Keeping it Real
in a Frantic World

Retreat, Broughton Sanctuary, Yorkshire

Ruby Wax
Gelong Thubten & Rahla Xenopoulos

5-night retreat

Tuesday 12 March – Sunday 17 March 2024

Arrival 4pm Tuesday - Depart 2pm Sunday

After the resounding success of their first retreat at Avalon in August 2023, Ruby Wax, Gelong Thubten & Rahla Xenopoulos are back! In their different yet very complimentary styles, the terrific trio will show you how to de-frazzle in a frantic world by making simple changes whilst keeping it real!

Ruby Wax Keeping it Real in a Frantic World Retreat, Yorkshire

"Ruby and Thubten have nailed it”

Helen Kirwan-Taylor, The Times

"Ruby is masterful and Thubten makes meditation easy”

Annabel Heseltine, Country & Town House

“By the end of our six days, we’re transformed”

Christine Fieldhouse, The Ethicalist

"My advice is: sign up”

Helen Kirwan-Taylor, The Times

“It is all eminently practical”

Teresa Levonian Cole, The Daily Mail

"Broughton Sanctuary is a ground-breaking retreat space”

Annabel Heseltine, Country & Town House
This 5-day Retreat will take place at Broughton Sanctuary, declared by Ruby Wax as:
“the coolest place I’ve ever been to"
A message from Ruby Wax

Gelong, Rahla and I are offering this 5-night retreat because we know that when we feel connected to our bodies and minds, it’s as if we’ve found home.

During the retreat, we’ll offer workshops and tools to help you stop thinking, “I’ve failed. I’m not good enough. I should have/could have done more.”

We’ll teach you to understand that who we are is enough. And that if we can create a calmer environment inside us, it affects everyone around us. We humans work like neural WiFi: If we change ourselves, we change the world.

During the retreat you will experience

Upcoming Retreats at Avalon Wellbeing, Broughton Sanctuary, Yorkshire
Avalon Pool Suite
  • Swim in a 20m clear swimming pool looking out onto the adjacent woodland
  • Nourish and relax the body in a Hydro-Massage Pool
  • Cleanse the body in an Organic Shaped Sauna and Steam Room
  • Allow peace and tranquillity to infuse your being in the Floatation Tank
Woodland Sauna Ruby Wax Keeping it Real in a Frantic World Retreat, Broughton Sanctuary, Avalon, Yorkshire
Woodland Sauna, Ice Bathing and Wild Swimming Experience
  • Enjoy a rejuvenating experience in the wood fired sauna, set amongst the trees in a magical woodland
  • The heat will slow your mind, gently washing away stress and toxins.
  • Combined with ice bathing in converted barrels and wild swimming, this is a most invigorating experience to soothe mind, body and soul.
  • Connect with nature, nourish creativity, and have some great fun!
Fire Temple Ruby Wax Keeping it Real in a Frantic World Retreat, Broughton Sanctuary, Avalon, Yorkshire
Fire Temple Celebration
  • Set within a picturesque woodland, this sheltered wooden structure is perfect for an evening of drumming and celebration!

“When our computers overload, we know to switch them off and boot them up again a bit later. Why can’t we do that to ourselves without feeling like a failure?”

Ruby Wax

Example Day

Workshops with Ruby, Thubten and Rahla take place in Avalon, a stunning building is based on biophillic (organic) design with sacred geometry and the Fibonacci incorporated throughout. 

*Please note the schedule is not set and may change.

7.30am – 8.30am

Yoga or Pool Suite

8.30am - 9.30am


9.45am – 12.45pm

Workshop with Ruby and Thubten

1pm – 1.45pm

Light lunch

2pm till 3pm

Workshop with Ruby and Thubten

3pm – 5pm

Workshop with Rahla

5.15pm - 6.45pm

Pool Suite / Gym / Bike Ride / Individual Treatments

6.45pm – 7.30pm


7.45pm – 9pm

Unwind Time / Pool Suite / Individual Therapies

About Broughton Sanctuary

Keeping it Real in a Frantic World will be held at the 3000-acre Broughton Sanctuary, situated in the very centre of the UK, in the foothills of The Yorkshire Dales and one of the most picturesque parts of the country. Established in 1097, Broughton Hall has been home to the Tempest family for over 900 years and enjoys a rich history stretching back over the millennium. Surrounding the historic Broughton Hall are formal gardens studded with statues, ponds, parterres and fountains offering a glimpse of 18th century fashion all set against contemporary architecture making the location a truly unique experience. The Broughton Sanctuary is home to one of Britain’s most exciting nature recovery projects, with an extensive tree-planting and rewilding programme. Broughton is a place dedicated to the journey of coming home and rewilding the spirit.

About Avalon Wellbeing

Keeping it Real in a Frantic World will take place in Avalon, the UK’s leading, state-of-the-art wellbeing centre and beating heart of Broughton Sanctuary. This stunning building is based on biophillic (organic) design with sacred geometry and the Fibonacci incorporated throughout. During your stay, you will have the opportunity to experience the unique Pool Suite: a low-chemical swimming pool looking out onto the adjacent woodland, a sauna, a steam room and hydrotherapy pool. There are many places beyond the building itself in the Sanctuary grounds to return to source, from meditation labyrinths, wild swimming reservoirs, a cosmic garden and much more.

Practical Considerations

Cushions and back jacks will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own. Chairs will be available for those who need them. Drinking water will be provided at Broughton Sanctuary (please bring your own personal water bottles to refill).

About the Facilitators

Ruby Wax Keeping it Real in a Frantic World Retreat, Broughton Sanctuary, Avalon, Yorkshire
Ruby Wax

From the Royal Shakespeare Company to primetime TV; from a master's degree in mindfulness based cognitive therapy from Oxford University to best-selling author; from interviewing the president who shall not be named as part of her BBC series spanning 25 years, to script editing all series of “Absolutely Fabulous.” And from a mental health campaigner to being awarded an OBE for services to mental health.

In the field of mental health, Ruby's brought support for mental health to a whole new audience discussing complex neurological theory in an accessible and often hilarious way but always with a serious point that we need to reframe the conversation and remove the stigma that mental health illness still carries.

Ruby helps us understand how we can take control of our overstressed and over critical minds which we can't think of as a better foundation for a frantic world.

Learn more:

Gelong Thubten Keeping it Real in a Frantic World Retreat, Broughton Sanctuary, Avalon, Yorkshire
Gelong Thubten

Gelong Thubten is a Buddhist monk who teaches meditation and specialises in providing non-religious mindfulness workshops and training programmes for businesses and organisations. Thubten has been a monk since 1993 at Kagyu Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, has trained under some of the world's most accomplished teachers of meditation, and has spent over six years in intensive meditation retreats

Rahla Keeping it Real in a Frantic World Retreat, Broughton Sanctuary, Avalon, Yorkshire
Rahla Xenopoulos

Rahla Xenopoulos is an author, a mother of triplets and was one of thirty-four South African women profiled in ‘The Power Within Companion’. She gives talks on mental health and empowerment, as well as hosting workshops that focus on health and personal inspiration. Rahla has written for The Sunday Times, Cosmopolitan, Glamour and Oprah Magazine and her latest book, The Season of Glass was a finalist for the Sunday Times Literary Awards.

In an ideal world Rahla would have a broad mind and a narrow waist but failing the narrow waist she’ll just settle for the broad mind.

Learn more:

I’m Not as Well as I Thought I Was, from the Number One Bestselling Author Ruby Wax

"An exceptional account on mental health from a true tour de force. We're all a little messed up in our own ways, but we should all strive to be as fabulously fearless as Ruby"
Fearne Cotton

"If you buy only one book this year, make it this one. Brilliant, heartbreakingly funny and painful: I couldn't put it down"
Joanna Lumley 

"Nobody can make the serious funny and the funny serious quite like Ruby. It's why she is so important to the mental-health debate"
Alastair Campbell 

"One of the most powerful books of the year"
The Daily Mail

Handbook for Hard Times; A Monk’s Guide to Fearless Living

"'This is a timely and practical guide to help us navigate the fear and challenges of the times upon us. Uplifting and empowering!"
Mo Gawdat

"[Thubten] is a most qualified guide in the journey from darkness and turmoil towards inner peace and positivity. At a time when many of us are experiencing a 'new level of societal fear', everyone can absolutely benefit from this accessible and supportive life handbook."
Annie Lennox

"No one is more brilliant at bringing you out of the dark and into the light."
Ruby Wax

A Memoir of Love and Madness

In 1992, Rahla Xenopoulos was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Despite the devastating diagnosis, she sought education on her affliction. Although she found an abundance of literature on various mental illnesses, none of it seemed applicable to her. This situation inspired her to write a book chronicling her ongoing efforts to come to terms with a disease that is, in effect, a life sentence. The book recounts her upbringing in an eccentric, loving Jewish family, her struggle with bulimia, anorexia and self-mutilation, her attempts at suicide, finding true love and, finally, the 'crazy, utterly unpredictable experience of giving birth to triplets'. This is neither a self-help book nor a medical guide. Reading this book will not cure anyone; bipolar disorder is a chronic illness. But it did help Rahla - as it will countless others - 'to understand the rhythm in the cacophony of this condition'.


You will experience a feeling of ‘blissful seclusion’ yet Broughton Sanctuary and Avalon are well connected in terms of reach:

By Air

Leeds Bradford Airport: 40 minutes (24 miles): 40 minutes
Manchester Airport: 1 hour (55 miles)
Liverpool: 1 hour 15 minutes (69 miles)

By Train

The nearest train station is Skipton, (a 5-minute drive).
Trains from London Kings Cross are approximately 3 hours (direct and with a single quick change at Leeds).

By Car

Driving from London takes between 4-5 hours (traffic dependent).


Broughton Sanctuary, Skipton, Yorkshire, UK, BD23 3AE


Booking and Pricing Accommodation and meals

There are many accommodation options available, both within Broughton Hall and in Retreat Houses situated within Broughton Sanctuary.

For any queries regarding booking please contact Liz Dawes on:
01756 799608 or