Guilty of eating too many calories and given up on your New Year get-fit-quick regime?  Glad to have seen the back of ‘dry January’.  Whether you’ve over-indulged over Easter or are longing for longer days and shorter hours of darkness, don’t beat yourself up.  De-stress with a shot of peace and well-being at The Medicine Garden, just a stone’s throw from Cobham High Street.

Whether a cold, crisp morning or a dry, rain-drenched afternoon, your visit can still deliver the effect you’d hope for from a place with a name so suggestive of rejuvenation. There’s something for everyone here, and what’s more it’s free.

For the children, there’s a play area, complete with sandpit and wooden structures, as well as the whole garden to play in.  Barbara, Margo and Geri – The Medicine Garden’s resident chickens – welcome a visit, and an art installation of 400 glass bricks designed and painted by children from a variety of schools and groups can provide an interesting diversion.  I spotted a one painted by someone I know, and it’s an impressive show of artistic talent and imagination.

While the kids are at school, the adults can play.  The courtyard supports a number of small independent complementary businesses – comprising art, antiques and upholstery among them – and there’s The Art Shed where you can see and buy a regularly-changing selection of local art work, and talk to and watch the artists at work there.

The walled garden is a main attraction in itself, being landscaped around a Wheel of Trees, inviting you to tap in to the qualities – Good Medicine – represented there. You can ‘Plant a Wish Stick’, and look out for the fox running across the top of the wall.  You can spend your money at The Garden Shop and The Larder, but after a saunter round the Wheel, I finished my visit with tea in the Garden Pod Café.  Delicate china and a mix of shabby chic and vintage furniture and decor create just the right ambience to end a peaceful and invigorating few hours.  Prescribe yourself a visit.

The Medicine Garden

Downside Road, Cobham, Surrey KT11 3LU


Submitted to and published by A Berrylands Companion (Issue No: 106 March 2016)