Take a visit to West Dean Gardens to explore 90 acres of Victorian-styled award-winning grounds encompassing Glasshouses, a 300-foot Edwardian pergola, a spring garden, and rare fibreglass trees.
Built by James Lewkenor in 1622, the gardens were created alongside the manor-house. It was almost 200 years later that they were expanded alongside the redevelopment of the house (now an independent college) and have been developed ever since. The age-old Beeches, Limes, Horse Chestnuts, Planes and Cedars remind you when you arrive of just how long the gardens have been there.
Today, the grounds, run by gardeners Jim and Sarah, have been split into four distinct areas. The first of these includes a Walled Fruit Garden with an abundance of fruit which backs onto 13 Victorian glasshouses, home to a variety of tropical and temperate plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables. Wonder how the gardens have changed? Why not visit the photographic exhibition displaying photos of the grounds from over 25 years or wander through the Walled Kitchen Garden.
The second section, the pleasure grounds, includes a Sunken Garden, allowing you to stop and admire the Pergola built in 1911 and stretching to 300 ft in length making it one of the largest in the country. Here, you can also discover the Spring and Wild Gardens. After these peaceful stops, stretch your legs with a stroll through St Roche's Arboretum (a beautiful 50-acre collection of trees and shrubs surrounded by native woodland) and continue along the Parkland Walk to take in views of the house and the rolling South Downs. Finally, you can top off your visit with a bite (or two) at the restaurant with a breathtaking view of the Lavant Valley.
February, November, December:
Monday - Friday from 10:30am - 16:00
Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays from 9:00am - 16:00
March - October:
Monday - Friday from 10:30am - 17:00
Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays from 9:00am - 17:00