Peter Hyson and Hilary Rowland, Co-Founders of Next Chapter Retreats, husband and wife and business partners, met online twenty years ago and soon found themselves saying, ‘One day we’ll be running retreats together’ without having any idea what that would involve.

Something about their lives and their approach gave them an inkling that sharing what they have learned from their life experience would be useful to others. Both have been through divorces, multiple career changes, health crises – a heart attack and cancer. Peter has captured much of the learning from this in his book ‘Live the work you love’ which sets out a process for personal change. Oliver Wendell Holmes’ quote, ‘Most people die with their best music unplayed’ is both their philosophy of life and underpins their business.

Peter is now writing a series of cozy mystery stories. Hilary is a bit of a health nut and loves cooking and keeping fit with cycling, swimming and Pilates. Living in the Cotswolds provides them with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and appreciate the joys of living in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Next Chapter Retreats

They have both had distinguished careers in corporate life, BBC, PWC and Serco as well as running their own consultancy businesses. A turning point came nearly ten years ago when they joined the Academy for Chief Executives (now Vistage) and started chairing CEOs of SMEs in peer learning groups. Part of the package they offered was a two-day annual goal-setting retreat and they were both struck by the extent to which these retreats were valued and the impact that they had, even to someone changing the dates of his surgery to be there.

This led them to wonder about starting a retreat business so that a wider audience would have access to these retreats and Next Chapter Retreats was born in June 2019. Not an ideal time to be starting a business requiring in-person attendance! They spent much of the pandemic getting clear about their brand and producing materials and like many other businesses thinking about whether they could run retreats online. They realised that a central part of the retreat was being able to spend time in a relaxing environment such as the small/intimate hotel they use and that that couldn’t be replicated in a two hour Zoom session. Their first post-lockdown in-person retreat was a great success and they started to see people making huge changes in their lives.

They are now extending what they do to offering wellbeing programmes to senior executives.  Evidence shows that the pandemic has had a more adverse effect on them than other groups of staff and they are also less likely to admit to needing help even though this might seriously affect the running of the business. There is also very little of a holistic nature provided for senior executives. 


Who are your retreats for?

Successful people who may have gone off the boil, run out of steam, are suffering from stress and burnout and need to get back to being successful through reconnecting with their sense of purpose and direction.

What do you cover on your retreats?

We use the Japanese concept of Ikigai to help people explore and discover their sense of purpose and what really matters them and where this is going to take them.

How long are your retreats?

Our Your Next Chapter retreat is 5 days over 3 months, consisting of 3 days separated by 12 weeks and then 2 days. This is because after the first 3 days people come away with lots of questions that need time to think about or they are starting to make changes to their mindset or habits and in this time we support them with Zoom calls to support them in making these changes.

We have 2 wellbeing programmes for C-Suite Executives Refocus which runs over 6 months and Redefine which runs over 10 months.

How many people attend the retreat?

On Your Next Chapter there are never more than 8 people and that would be the same for Redefine. Refocus can accommodate bigger groups as well as be offered for management teams.

Do you do in-company retreats?

Yes, we have done a number of these and management teams find them a very valuable opportunity to focus on the key issues in the business and have some dedicated time to plan what needs to be done.

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Copyright 2023 @ Next Chapter Retreats. All rights reserved. 

Registered Office: Castle House, Castle Street, Guildford GU1 3UW

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