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 history and folklore of plants for health and medicines, but also in the modern science of how they work. 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 enhance 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 also 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

Winter Season Opening – October to March

(closing from 16th December to 14th February)

(Note: we are not open when the temperature is on or below zero oC and please bring suitable footwear for the muddy lane!)

Wednesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays 12 to 3pm

Scroll down for summer opening times.

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

Takeaway Drinks – enjoy our house blend Botanical Tea or our botanical Hot Hot Chocolate or cold drinks (please note we do not have a cafe).

Explore Trails on plants proven by science to boost the brain incluing a children’s explorer trail.

Workshops We’re open all year for workshops – visit our workshop page for the latest courses or for our 10 day Foundation in Plant Medicine course click here.

Herbal Dispensary Next season June to August our Herbal Dispensary returns with medical herbalists every second and fourth Wednesday 12-3pm. And our dispensary with herbal pharmacist will return again next summer.

Dogs are welcome on a lead.

Payment Please note we take cash, cheque and online payment but do not have a card machine.

Summer season opening (April to September) – Wednesdays and Saturdays 11am-4pm and Thursday 12-3pm (-until further notice).

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

Botanical Brain Balms

Dilston Physic Garden’s director and curator are publishing a book on plants for the brain – ‘Botanical Brain Balms: The authoritative guide to plants for memory, mood and mind’ with Filbert Press and publishers in the U.S., France and Germany. Discover 55 plants proven by science to boost mood and memory, relieve stress anxiety and […]

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 […]