Press Release: Here comes summer, What’s on at West Dean in 2016

West Dean College and Gardens offer an exciting full programme for 2016 for artists, art and craft fans, festival-goers, food fans, gardeners and music lovers. Learn exciting new skills on a short course, dance to Latin music at the award-winning Chilli Fiesta, see the work of emerging artists at the Summer Exhibition then celebrate the British Harvest at Apple Affair, and much more to ensure you have a wonderful year, whatever your interests.



Mother's Day in the Gardens (Sunday 6 March 9am - 5.00pm). FREE entry for mums and includes a complimentary bunch of daffodils. Entry £8.50 Adult standard gardens entry price. Children go free all year-round.

Easter Egg Trails around the award-winning gardens for children (25 - 28 March 9am - 5.00pm last entry 4pm). Price £2.50 per child (includes two children's activities and a chocolate prize for completing the trail) £8.50 Adult standard gardens entry price.

Delight in Dahlias gardens lecture with Andy Vernon, author of the award-winning book The Plant Lover's Guide to Dahlias (Saturday 26 March 2pm - 3.30pm £25).


Annual West Dean House Opening with a historic objects conservation theme (30 April and1 May 10am to 5pm last entry 4.30pm). Adult Early Bird £7.20 until 17 April (standard price £9.00), children under 16 free.


Gardens inspired by nature - ecological planting for a changing climate, a gardens lecture with Nigel Dunnett, horticulturist, designer and ecologist, and Olivier Filippi, plantsman and designer. (14 May, £72, suitable for all).


Design and Craft Fair featuring MADE (3, 4 & 5 June 10am to 5pm) Tickets Early Bird £8 Adult until 27 May (Standard £10) Children under 16 free. Additional costs: workshops.

Pergola Theatre Week (27 June - 9 July) in the award-winning West Dean Gardens. (Gardens Restaurant open in the evening until 7.15pm).


Visual Art Students' Summer Exhibition (1 - 8 July 10am to 4pm) in the Auditorium, Edward James Studios at West Dean. Free entry. The Gardens Restaurant is open on the Preview Evening, 1 July.

Visual Arts and Crafts Summer Schools Week One (23 - 29 July) and Week Two (30 July - 5 August).

Garden talk, The true cottage garden by cottage plant specialists and growers The Cottage Herbery (Saturday 16 July 2 - 3.30pm £25 Suitable for all).

The Chilingirian Summer School for string quartets and ensembles (19 - 23 July £663). Generous scholarships are available to assist music students and young professionals to attend this course.

The Chilingirian Quartet in Concert Haydn Op 54 No 2, Bartok No 3 Beethoven Op 18 No 1 (Tuesday 19 July 8pm £15).

Public Masterclass with The Chilingirian Quartet (Wednesday 20 July 2pm £8).

The Chilingirian Quartet in Concert (Thursday 21 July 8pm £15).

Students' Showcase Concert (Friday 22 July 8pm £6).

Students' Informal Concert (Saturday 23 July 2pm £6).


West Dean Gardens' award-winning Chilli Fiesta (5, 6 and 7 August 10am - 11pm, 9pm Sunday). The UK's biggest family-friendly chilli festival with live Latin music, children's activities, cookery and gardening demonstrations, a marketplace and camping. Early Bird tickets offer 20% discount including a Weekend Ticket with Camping, Adult £80 Child £28.80. Tickets now on sale at

Visual Arts and Crafts Summer School Week Three (6 - 12 August).


Concert by Benjamin Verdery (Saturday 20 August 8pm £15).

Guitar Open Day including exhibitions, guitar makers' showcase and a masterclass with Benjamin Verdery (Sunday 21 August 11.30am-7pm £12) and Recital by Sean Shibe (6pm £5).

Concert by Berta Rojas (Monday 22 August 8pm £12).

Concert by Irina Kulikova (Tuesday 23 August 8pm £12).

Concert by Aquarelle Guitar Quartet (Wednesday 24 August 8pm £12).


Recital of music for violin and piano with Roy Stratford (piano) and Oliver Nelson (violin) (Saturday 24 September 8pm £10).


Apple Affair (1 - 2 October 10.30am to 5pm) at West Dean Gardens. Ticket prices to be announced.

Spooky Halloween half term activities in the award-winning gardens (26 - 30 October 10.30am to 4.30pm). Further details to be announced.


Father Christmas Visits to the Historic Apple Store at West Dean Gardens (10 & 11 and 17 & 18 December). Further details to be announced.

Notes to editors

  • West Dean College is part of The Edward James Foundation, a charitable trust, also comprising West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.
  • West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.

Media Contact Information

For further information, high-resolution digital images of filming opportunities, please contact

Irene Caswell, Senior Media Relations Officer, +44 (0)1243 818301


West Dean College, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ