Press Release: Take a creative break this Easter Short courses at West Dean College

Spring is a colourful time at West Dean where the hues and themes of nature extend into the short courses programme too. Relax and enjoy a creative Easter break as you learn a new skill, or improve an existing one, in the beautiful surroundings which offer an immersive creative atmosphere. As well as creative learning on a course, be inspired by exploring the award-winning Gardens during your stay and admire the displays of vibrant spring flowering bulbs. See the newborn lambs by the River Lavant, take a bracing walk through the peaceful parkland and admire the restored Victorian glasshouses in the Walled Kitchen Garden. Come on a creative short course with friends or join up independently and meet like-minded new friends.

Learn how to build images from your own imagination in . Imaginative drawing - an introduction to illustration with Paul Cox, whose book illustrations have been seen in Three Men in a Boat and Wind in the Willows (2 - 5 April £322).

Discover the secrets behind the magic of pop-up books and cards. Start by making examples of the main types of paper mechanisms then develop your ideas and skills in Paper engineering for pop-up books and cards with Mark Hiner (3 - 6 April £338).

Sally Gregson will show you how to create a planting scheme that seems entirely 'natural'. Learn how to creative native meadows of colourful flowers, or a matrix of planting using a framework of perennials surrounded by self-seeding annuals. Creating a naturalistic planting scheme for your garden (5 April £109 Suitable for all).

In Tall and wide - expanding your throwing skills with Alison Sandeman you will learn how to liberate your throwing practice, and taller or wider pots will become a reality. After initial practice on cylinders, you will progress to jugs, vases, jars and bottles. This is an ideal course for anyone keen to improve and develop their throwing. (5 - 10 April £588 Intermediate).

On our annual nine day Musical instrument making course you will work in one of four small groups with an experienced maker as your tutor. Instruction is given in the principles of making, assembling and finishing the instrument. (Beginners/Intermediate Advanced 31 March - 9 April £926 including all dinners)


Bring the children for an enjoyable wander round the award-winning Gardens following our Easter Egg Trails (1 - 6 April).


Wake up to beautiful views over the Sussex Downs in the stately splendour of a country mansion. The bedrooms are a mixture of contemporary and traditional styling. From £95 accommodation includes dinner and breakfast.


For more on what is on at West Dean and to browse the Short Course FLIPBOOK visit First time bookings receive a 10% discount. Telephone booking only +44 (0)1243 818300.


Notes to editors:

  • West Dean College is part of The Edward James Foundation also comprising West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.
  • The College runs over 700 short courses in arts, crafts, gardening, creative writing and music each year as well as postgraduate programmes in visual arts, conservation and making and creative writing. For more information visit
  • The award winning Gardens are open from 1 February - 20 December with special event days throughout the year; Mother's Day in the Gardens (15 March), Easter Egg Trails for children (1 - 6 April), Annual House Opening (9 & 10 May), Design and Craft Fair (19 - 21 June), 20th Chilli Fiesta (7 - 9 August), Half Term Halloween activities (26 - 31 October) and Father Christmas visits (12 & 13 and 19 & 20 December).
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.
  • Any journalist interested in visiting the Gardens, attending a course or an event for news or review purposes should contact the Media Relations Team.
  • West Dean College and Gardens are situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and six miles south of Midhurst.

Media contact information

For media accreditation or high-resolution digital images, please contact:

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


West Dean College and Gardens, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ


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We are part of a registered charity and rely on the support of generous donors, members and legacies to help us deliver world-class education in conservation, design and the creative arts and maintain our award-winning gardens.

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