Dilston Physic Garden

Discover the secret health and brain boosting powers of the plants around you.  Did you know that plants are good for the brain, helping mood and memory, reducing stress and sleeplessness and may even help prevent dementia?  Did you know that just about every European species has mystery and medicine surrounding it?

Nestled above a meandering tributary of the Tyne in Northumberland, Dilston Physic Garden embraces the natural beauty and importance of plants for medicines and for our health and wellbeing, with a special focus on plants for the brain.  Explore this beautiful tranquil physic garden and its two acre collection of 800 European medicinal species.  Learn exciting facts that could change your life on the way!

Signboards tell you what part of health each plant supports and how.  From fascinating legends and folklore in the history of each plants use, to their relevance in cutting edge science and medicine today,  discover why plants are essential to keep us healthy, to boost many different aspects of our brain, and of vital importance as medicines worldwide.

The world of phytochemicals for health and medicine is astonishing.  Of course plants have been traditionally used for hundreds of years, but today there’s a huge amount of scientific research from round the world to show just how plants and their chemicals ingredients treat specific disorders or boost and preserve our health.

There’s so much more to unfold, we’re only just beginning to understand their full potential.  Many plants are positive powerhouses of preventative medicine.  From flavonoids to terpenoids they contain antibacterials, antifungals, antivirals as well as anticancers, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.  All of which they produce to look after themselves in their environment, and many of which do and may have the same effects, as well as many more, in our body and in our brain.

We think it’s becoming obvious that if we want to live without disease, we can’t live without plants in our lives.

Opening Times

We’re open this winter season Wednesdays and Saturdays 11am-3pm.

This is in response to visitor requests to experience the physic garden in late autumn and during winter – but is weather dependent and will not open when temperature on or below zero oC.  Please bring suitable footwear for the muddy lane!

We will close from 17th December to the 14th January.  Summer Season (April to October) we’re until 4pm.  Groups are welcome any day by appointment and with a tour.

This winter season enjoy your physic garden trail with two takeaway drinks available in The Physic Shop.  Our uplifting and soothing House Blend Botanical Tea and our new Botanically Infused Chocolate.  In the summer season our House Blend Botanical Tea is made with 5 herbs freshly picked from the physic garden.

Discover new trails, book a guided tour or talk on medicinal plants, or unearth more secrets of the plants around us by taking one of our inspiring workshops.  Run by tutors independent of the physic garden, workshops all focus on the healing potential of the natural world, including brain boosters, botanical perfumery, various herbal medicine and remedy making days, photography, labyrinth walking, mindspas and astronomy, while holders of our residencies offer sessions on art, creative writing & plant folklore and history.

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!)

Don’t forget to always consult a registered medical herbalist and inform your health care practitioner before taking any plant medicinally.

Lots to See & Do

Relax, take 2 minutes out, watch a snap shot of Dilston Physic Garden.  This physic garden is not just about the amazing powers of plants for health and as medicines.  It’s a place to discover that plants can boost your brain, and a place that itself boosts your well-being and mood.  Come to unwind, relax 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 drug available) and our Medicinal Meadow.  Follow the Labyrinth and one of our developing trails, take a break at the AromaSeat.

Sit by the Tranquility Pool, make a wish at the Cloutie Tree.  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 botanical lotions, medicinal tinctures, soaps, dried botanical teas & much more.  Grow your own physic garden – purchase an unusual potted herb to take home.  Visit our Herbal Pharmacy.

Follow a Brain Trail.  At Dilston Physic Garden we’re focused on plants that benefit our brain and mind.  This is a fascinating area to discover, and much needed in today’s life.  There’s increasing clinical evidence behind the use of several plant species traditionally used to boost the 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

Spring Celebration

Sunday 5th February 3.00pm – 7.00pm Today, we’ll celebrate the growing power of the sun and connect with the ancient traditions of Imbolc. This day honoured the goddess Brigit, revered by the northern tribes of Celtic Britain, such as those living along the Tyne valley. Brigit is the goddess of creativity and healing – in the Christian calendar, her festival became ‘Candlemas’, […]

Welcome and Wassail – Saturday 7 January

We invite you to join in an event which continues an ancient tradition while planting a legacy for the future. The physic garden is open from 12 noon – 2pm. Please feel free to bring snacks and sandwiches. From 1pm – 2pm, join in song and ceremony to toast our orchard trees. Wassail is an […]

Celebrate the Winter Solstice Sunday 18th December 3.00pm – 8.00pm

From the earliest times, our ancestors have welcomed the rebirth of the sun at the darkest point of the year. In this same spirit, we gather at first to mourn the death of the sun, and to let go of that which is fading and dying. We will then symbolically enact the turning of the year from […]