About Us

Discover the power of plants for health, medicine, and for the 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.  Not only do visitors say its natural design has a remarkably soothing effect on the mind, but science confirms many of the plants clinically calm, relieve stress, insomnia and depression as well as boost mood and memory.

Dilston Physic Garden has a distinct 21st century character, a garden steeped in the history and folklore of plants for medicine, but also in the modern science of how they work as medicines today. Wander winding pathways to discover over 800 medicinal plants with a focus on those for the brain – Dilston was established from the curator’s scientific research showing sage and other European herbs enhance memory. Beside each plant read the traditional use, morsels of folklore and magic, discover medical drugs from plants, the science of what they do and the 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 a host of chemicals that can have a powerful effects when introduced into the body. Cutting edge drugs derived from plants are used by doctors, and whole plant extracts are used by medical herbalists worldwide to treat human illnesses. Plant ingredients also promote health and act as preventative medicines – many are antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting and anti-cancer.

Opening Times

Winter Season Opening – October to March

(closed 16/12/17 to 20/02/18 – RE-OPENS WEDNESDAY 21ST FEBRUARY 2018)

(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): Wednesday and Saturday 11am-4pm and Thursday 12-3pm (- Thursdays 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

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 […]

Dilston Dispensary of Herbal Medicines at Dilston Physic Garden

Dilston Dispensary of Herbal Medicines at Dilston Physic Garden This is your herbal pharmacy, the first UK herbal dispensary situated in a medicinal herb garden, led by registered medical herbalists Ross Menzies and Davina Hopkinson. Both have many years of clinical experience prescribing effective remedies to patients. This is a place where you can discuss […]

Midsummer Celebration in the Garden

Sunday 26 June   2pm – 6pm The Summer Solstice marks the time when the sun is at the height of its power – and nature’s response is an awesome display of colour and fragrance. This time is known in contemporary Druidry as ‘Alban Hefin’ – ‘Light of the Summer Shore’. Midsummer is the time […]