Press Release: What’s On at West Dean, an entertaining year in 2015

For everyone who enjoys outdoor events, trying new things, learning new skills and meeting new people there is something to tempt the beginner and the more experienced at West Dean in 2015. The College and Gardens offer an exciting full programme for artists, art and craft fans, festival-goers, food fans, gardeners and music lovers. You can shop and try a creative workshop at the Design and Craft Fair, learn new skills on an art or craft short course, taste new foods and dance to Latin music at the 20th annual Chilli Fiesta and much more to ensure you have a fun packed year, whatever your interests.

As West Dean is part of a charity, every penny spent there, whether on a short course, in the shops, entry to the Gardens or an event, and every donation made, helps open up West Dean for more people and preserve it for future generations.



1 February West Dean Gardens open. Dogs welcome on a short lead. Children go FREE. For opening times and entry fees visit Relax and enjoy the beauty of the gardens and admire the displays of over 500,000 snowdrops and crocus bulbs.


Mother's Day in the Gardens (Sunday 15 March 10.30am - 5.00pm). Children go FREE.

From a derelict hill farm to a spectacular garden. Garden Lecture by Derry Watkins (21 March 9.45am to 3pm £71 Suitable for all).


Easter Egg Trails around the Gardens for children (1 - 6 April10.30am - 5.00pm).

Perennial geraniums - the stalwarts of the garden. Garden Lecture by Rosy Hardy (11 April 9.45am to 3pm £71 Suitable for all).


West Dean House Opening (9 - 10 May). See inside some of the State Rooms in the Grade II* Listed historic house.

Monkey! A new show for the whole family devised by Puppetcraft and inspired by the classic Chinese story. (Saturday 9 May 3pm Adults £9, Children under 16 £6).


Design and Craft Fair featuring MADE (19 - 21 June). Over 100 artists and craftspeople showcase their work and visitors can learn a new skill in taster workshops, run by the College tutors.

The Vegetable Patch - doing it differently by Mark Diacono and Lia Leenderz (Garden Lecture 6 June 9.45am - 3pm £71 Suitable for all).

Beauty and plenty - the glory of the walled kitchen garden by Amber Edwards, Jim Buckland, Sarah Wain and Tom Coward (Garden Lecture 7 June 9.45am - 3pm £71 Suitable for all).


Short Courses Summer School

Week One 25 to 31 July. Choose from a range of exciting creative, week long courses in a relaxing and inspiring location.

West Dean College, Visual Art Students' Summer Show.

Open to public: 4 - 10 July (Private View: evening of Friday 3 July) at The Old Dairy Studios. Concerts 2015 in The Old Library at West Dean College:

The Chilingirian Quartet in Concert

(Tuesday 21 July, 8pm £15).

Public Masterclass with the Chilingirian Quartet

(Wednesday, 22 July, 2pm £8).

The Chilingirian Quartet in Concert

(Thursday 23 July, 8pm £15).

Students' Showcase Concert

(Friday 24 July, 8pm £6) and Students' Informal Concert (Saturday 25 July, 2pm £6).


20th Chilli Fiesta (7 - 9 August). The award-winning weekend festival celebrates 20 years in 2015 with a spectacular firework display on the Saturday night. Early bird prices Saturday Admission Adult £12.00 (Gate Adult £14.50), Friday or Sunday Admission Adult £10.00 (Gate Adult £12.00).

Short Courses Summer School

(Week Two 1 - 7 August, Week Three 8 - 14 August). Choose from a range of exciting creative courses in a relaxing and inspiring location.


(Open Day, Masterclasses and Concerts). Held in The Old Library and the Auditorium, West Dean College and the neighbouring St Andrew's Church.

*Concert by Marcin Dylla

(Saturday15 August 8pm £15).

Recital by Morgan Szymanski

(Sunday 16 August 6pm £5).

*Concert by David Leisner

(Monday 17 August 8pm £12).

*Concert by Amanda Cook

(Tuesday 18 August 8pm £12).

*Concert by Arctic Guitar Trio

(Wednesday 19 August 8pm £12).

*Guitar Open Day

including exhibitions of music and instruments, Masterclass with Marcin Dylla, Lecture by Jan de Kloe and recital by Morgan Szymanski (Sunday 16 August 11.30 - 7pm £12).


Season Ticket - entry for four starred concerts above and Guitar Open Day £50.


Willow basketmaking - influences from East Germany with Mary Butcher. (24 - 27 September Long Weekend £337 Suitable for all).

Writing your family history with award-winning journalist Joanna Moorhead. (12 September £109 Beginners).


Mexican Week A colourful and spicy week of creative courses focusing on inspiration from Mexican culture, both traditional and contemporary. (18 - 23 October Suitable for all to Intermediate level).

Spooky Halloween activities in the Gardens (26 - 31 October).

Old plants, new plants - how to select the very best of both for your garden by Graham Gough. (Garden Talk Saturday 24 October 2 - 3.30pm £25)

Recital with Roy Stratford (piano) and Oliver Nelson (violin) A celebration of Czech music. (The Old Library, West Dean College. Saturday 3 October 8pm £10).


Father Christmas visits West Dean

(12 &13 and 19 & 20 December).


West Dean has a commitment to providing access to education in the creative arts. From its own funds and with the support of generous donations from a number of trusts and individuals, The College offers bursaries to people who could not otherwise afford to study on a West Dean short course.


From £75 per room per night (double) bookable within14 days of intended stay. To book accommodation call +44 (0)1243 811301 or email [email protected].

For more on what's on at West Dean, to browse the Short Course flipbook brochure or to make a booking visit


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.
  • The Gardens are open from 1 February - 20 December with special event days throughout the year. See more information on events.
  • 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, or filming opportunities should contact the Media Relations Team.
  • West Dean College is 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


Help preserve our future

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.

Find out how to support us