View of the Arboretum at West Dean Gardens West Sussex

West Dean's Arboretum

St Roche's Arboretum is a must-see in late spring with an abundant display of rhododendrons and azaleas. The 2.5 mile circuit walk encompasses a fine collection of specimen trees and shrubs and breathtaking views of the Sussex Downs and of the flint house of West Dean College of Arts and Conservation. Whatever the weather if you're after a country walk with stunning vistas then come to West Dean Gardens.

The 49-acre St Roche's Arboretum was started in the 1830s. Edward James kept his golden pheasants in the arboretum and made a significant contribution to its planting. 

The Great Storm of 1987 devastated the arboretum, felling many exotic trees and destroying the underplanting. However, on reflection the storm that intially appeared disastrous has proved of long-term benefit. The arboretum has gone from being overplanted to a better balanced collection with more open woodland and large glades with interconnecting paths, perfect for visitors to explore.

Read more about the arboretum and the rest of West Dean Gardens in the Gardens book, available from the Gardens Shop.

Walks Around West Dean Estate

A good network of public footpaths and bridleways makes it an inviting prospect for those who enjoy exploring on foot and this downloadable booklet contains six walks to give you some ideas. One route is also suitable for exploration by cyclists and horse riders.

Support West Dean Gardens

West Dean Gardens is part of a registered charity and its upkeep and care are only possible with the support of generous donors, friends and legacy gifts.

If you share our passion for the gardens and gardening excellence,
please find out how you can help support their upkeep.