About Us

Discover the secret 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 – a growing and exciting part of scientific research today. 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 (from 18/05/17) 2-5 pm. Scroll down for winter opening times.

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

This season we have our pop up Herbal Dispensary with medical herbalists 12-2pm on Wednesdays and with a herbal pharmacist 2-5pm on Thursdays.

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 and 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 – 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 May to September) or pop up Herbal Pharmacy (Thursdays 11-3pm, from May).

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

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 […]

Samhain Ceremony in the Physic Garden: Sunday 30th October 3.00pm – 7.00pm

Samhain (summer’s end) is a festival of remembrance and honouring of our ancestors. It is said that at Samhain the veil that separates the worlds is at its thinnest. So our world, and that of the dead, blend as one. On this night of wonder and magic, the spirits of the otherworld are invited to […]

Commission: Eavesdropping on Medicinal Plants

Physic Garden Commission: Eavesdropping on Medicinal Plants The Person We are looking for someone with electronic, electrical and musical expertise – and loads of enthusiasm and initiative. The Project Creating an electrical machine that will record changing electrical potentials on parts of plants in the Physic Garden. Requirements: attachment leads, instrument conversion to readout as visual waves […]