School Visits

An exciting educational opportunity outside of the classroom.

We provide children with unique, fun and valuable learning experiences, incorporating not only curriculum-based activities but the exploration of vital plants that contribute to our wellbeing. Additionally, our program provides a safe space for children to play freely in the fresh air. We firmly believe that the Physic Garden creates a secure, stimulating, and enriching environment for learning.

**COMING SOON** Keep an eye out for our upcoming Educational Game designed to empower children to take charge of their mental and physical well-being. It aims to inspire the younger generation to explore the health benefits of medicinal plants—an essential knowledge that was once universal and is currently lacking in the UK’s education system.

“A big “thank you” from Corbridge Middle School for another fantastic day at Dilston. Our children loved the sights, sounds and smells of that glorious sanctuary and enjoyed the calming, quiet environment the garden exudes. There was such excitement over the balm – you have no idea – and again thanks for making the connections with our Year 5 novel for the children, which enriches their English learning in school. A lovely day!”

Bookings for school visits can be made for Mondays to Fridays during school hours. Visits can be for a whole day (typically 10am-2.30pm) or for a half day (10am-12pm/ 12.30pm-2.30pm). The cost is £4 per person plus activity/additional material costs (this can differ dependant on your requirements).

Our education trustee Davina Hopkinson (Medical Herbalist and member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists) will assist in arranging your visit to the garden. Davina will work with you to coordinate and tailor an educational, age appropriate, unique and memorable day. Lunches can be eaten in our ‘Herbology House’ or on fine days, outdoors in the physic garden medicinal meadow.

For further information or to book a visit email

Note. For schools who wish to visit independently, without activities, on a day when the garden is open to the public (Wednesdays or Thursdays), the cost is £4 per person. Here your group can wander and explore the physic garden without a tour or activity – there is plenty of information to read on the signboards for each plant in the physic garden. A visit on any other day when the garden is closed to the public costs £4 per person plus a charge (usually £30) and is dependant on the availability of a member of staff.

We are confident that we can provide you and your class with a unique, valuable, affordable and health-giving educational experience.

Below is just some of the feedback we received from the children of Allendale Primary School after they visited.

“One of the things I absolutely loved were all of the colours of the herbs and the smells.”

“I would love to go back because I want to make more ointments!”

“I would recommend Dilston to my grandma because she loves gardens.”

“Dear Davina, I really enjoyed Dilston Physic garden because we got the opportunity to eat certain herbs and seeds, we also had an amazing time making the healing ointment.”

“We learnt a lot of facts and stories about the plants. I never knew about ‘Bella Donna’.”

“I enjoyed getting our wands because it just had a magical feeling.”

“I loved hearing all of the different stories. I think my granny would love it there. She does crystal balls. If you believe in magic – it’s the perfect place for YOU!!”

Be Inspired At Dilston Physic Garden - What We Offer...

The Physic Garden provides a wealth of information on plant life, where children can further their investigations into specialisations for plant survival, plant structure and life-cycles by using living, growing examples. See the link between insects and the pollination of plants by watching a variety of insects and bees working in the garden.

We provide simple explanations on why plants produce bioactive ingredients (to protect themselves) and how these give us some of our key medicines used by doctors today, like aspirin (willow), morphine (poppy), the heart drug digitalis (foxglove) and anticancer drug taxol (yew).

We provide an opportunity for children to spend time with the plants and record their observations of plant structures through drawing or just let their creative juices flow and take inspiration from Dilston’s unique landscape overgrown and brimming with medicinal plants.

Allow children to use their 5 senses to help them discover more about the plants around them and about how there’s science behind scents that can even help give the brain a boost.

The Physic Garden as an ideal place to introduce children to the tradition of plant medicine – an important and fascinating part of our medical history, but also our future. Learn how we healed ourselves before the introduction of modern drugs – see themes below.

The garden is  full of tasty culinary herbs which have medicinal properties too. Take this opportunity to appreciate not only the medicinal value of plants but also how they can help in providing a delicious, healthy and protective diet through making some simple fresh healthy foods using herbs that the children gather in the physic garden.

A fascinating Physic Garden tour by Elaine Perry, the curator of the physic garden, where you will meet the ‘Plant People’ and Elaine will talk about “magic & medicine” linking the old uses of herbs and plants and the old folk tales with our use of these plants today in science and medicine.

We incorporate quizzes, scavenger/treasure hunts which take the children through all of the physic garden. They can be very general covering plants, medicine, history and statues or they can be themed to “Herbal First Aid”, “Harry Potter” or “The Plague” for example.


Year 5 Class, Newcastle Girls’ High School

Thank you for a successful and informative trip to the Physic Garden. All the children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the activities linked in really well with our curriculum work. A special thank you to Davina for planning and leading some brilliant activities and to Elaine for telling the children interesting and magical tales about some of the unusual plants found in the garden.

We will certainly visit again! Thanks again for such a wonderful day!

J.C. Team Leader (3-5year olds), Little Tinklers Nursery

The children attending Little Tinklers Nursery have enjoyed visiting Dilston Physic Garden as part of our theme ‘Outdoor Fun’. The physic garden provides a wonderful experience to the outdoors / plants / insects as well as interesting sculptures, hands on activities and knowledgeable staff. The interesting and exciting environments include a fragrant chamomile lawn, a fruit orchard and lots of information on the medicinal properties of the many and varied plants and shrubs, as well as a host of insects including bees and butterflies. Fun, physical activities and open space allow for a picnic area, pond life, watering shrubs, games such as quoits, balls and water fun with many educational opportunities. The children thoroughly enjoy their visits as do the staff.

Year 1 and 2, Allendale Primary School

Thank you for a successful and informative trip to the Physic Garden. All the children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the activities linked in really well with our curriculum work. A special thank you to Davina for planning and leading some brilliant activities and to Elaine for telling the children interesting and magical tales about some of the unusual plants found in the garden. We will certainly visit again! Thanks again for such a wonderful day!

Year 3, Prudhoe First School

We really enjoyed our visit to the garden and received a very warm welcome. The talk was fantastic and the children loved the hands on activities and practical tasks. The little mats for the children to sit on and garden chairs for the adults were very thoughtful. The talk was an excellent introduction to the garden and got the children interested and engaged. The range of activities, tea making and different experiences were really enjoyable for the children. The little tree house, gong and play area in the meadow were particularly popular and they enjoyed drawing the sculptures. All the visit went well and the children enjoyed the quiz. It was a great day out and a very positive experience for both adults and children.

Year 1, Dame Allen’s School

The children had a brilliant time from start to finish. There were four separate activities, which were well organised and aimed at an appropriate level for our children. The day began with a story telling based around the mystery and magic of plants. The children really enjoyed listening to these stories and finding the sculptures and plants that linked to each story.

We then spilt into three groups, which allowed us to explore the garden and take part in workshops. The herbal ointment and corial sessions was really interesting. The children were given the opportunity to create an ointment, looking carefully at each stage of the process. It was great to able to take the balm home – the children couldn’t wait to try it out!

The quiz gave the children the opportunity to explore every area of the garden, focusing on different plants and their uses. The environment allows children the freedom to explore safely, giving them them sense of being on an adventure.

Finally we took some time to study and draw some of the plants that are growing in the physic garden. There was such a variety the children didn’t know where to start!

Overall this is a brilliant setting for an educational visit which allows the children to learn lots about plants, while having the freedom to explore an discover independently.

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