About Us

Wander up a country lane in a panoramic stretch of Northumberland to find a unique and peaceful garden nestled on the banks of a winding river.  Not only do visitors say its natural design has a soothing effect on the mind, but scientific research confirms that traditionally used plants keep us healthy, treat many common ailments and boost mood, lower stress, enhance sleep and memory and even protect the brain. Plants are the key to good health and their bioactive ingredients have science to show how they work.

Beside each plant read the traditional medical herbal use, the science of how they work including clinical trials, drugs that come from plants, as well as the folklore and magic! Many visitors, especially children, like the folklore better than the science.

Dilston Physic Garden has a distinct character. A physic garden steeped in the history and folklore of medicinal plants, but also in the modern science of how they work as medicines today. Follow winding paths to discover over 800 medicinal plants, with a focus on those for the mind and brain. Dilston began in the 1990’s because of the team’s scientific research showing that sage and other European herbs boost memory. To take part in our next ‘Plants For Memory’ trial email info@dilstonphysicgarden.com.

Plants contain a wondrous array chemicals and many have powerful effects in the body. Cutting edge drugs derived from plants like foxglove are used by doctors, and whole plant extracts are used by medical herbalists worldwide to effectively treat human ailments. Plant chemical ingredients also promote health and act as preventative medicines – many are antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting and anti-cancer.

Dilston Physic Garden embraces the importance of medicinal plants, organic growing methods and the benefits of being in a tranquil outdoor space amongst beautiful aromatic herbs!

Opening Times

WINTER OPENING October to March Wednesdays and Saturdays 12-3pm.

Please note we are closed December to February – but open for workshops & events

SPRING OPENING April

Wednesdays & Saturdays 11am to 4pm

NOTE: we are not open when the temperature is on or below zero oC. Please bring suitable footwear for the muddy lane!

SUMMER OPENING May to September

Wednesday and Saturday 11am-4pm

Thursday 12-3pm

Every first Sunday of the month 12-3pm

(Thursdays & 1st Sundays are until further notice)

Parking For workshops & events please only park in our Top-up Car Park (directions) and enjoy the 5-10m flat walk to the physic garden.

Groups & Schools are welcome any day of the year by appointment and with a tour or class.

Dogs are welcome on a lead but please do not them relieve themselves on any plant or leave any waste.

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

Takeaway Drinks – enjoy our soothing & uplifting HouseTea and try our new range of teas to boost the brain rooted in science, our Botanical Hot Chocolate, cold drinks or Botanical Oaties. (Please note that we do not currently have a cafe).

Explore Trails which are good for the brain! Including trails on plants proven by science to boost memory, mood and keep you calm or kid’s can join our Explorer Trail.

Workshops We’re open all year round for school and group visits and also for workshops & events – visit our workshop page for the latest courses or for our 10-day Foundation in Plant Medicine course click here. Hire the physic garden and Herbology House.

Herbal Dispensary The Dilston Dispensary of Herbal Medicine will return in 2019 with medical herbalists in our new Physic Hut Dispensary – please call back to the website next Spring for more info. In the meantime we can recommend medicals herbalist in the North East area.

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 enjoy our SilentSpace by the Tranquility Pool.

Make a wish at the Cloutie Tree or watch the Wind Sculpture.  Stop by the Time Space Zone, to see medicinal plants from round the world and through history, and soak up the sun at the SunDial Seat. Browse The Physic Shop with physic garden and locally produced botanical products including our new book Botanical Brain Balms.  Why not grow your own physic garden – new book coming out soon – find a small collection of potted plants which good for the brain.  In the summer visit our Dilston Dispensary of Herbal Medicine (click here for opening times) with registered medical herbalists.

Children enjoy the Witches Den, Drawing Hut, Croquet, Giant Chess, Explorer Trail and can discover more by booking on Potion Club.  Follow our other developing trails and activities – at Dilston we focus on plants that are good for mind and brain. In collaboration with the Bodyworks Centre we completed our first pilot clinical 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 improved in their ability to remember correctly by over 50%, compared to those who didn’t take it in the same age group. We have nearly reached our target to fund our next trials – to take part email info@dilstonphysicgarden.com.

Plants & Modern Medicine

Dilston Physic Garden is a Registered Charity for education.

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 schools, college and other groups, Dilston has research links to Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and other research bodies.

Volunteer

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 !

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What others say about us

I have had the good fortune to visit this beautiful garden over a number of years and so have seen it grow and develop. Each visit is a new and thrilling experience.

Lucy Carty, London

It’s a nice and interesting garden to be visited. I use it for benchmarking, cause I build the same garden “spice garden” in tropical country Indonesia containing more 400 species of medicinal plants. Thank you

Heru D. Wardana, Indonesia

“What a fantastic find! Thank you.”

L.S., Salford

I found your site by accident while looking for something else. It looks wonderful! I am involved in a small garden of health behind one of the departments in Glasgow University so I am very interested. I hope to be able to pay you a visit before too long and will be in touch.

Susie Stewart, Glasgow

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

M.R., Newcastle

“Absolutely fabulous. Thank you.”

P.N, Sheffield

“The most exquisite magical garden you could find”

A. Robson

Children’s Potion Clubs 2019 – to set you up for life

Delve into the magical world of herbs with 4 Potion Clubs over the summer. Each can be enjoyed on their own or as part of a series. With medical herbalist Davina Hopkinson in charge the clubs are full of surprises. Davina has created a new fun and fascinating club for children (guide 8 – 12 […]

Botanical Brain Balms

The new book by Nicolette Perry and Elaine Perry, director and curator at the physic garden, is on sale now in The Physic Shop at the reduced price of £13. This book is for anyone interested in using plants to make the best of your brain & mind. An authoritative and accessible guide to 56 […]

Planet Birdsong

Planet Birdsong arrive at the physic garden this June with an opportunity for a 90 minute school event held at the physic garden on the afternoon of Friday 8th June. To see a lesson plan and powerpoint for the session click here. Please get in touch with the physic garden if you are interested in […]