About Us

Wander up a country lane in a panoramic stretch of Northumberland to find a unique garden on the banks of a winding river. Dilston Physic Garden is brimming with over 700 medicinal plants, plants used by humans throughout history for health and medicine and all grounded in the science of how they work.

This physic garden has a unique character that evokes the magic and medicine of plants. It is also a garden for wellbeing, a unique space to relax and calm the mind. Watch 4 minutes of summer solstice at Dilston Physic Garden.

Throughout the physic garden signboards show the plant medicine use, the science and bioactive ingredients, as well as the folkore and magic!

It features plants that are active in the mind/brain, with special collections of science backed plants to boost memory, mood, sleep and more.

Here are some amazing plant medicine facts:

  • medical drugs can be derived from plants, like pain-relieving morphine from opium poppy
  • plant medicines are different form single drug medicine and contain more than one active ingredient and work by more than one way to treat a condition
  • science is now showing exactly how plant medicines work in the brain and body
  • human history shows that people have evolved to use the plants around them as medicine
  • 60% of people in the world today effectively treat many common ailments with plant medicine
  • foodstuff medicinal plants can protect you from oxidation, inflammation and help boost immunity
  • when used correctly plant medicine is powerful and safe
  • it is important to get the right plant medicine and the right dose for an individual’s needs
  • seeing a qualified NIMH medical herbalist is the best way to use plant medicine effectively
  • NIMH register medical herbalists are trained just like GP’s in treating common ailments

Dilston Physic Garden is a dedicated enterprise exploring and educating on the science of plants for health and medicine. As a registered charity it receives with no central funding and is run by a small group of scientists, medical herbalists and volunteers.

Opening Times

November, March & April Wednesday and Saturday 12-3pm

The physic shop is open this November for sale of plant medicine

December Christmas Open Days on Saturday 5th, Saturday 12th & Friday 18th

NOTE: Please bring suitable footwear for a walk along a muddy lane; we are not open when the temperature is on or below 1 oC; there is currently no booking required.

January & February Closed

March & April Wednesday and Saturday 12-3pm

May to October Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday 11am – 4pm.

Open any day for Group or School visits by appointment and for workshops, events and private hire.

Herbal Dispensary The Dilston Dispensary of Herbal Medicine is open 2020 with NIMH affiliated medical herbalist Davina Hopkinson via Skype or Phone and will be back at the physic garden summer 2021.


Footwear Please bring suitable footwear for a walk along a muddy lane.

Workshop Parking is in our Top-up Car Park only (shared with Dilston scouts; directions) – allow for an 8-min flat country walk. Please do not park in the small visitor car park.

Freeze We are not open when the temperature is on or below 1oC.

Takeaway drinks Enjoy a cup from our range of botanical infusions or Spiced Cacao Hot Chocolate with a Botanical Oatie – available outside/takeaway 12-3pm. Please note that we do not have a cafe.

Payment by contactless/ card machine, transfer or cash by dropbox – please bring change if you can.

Dogs are welcome on a lead but are not to go near plant beds.

WC is open March to October only (closed November & December).

Access We only have limited disabled access at present.

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 clinically calming chamomile lawn, wander the labyrinth, medicinal meadow or 100 willow coppice – dedicated to the most used medical drug in the world. Soak up the sun at the sundial seat or be soothed 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 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.


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

What is it about Liquorice?

Love it or hate it liquorice has a range of health benefits. The ingredient of one of the world’s favourite sweets, including the North’s famous Pontefract Cakes, it is used in plant medicine for fatigue, particularly adrenal stress, but it also has memory boosting and protective effects on brain cells. Scroll down to find liquorice […]

Want to see a medical herbalist outside of Dilston Dispensary hours?

Here is a list of Medical Herbalists and a Herbal Pharmacist who are affiliated with Dilston Physic Garden. Davina Hopkinson Medical Herbalist BSc MNIMH. davinaherbalist@gmail.com. Davina gained her degree in Herbal Medicine at Lincoln University, having also completed a 2-year course in complementary therapies. Davina has her own herbal practice she runs from home or […]

Memory Test Study

Worried about your memory? Want to see if plants can boost your memory ? Dilston Physic Garden, local medical herbalists Ross Menzies and Davina Hopkinson and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew offers an exciting opportunity to take part in a second natural Memory Test Study in West and South-East Northumberland.  Do you think your memory is […]

Visiting during the Coronavirus outbreak - Click Here