About Us

Discover the power of plants for health, medicines, and for your mind.  Wander up a country lane in a panoramic stretch of Northumberland to find a uniquely peaceful garden nestled on the banks of a winding river.  Visitors say its natural design has a remarkably calming effect, the natural beauty soothing the mind.

Find a physic garden with a distinct 21st century character, a garden steeped in the science of plants for health and medicines, and also for our well-being. Wander winding pathways to discover over 800 medicinal plants with a focus on those for the brain – this is the place where the scientific discovery that sage and rosemary are good for our memory began. Beside each plant read its traditional use, morsels of folklore and magic, and discover medical drugs from plants, scientific data and clinical evidence.  Many visitors, especially children, like the folklore and magic better than the science.

Dilston Physic Garden embraces the beauty and importance of medicinal plants.  Many plants contain chemicals that can have a powerful effect when introduced into our body. Cutting edge drugs derived from plants are used by doctors, and whole plant extracts used by medical herbalists worldwide to treat human illnesses. Plant ingredients can also promote health and contain a host of preventative medicines such as antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and anticancer agents.

Opening Times

Summer season opening (April to September) Wednesdays & Saturdays 11am to 4pm.

NEW Thursday Opening 12-3 pm (until further notice). Scroll down for winter opening times.

Groups are welcome any day by appointment and with a tour – book a guided tour or talk on medicinal plants.

This season June to August we have our pop up Herbal Dispensary with medical herbalists 12-2pm on Wednesdays (until end August) and our Thursday dispensary with herbal pharmacist will return next summer.

While your here explore our new trails on plants clinically effective to boost your brain and enjoy our uplifting and soothing house blend Botanical Tea freshly picked from the physic garden or our botanically infused hot Hot Chocolate.

We’re also open all year for workshops – unearth more secrets of the plants around you by taking one of our independent workshops.  All with a focus on the healing potential of the natural world, from brain boosters, perfumery, herbal medicine and remedy making to photography, mindspas and astronomy to our in-residencies workshops on art and creative writing.

Discovering what plants can do for your health with our 10 day Foundation in Plant Medicine course could well be one of the best things you have ever done (or so we are told!)

Winter season opening (October to March) – Wednesdays and Saturdays 11am-3pm and Thursday 12-2pm (until further notice) – but is weather dependent and will not open when temperature on or below zero oC.  Please bring suitable footwear for the muddy lane in winter!

Lots to See & Do

Relax, take 2 minutes out, watch a snap shot of Dilston Physic Garden.  Come to unwind and take it easy, away from life’s hustle and bustle.  Relax on our aromatic Chamomile Lawn, wander the 100 Willow Coppice (dedicated to the commonest plant derived drug available) or our Medicinal Meadow.  Follow the Labyrinth,take a break at the AromaSeat and sit by the Tranquility Pool.

Make a wish at the Cloutie Tree or watch the Wind Sculpture.  Stop by the Time Space Zone (and see medicinal plants from round the world and through history).  Soak up the sun at the SunDial Seat.  Browse The Physic Shop with locally produced plant based medicinal tinctures, creams, soaps, dried teas & much more.  Grow your own physic garden – find potted plants good for the brain.  Visit our Dispensary of Herbal Medicine Wednesdays 12-2pm with registered medical herbalists (until end August) and our Thursday dispensary with herbal pharmacist returns spring 2018.

Children enjoy the Witches Den, Drawing Hut, Croquet, Giant Chess and Explorer Trail.  Follow our other developing trails and activities – at Dilston we focus on plants to boost your mind and brain.  In collaboration we have just completed our first pilot trial testing a combination of 3 European plant extracts on word recall on volunteers – with results showing the group aged under 62 years, who took the extract containing the test herbs, improved in their ability to remember correctly by over 50%, compared to those who didn’t take it in the same age group.

Plants & Modern Medicine

Dilston Physic Garden is a Registered Charity.

With links to the University of Newcastle in several ways, including interactions with Northeast Universities Medicinal Plant Research Group (MPRG), educational visits from North East university medical students, groups from other university departments.

As well as taking interactive educational visits from primary and secondary schools, Dilston has research links to Kew Gardens in London.


Our volunteers are central in caring for the plants at Dilston Physic Garden and say they experience many rewarding opportunities and in a number of different and exciting ways.
As well as keeping all of the physic garden herbs healthy and happy and harvesting them to make tea or to dry and package them, volunteers also show visitors around and answer questions.

We provide any training needed and volunteers pick up herbal tip bits, enjoy good company and the odd healthy herbal lunch!

Volunteers can be reimbursed for traveling expenses and also have the chance to join a workshop of their choice, free of charge. Just contact us to start your experience !

DilstonPhysicGarden @MedicalBotany

What others say about us

A. Robson

“The most exquisite magical garden you could find”

A. Robson
L.S., Salford

“What a fantastic find! Thank you.”

L.S., Salford
M.R., Newcastle

“A beautiful and peaceful garden and a real source of inspiration.”

M.R., Newcastle
P.N, Sheffield

“Absolutely fabulous. Thank you.”

P.N, Sheffield

Sage, Rosemary & Melissa to boost memory

 Phytomedicine Available online 18 August 2017 In Press, Accepted Manuscript A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled pilot trial of a combined extract of sage, rosemary and melissa, traditional herbal medicines, on the enhancement of memory in normal healthy subjects, including influence of age N.S.L.Perrya R.Menziesb F.Hodgsonb P.Wedgewoodb M.-J.R.Howesc.H.J.Brookerd K.A.Wesnesd. E.K. Perrya Show more https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2017.08.015 Get rights and content Abstract Objective To evaluate for […]

Autumn Equinox Event

At the time of the Autumn Equinox, day and night are once again equal and balanced. But unlike the Spring Equinox when we moved into the light of summer, now we cross a threshold to ‘the darkness of winter and the magical powers of the stars and the inner realms’. At this turning of the […]

Midsummer solstice

Celebrate the Summer Solstice Dilston Physic Garden Saturday 24th June 5.00pm – 8.00pm The Summer Solstice marks the time when the sun is at the height of its power – and nature’s response is a splendid display of colour and fragrance. This time is known in contemporary druidry as ‘Alban Hefin’ which means ‘Light of […]