West Dean Gardens
West Dean Gardens
4.5
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
About
West Dean Gardens is one of the greatest restored Gardens open to the public in England. Wander through the 300 foot long Edwardian pergola, visit the restored Victorian glasshouses, Walled Kitchen Gardens, Sunken Garden and orchards. Finish with a walk through the arboretum, Spring Garden and the peaceful parkland. Enjoy an inspirational day out visiting West Dean Gardens. A rare oasis of beauty and tranquillity in the heart of the South Downs, now open year round. To visit the Gardens pre-booking tickets online is essential.
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  • CliveSinc
    Ascot, United Kingdom76 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    One of the best gardens in the country for variety and wonderment.
    Spectacular gardens with lots of variety, a 2.5k woodland walk if you're feeling active. Sensational streams with waterfalls flowing under flint bridges just before the woodland walk. The other parts of the gardens are well laid out with huge variety of interesting plants and trees, a wide variety of greenhouses with everything for orchids to cacti. To round off your visit the cafe serves wonderful cream teas! Expert and very friendly staff are really knowledgeable and very helpful. This is a wonderful place, we had such a lovely afternoon here.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 18, 2023
  • Sally Ann
    Chichester, United Kingdom120 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great outdoor space - great for woof walking and plant spotting
    We are members so we're slightly biased ;) but do go! We spend hours walking our dogs there and never fail to see new things along the way. Very well tended gardens and a great spot for our annual picnic just before the outdoor theatre performances in the summer. Great cafe too.
    Visited April 2023
    Written May 31, 2023
  • iris g
    110 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely garden
    I have not been to West Dean Gardens for several years, and was pleasantly surprised. It all has a more relaxed feel to it. Set in a stunning situation. I do not usually like prairie type plantings, as they always seem to be too flat, but this one was different. It had plants of varying heights, not too many grasses and a backdrop of shrubs and trees. It even had my favourite colours. Only down side was the sandwich served in the restaurant, which was so tough, some of it was inedible. Perhaps a change in the menu is needed there.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 20, 2023
  • Luco88
    12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely gardens
    Really nice estate and gardens with lovely greenhouses with very interesting green plants and cactuses, would definitely recommend. The cafe is very pleasant, and we did enjoy our lunch there, although we thought the 'homemade' sausage rolls that we both had were a bit weird, more like a huge sage stuffing en-croute and not the nicest. I would definitely go back to visit the gardens and recommend to others.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 12, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles764 reviews
Excellent
489
Very good
178
Average
45
Poor
23
Terrible
29

Harry
London, UK4 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Family
We had previously gone to the cafe at West Dean Gardens and thought it might be a good place to take our young daughter for the morning. Unfortunately, our first mistake was not realising that it only opened at 10.30am (!) and so we spent 30 mins waiting for it to open. Once it did eventually open, we were then informed that, unlike our previous visit, that it was only possible to visit the cafe as a paying customer for the gardens, which we were not going to do to grab a coffee and slice of cake. Whilst I don’t agree with this approach, it is of course the Gardens’ right to take this approach, however the situation could have been improved by: (1) perhaps communicating this to your customers so they do not make the mistake of showing up, expecting to be able to have a coffee, and (2) training your staff so that they’re not so officious and rude towards this perfectly reasonable assumption. I shan’t be hurrying back here anytime soon!
Written July 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

alienaylings
Arundel, UK194 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020
This garden is so beautiful. It has many areas, a fabulous downland view from the front of the college building, a walled garden with orchard and cutting garden, veg garden. Flint walls with espalier fruit trees. Some wonderfully restored Victorian glass houses with great selections of varied plants. A sunken garden and a long pergola with wisteria and this ends in a rounded area with mosaic floor including horses teeth.
There is a less formal garden the other side of the college and it has a river running through it and some sculpture that is changed from time to time. Quirky structures and curios, places to sit, peaceful. Up the hill form the college is a walk to the arboretum with two other walks. The whole place is magical and you could spend hours there. There is a cafe with indoor and outside seating, the food and prices are reasonable.
Written July 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Phil42bognor
Bognor Regis, UK157 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
Superb gardens and the corona rules have been implemented perfectly. The timed arrival works really well, infact the corona arrangements are probably better than normal times with the pre-booking working superbly. West Dean have gone to great lengths to make your visit perfect, I was amazed at how many toilets they have provided, all impeccably clean. The Café is also open with a slightly reduced menu, but still with a really good selection to suit most tastes. They have even provided an additional cafe area in front of the college so no need to queue.
Would fully recommend a visit, we will definitely be back
Written August 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dreambig
Royal Tunbridge Wells, UK151 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Couples
Very informative staff on arrival with good welcome. Beautiful walled gardens with plant markers to easily identify. Vistas of the downs and surrounding Sussex area that we will remember for a long time. However our decision to eat lightly in the restaurant before we left spoilt the day. 35m wait for two sandwiches when most diners had left (was after 1.30). Can someone please taste the red cabbage side salad because I couldn’t eat it because it’s bitter. It needs a dressing on it. If we hadn’t paid upfront for the food we would of left. We then witnessed a compromised OAP with sticks have to walk half a mile away from restaurant for a comfort break on a 30c sweltering day. Toilets need to be closer to restaurant. At the exit I could only think of this lady again as we were made to walk a longer way back to car park (Covid?) which seemed a bit unnecessary when waiting staff are 1m in restaurant.
Written August 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TrailBlazer250622
3 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Friends
The garden was beautiful. The staff were unhelpful and not very nice frankly. The waitress would not consider something slightly different than what was on menu even though they didn’t have what I had ordered on the menu.

The item I took to the till in the shop was £15 not the £10 on the label .

You still have to pre book to get in despite most gardens having lifted restrictions
Written October 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

denise l
Bexhill-on-Sea, UK542 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Couples
We used the Gardener's World 2 for 1 voucher so only £10 to enter. Timed booking was straightforward online. We were a little early so had a cup of tea in the small cafe just outside the gardens although there are places to eat and drink in the gardens. Due to its size it is well set up for social distancing with extra porta loo cabins on site.
The gardens are in a spectacular setting in a valley with fields all around. Interesting garden spaces. Some of the areas looked a little neglected but it was a pleasant walk all round.
Written August 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stefanie B
Chichester, UK6 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
I have been trying to become a member for a while. I am not sure why they are not taking memberships, surely they would like the money. I went for lunch with two friends. I ordered a sausage roll with chutney. The sausage roll was like a cannonball! Dry and overcooked. I did not send it back because my friend was paying and it is always somewhat embarrassing. The waitresses were extremely busy and ‘frazzled’. I understand that the soup was very good. However, where is the home grown produce? The vegetable gardens seemed to be crammed full of produce that nobody was picking or selling. The Apple store had boxes of apples that looked decidedly dusty. We visited the shop and bought some reduced Halloween items which were good value. All In all the whole experience felt dreary and lacklustre, what a shame, I have always loved taking friends to this venue.
Written October 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John F
Waterlooville, UK54 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
Visited West Dean Gardens with a small group. I thoroughly enjoyed my relaxed wander through the grounds. I'm not into gardening but it didn't matter. The colours and varying sizes and shapes of the exhibits kept me entertained. I particularly liked the wildlife/bug 'hotel', made from all sorts of materials. It certainly gave me ideas for my poor garden. We also enjoyed the café, where the enthusiastic staff made us very welcome, and the food was good. If I have a gripe I thought the entry charge was a little high, but I appreciate it must cost a great deal to keep the gardens looking so good. Thank you west Dean Gardens, I will be back for another visit.
Written May 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hilary G
West Sussex98 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
Yesterday (6/7) my father-in-law passed away. Today (7/7) is my husband's birthday. As a distraction we visited West Dean Gardens, but had been there barely 15 minutes (approximately 11.45) when a simple and polite enquiry to a member of staff, (an older man emptying grass cuttings in the walled garden) was met with staggering rudeness and outright lies.
Both of us were stunned and very upset by this man's inexplicable attitude and rudeness, and what was already a difficult day was utterly ruined.
I must add that the lady working in the cafe to whom we spoke and who was witness to our distress, was very kind - offering us free coffee and cake, and also the gardens themselves are lovely. A great pity that such a rude man is employed in a situation where he is likely to have to interact with paying customers.
Written July 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

john s
Ashtead61 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
The tranquil atmosphere was the biggest plus point for this place.We arrived on bus 60 from Chichester .We asked the driver if this was correct stop for West Dean Gardens .It was not ! We had to walk a long way to the correct stop.When we arrived we loved the peace and calm of the gardens.The sheep just bleated at us and got on with the most important task of the day eating grass.Liked the way that wild flowers and grasses were allowed to bloom.Was originally going to go and do the 2 mile walk up in the downs but after having a nice avocado and bacon salad did not feel like rushing for anything so we just went around looking at the river Lavant ,spring pond ,West Dean house and other things we liked first time around.Found staff very friendly and chatty they seemed [pleased to see us unlike the bus driver.The salad was a little bit dearer than my local pub lunch but it was bigger and tasted twice as good.
Written May 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We're so pleased that you enjoyed your visit and hope that you'll visit again soon. Thank you for your feedback about the bus-stop and we'll see if there is a way of making the correct one clearer to visitors.
Written June 23, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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West Dean Gardens - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about West Dean Gardens

West Dean Gardens is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:30 AM - 5:00 PM



West Dean Gardens Information

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Very Good Reviews

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West Dean Gardens Photos

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