Creative Retreats UP & AWAY

Either up in the cloud or away from the hurly burly.


Brilliantly designed and delivered retreats for clients
and client + agency combos from

Retreats offer teams or peers the perfect environment in which to think deeply about important business issues and learn and explore together. They are also unbeatable for meaningful team building.

Although UP are pioneers for working remotely in the cloud we have always recognised the immense value of getting together from time to time in groups both large and small.

Senior writer and retreat architect Stuart Delves joined UP in November 2019 with 20 years experience of designing and running workshops, residential retreats and courses. After a year of lockdowns he adapted his master class model for an online environment, transforming expectations of the Zoom medium. He likens it to a bijou motel. UP have run six online retreats for members and clients and this April UP’s own senior leadership team enjoyed a two day residential retreat at Merton College, Oxford. It was both an educational and team bonding experience and we thought more people should get the opportunity to experience such a retreat.

So we are now opening up our special online and residential in person retreats to external groups and clients.


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“I can’t believe what we achieved in just twelve hours.”

This is what the Head of Comms in a global energy company said after three 4 hour sessions on-line in one of Stuart’s team building retreats. Her new team had been composed during the COVID lockdown, after a company-wide restructure and were working remotely. There was an imperative for the team to bond in a meaningful way. The retreat exceeded expectations and the team continues to talk about it over a year later.

The 4 key elements that comprise an UP Retreat


That’s your call – what do you want to focus on together as a team? Brand values, explore your own value proposition or positioning, ESG, EDI, AI, or any other pertinent topic. Teambuilding/bonding are integral outcomes to every retreat and it may well be that that is your prime purpose.

Once we have ascertained the purpose of your retreat we go through a ‘discovery’ phase, obtaining some background information on the team members/participants. This usually involves everyone filling in a questionnaire as well as discussions with the team leader.


This is a key element to a successful retreat. If it’s residential, together we’ll select a retreat setting that appeals to you most, either tucked away in a city or in the heart of the country. We will organise the venue logistics. If it’s online, the way we use our Zoom suite or your Teams set-up is a thousand miles away from the standard Teams, Slack, Zoom or Google meeting.



Each retreat is designed around the needs of the group and the agreed purpose. Writing and other creative exercises are used as the methodology for exploration and ‘deep dives’. A willingness to explore and share personal values and motivations is a key requirement for all participants and this aspect of the retreat accounts to a large extent for the strength of bonding and teambuilding.

Most retreats involve some light preparation – doing a bit of research or reading and gathering together some required objects to bring along.


Our lead facilitator is Stuart Delves, who co-founded Dark Angels (Creative Writing for Business courses) in 2004 and who previously was Centre Director for the Arvon Foundation, who have been running residential courses for over 50 years. Stuart’s leadership style is gentle, sensitive and imaginative. Oh, and fun.


Standard formats

Up in the cloud: Three 4 hour blocks, best within the time frame of the same week. Allowance to be made for offline ‘homework’ in between sessions. Ideal number of participants: 8-14.

Away (In Person courses): 48 hours (2 overnight stays) in a beautiful, tranquil yet stimulating environment in a country of your choice. (We have many recommendations.) Ideal number of participants: 8-22.

We can accommodate any variations on these standard formats, including smaller or larger groups as required.

Participants can be comprised of 1) a specific client team, 2) a combination of the client and the agency team, 3) SMT or team leaders, 4) Leaders from different companies or 5) individuals from different client companies along with UP members.

We can also organise leading after dinner speakers for your session. We invited a top BBC journalist Ritula Shah to our own session in April.

Shape your future with an UP Retreat

Escape the frenzy of the world.

Take a day - maybe more, to build the future that you know you and your team deserve.

We look forward to building a memorable future with and for you and your team.

Say yes to an exceptional experience for you and your team.

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Stuart Delves, your tutor and facilitator

Senior Writer at UP THERE, EVERYWHERE 

Stuart Delves (co-founder of Dark Angels 2004 and Invisible Grail 2017) joined UP THERE, EVERYWHERE in 2019 as Senior Writer and Retreat Leader. Building on his previous on site and online training experience he has honed a 12-hour online retreat (variously segmented to accommodate time zones) that delivers exercises that explore personal and collective values along with a bundle of tips and briefs on how to humanise business language and make authentic connections with target audiences. Each retreat is bespoke and follows a Discover, Design and Deliver methodology.

Stuart has also run Retreats/Training Sessions for teams within Takeda, Irdeto, Lloyds Banking Group, British Heart Foundation, Arts Council Wales, Oxford Genome Technology, National Museums Scotland, National Library of Scotland, Genesis Faraday, Scottish Enterprise, University of Edinburgh Corporate Services, School of Health in Social Science and the Department of Social Responsibility and Sustainability (University of Edinburgh), The Institute of Health and Wellbeing (University of Glasgow), Limerick University and Up There Everywhere (with clients Thermo-Fisher, Eppendorf, Medius, Veolia and Greiner Bio-One).

Learn about some of our past UP Retreats

12 Oct 2023

5 reasons why a Creative Retreat will re-energise your business

With many businesses shifting towards a remote or hybrid working envir...

04 Oct 2023

Rediscovering Oxford: Reflections from UP & AWAY

A city bus tour during summer as a seven-year-old. Distinct memories o...

24 Mar 2023

UP among the dreaming spires of Oxford

The dreaming spires of Merton College, Oxford, beckon as the setting f...