About Us

Wander up a country lane in a panoramic stretch of Northumberland to find a unique physic garden on the banks of a winding river. A physic garden rooted in science and brimming with over 600 medicinal plants used by humans throughout history for health and medicine.

Signboards show each plant’s folklore, traditional use, plant medicine use, active ingredients and the science of how they work. Dilston Physic Garden features plants that are good for the brain, with special collections of science-backed plants for memory, mood, anxiety and insomnia.

Visit us to discover that how a plant works is all about the dose. That there are health-promoting foodstuff plants you can take to give you protective compounds to help lower oxidation and inflammation, boost immunity and protect the brain. That there are essential medical drugs derived from plants used by doctors everyday. And that across the globe people use the plants around them as medicines. In the UK plant medicine, taken at a medicinal dose, is prescribed by qualified NIMH medical herbalists to effectively treat many common ailments we encounter everyday. When used correctly, plant medicine is powerful and safe, and science is now showing exactly how they work in the brain and body.

Dilston Physic Garden is a registered charity with no central funding and is run by a small group of scientists and volunteers. It has a distinct character, evoking the history and folklore of medicinal plants and is grounded in the modern science of how plants work.

Opening Times

May & June Wednesday and Saturday 11am-3pm

Please call back for updated opening times!

July – September Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday: times to be confirmed

October, March & April Wednesday and Saturday 12-3pm NOTE: Please bring suitable footwear for a muddy lane; we are not open when the temperature is on or below zero oC.

Closed November to February (though open for workshops & events)

Bring your Group or School we’re open any day of the year by appointment.

Herbal Dispensary The Dilston Dispensary of Plant Medicine is open 2020 with NIMH affiliated medical herbalist Davina Hopkinson via Skype or Phone and, to be confirmed, in The Physic Hut Wednesdays 12-3pm 08 July – 16 September.

Please Note:

Workshops & Event Parking please only park in our Top-up Car Park (directions) and enjoy the 8-minute flat country walk to the physic garden.

Dogs are welcome on a lead but please do not let them near any plant bed.

Payment We take cash, transfer and usually have a card machine. Please bring change if you can.

Takeaway Drinks Enjoy our new range of physic garden botanical infusions – tea rooted in science – including Sleep Tea, Happy Tea, Memory Tea and Immune Tea. Try our Botanical Hot Chocolate, or cold drinks & oatie biscuits (contain gluten). Please note that we do not currently have a cafe.

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 the calming chamomile lawn, wander the labyrinth, medicinal meadow or 100 willow coppice – dedicated to the commonest plant derived medical drug available. Soak up the sun at the sundial seat or be calmed watching the wind sculpture.

Make a wish at the Cloutie Tree, stop by a TimeSpace collection to see plant medicines from round the world and through history and visit the The Physic Shop for local botanical products including teas, tinctures, oils and balms. Children can visit the witches den, play croquet, giant chess or plant a magic bean! as well as meet botanical sculptures Mandrake, Mugwort, Belladonna and Angelica.

Find over 20 plants that have given us cutting edge medical drugs, like the opium poppy giving us pain-killing morphine, white willow giving us anti-inflammatory aspirin and the toxic foxglove giving us the key heart drug digoxin.

Explore Trails that introduce the physic garden or highlight plants shown by scientific research for Calm, Happy and Memory. Children can join an Explorer Trail.

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

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 and is running a second clinical trial testing plants for memory.

Volunteer

Our volunteers are central in caring for the plants at Dilston Physic Garden and they experience many rewarding opportunities and in a number of different and exciting ways.
As well as keeping all of the physic garden plants healthy and happy and harvesting them to make tea or to dry and pack, volunteers also show visitors around and answer questions.

We provide any training needed and volunteers pick up herbal tip bits, enjoy good company and a healthy herbal lunch

Volunteers can be reimbursed for travel 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

RESIDENCY: Plant Historian & Folklorist in Residence

History, Uses and Beliefs of Plants grown at Dilston Physic Garden. Between April and September 2016, we are delighted to welcome Dr Marie Addyman, plant and garden historian. Marie will be working at the Physic Garden to explore the beliefs, uses, history, nomenclature and folklore of selected plants grown at Dilston.  These will include plants […]

An invitation from the Northumbrian Grove of Bards, Ovates and Druids to join them in their Imbolc ceremony at Dilston Physic Garden on Saturday 6 February, 3 – 6 pm.

November & December at Dilston Physic Garden

Four more workshops this year.  And we need your help – please fill in a survey! Though officially closed for the season, we are still open for group visits by appointment.  The physic garden re-opens to the public on Wednesday April 13th 2016.   SURVEY Win a free trip to Dilston Physic Garden! Newcastle University […]

Visiting during the Coronavirus outbreak - Click Here