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“What a discovery”
Review of West Dean Gardens

West Dean Gardens
Ranked #11 of 66 things to do in Chichester
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: West Dean Gardens is one of the greatest restored Gardens open to the public in England. Wander through the 300 foot long Edwardian pergola, visit the restored Victorian glasshouses, Walled Kitchen Gardens, Sunken Garden and orchards. Finish with a walk through the arboretum, Spring Garden and the peaceful parkland. Enjoy and inspirational day out visiting West Dean Gardens. A rare oasis of beauty and tranquillity in the heart of the South Downs.
Reviewed 13 February 2014

Driving leisurely one afternoon after lunch from our favourite Inn in Swanmore, we found this place. ..Superb homemade scones and generous portions of clotted cream and jam...lovely tea while looking at the view outside of the hill where you can see sheep, plus you can buy some nice novelties and jams made from West Dean campus itself. Certainly worth a visit

Thank Sakuraneneng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"chilli"
in 46 reviews
"walled garden"
in 55 reviews
"fruit trees"
in 20 reviews
"longer walk"
in 8 reviews
"spring garden"
in 8 reviews
"rolling hills"
in 9 reviews
"full bloom"
in 9 reviews
"south downs"
in 26 reviews
"stunning gardens"
in 8 reviews
"formal gardens"
in 9 reviews
"melon"
in 8 reviews
"nice restaurant"
in 9 reviews
"cream tea"
in 13 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 30 reviews
"tea room"
in 10 reviews
"for sale"
in 11 reviews
"woodland walk"
in 7 reviews
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432 - 436 of 544 reviews

Reviewed 22 December 2013

I first visited in 1996 and couldn't believe the walled garden had only been restored a couple of years before. It's a fantastic showcase for practical yet decorative vegetable growing, and the trained fruit trees in the orchard are decorative and very productive. If you go to the Chilli Fiesta or visit July or August, do look at the specacular borders with hot flower colours.

Thank Diana M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WestDean, Public Relations Manager at West Dean Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2014

Thanks for your feedback - we're delighted that you enjoyed our beautiful gardens.
The Gardens close annually during January but we look forward to welcoming back visitors from 1 February 2014.
Happy New Year!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 December 2013

What a rip-off! They had the cheek to charge £10 for a few craft stalls of low quality/high price and a few lights threaded thro the trees at the entrance. There was no atmosphere in the house despite the feeble attempt at making it feel like an Edwardian Christmas with mulled wine in plastic beakers. The restaurant serves lousy tea and coffee. We have to ask for extra teabags in the pot each time we visit. When oh when will they raise the quality of their products. We've been 'friends' for the past 10 years but this is the worst. We complained about the Grow Cook Eat but the staff really don't want feed back even though they say they welcome it. This may well be the last time we'll join as 'friends' unless events and the restaurant improves considerably. Loyalty can only stretch so far.

3  Thank LuccaSiena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WestDean, Public Relations Manager at West Dean Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2014

We are very sorry that you were so disappointed with the Christmastime event. The entrance fee covered a variety of activities, including a visit to Father Christmas (if pre-booked), unlimited rides on a vintage carousel, Christmas demonstrations, carol singing and entry into the House.

As a ‘Friend of West Dean’ you should have had free entry to the event, which you don’t mention. I am sorry that you are considering not renewing your Friends membership this year, as we believe that at current prices, it represents great value for money. For £29 for an individual membership, members benefit from free entry to the Gardens year-round (except January when they are closed), and free entry to major garden events such as the Chili Fiesta. In 2013, there were 4 such events which were free to members (around £10 otherwise).

I am also sorry that you feel we are not interested in your comments. We treat all feedback seriously and use it to plan future activities. We are grateful for your loyalty to West Dean and hope that in future you will have more enjoyable visits here.
Best wishes for the new year from all at West Dean.

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Reviewed 18 December 2013

Ambience is not a few cursory lights duct-taped to a random tree or nailed to a shanty town of craft stalls.

Nor is it induced by stacking cars at the furthest point from the hall leaving you to walk through a mudbath to get there and the maximum distance in the pouring rain to escape it.

Contemptuous.

2  Thank Marcus_Aurelius_III
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WestDean, Public Relations Manager at West Dean Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2014

We are very sorry that you were so disappointed about your visit to West Dean's Christmastime event. We will take on board your feedback as we develop future events.
Best wishes for the new year from all at West Dean.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 December 2013

Absolutely shambolic from start to finish. I had looked forward to the event as it was at West Dean, so normally that's a good sign. We arrived in the rain to be pointed to a parking space in a field of mud. We then had to walk a considerable distance in dire conditions (no walkway, just slippery mud) and found as we approached the entrance that there were masses of free parking spaces, the two chaps directing the cars seemed oblivious to this fact. So no coordination there then. Having read on the website the entrance fee was £9, we weren't expecting to be charged £10 at the door just because we hadn't booked online (why should we be penalised for paying cash on the day? There was very little in the way of Christmas cheer or ambiance, the outside lighting was paltry, so were the stalls. A glass of mulled wine was included in the entrance fee, but as I don't drink alcohol this meant nothing as there were no alternatives. The website stated sleigh rides and mince pies. Not a mince pie in sight and extra charged for the sleigh rides. We went inside and expected to see more of the house for that price but basically it was the downstairs reception room, dining room and the hallway, where Santa's grotto was. We tried to peep into another room (the library I think), bit were basically shooed away by an abrupt elf as we weren't part of the Santa visit. This part was geared up for children, but for visiting adults there was nothing. We went out into the drizzle and didn't feel like parting with our money by buying anything on the stalls. We left after a short while. Overall we felt that we had paid to go shopping and were extremely disappointed. I really felt like asking for a refund and this has marred any future visits to events there. Certainly never going to Christmastime again.

4  Thank Anna C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WestDean, Public Relations Manager at West Dean Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2014

Thank you for your feedback. I am sorry that you were disappointed by your visit to our recent Christmastime event. As a whole we tried to offer a range of attractions at the event, including carol singing, a vintage carousel, Christmas shopping, Christmas demonstrations for adults, and visits to Father Christmas, and I'm sorry that you felt the event did not represent good value for money.
We are grateful for you feedback and will take on board your comments as we develop future events.
All best wishes for the new year from all at West Dean.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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