way of thinking and living. For Japanese people, Chanoyu is a mental discipline for pursuing a state of mind in which the person is calm and content. Many families continue to enrol their daughters in tea ceremony classes as part of their grooming for marriage, thus ensuring that even in this technological age the tradition will not be lost for future generations.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children


Free to watch, £10 to participate

Author Talk - Isabel Ashdown

  • 5 December 2017 5:30-7pm

You are invited to an evening talk with Author Isabel Ashdown. This is part of series of free talks organised by the MA Creative Writing Department at West Dean College.
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.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Music from America and more, including George Gershwin

  • 13 January 2018 8-10pm

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.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children


Tickets £10

Author Talk - Stephen May , Support for Artists: How, exactly, do you begin to live the dream?

  • 20 March 2018 5:30-7pm

Are you a writer or artist of any kind? Is your passion to create art? Or to help others do so? This uncomplicated, stimulating and jargon-free talk will help unravel the mysteries of arts funding and explore the ways in which you can support yourself while developing your artistic career. Stephen May has spent many years helping people involved in the arts find practical ways to follow their dreams, and since 2010 he has combined a career as a writer with work developing arts practitioners for Arts Council England

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children


Online registration required

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.