A gathering with purpose
at St Giles House, Dorset.

We will meet over three and a half days in a beautiful country house that’s been at the heart of political, philosophical and social reform for generations. We will walk and talk, laugh and learn, imagine and improvise, discern and discover. The point is to tussle with what the big questions of our times are asking of us, and not just in the sense of what we do and don’t know, or what can and can’t be done.


The point is to tussle
with what the big
questions of
our times
are asking of us

More radically, the aim is to explore how we can participate in a process that’s about hearts and heads, fears and vision; asking afresh about who we are as human beings. As the Third Earl of Shaftesbury put it, it’s about exploring our formation as human beings at every level, “head, heart and resolution”. The invited gathering of thinkers and artists, pioneers and practitioners, performers and dreamers is hosted by the 12th Earl of Shaftesbury in collaboration with Perspectiva.

Learn more about Realisation, by watching a selection of the speakers from the festival explain what they do and what Realisation means to them. Watch Jonathan Rowson talk about Perspectiva and Realisation, Nicholas Ashley-Cooper talk about St.Giles House and Realisation, Mark Vernon talk about The Third Earl of Shaftesbury and Realisation and Pippa Evans talk about content and Realisation. WATCH HERE

Head, heart
& resolution

You are asked to come with their disquiets, convictions and skills, to collaborate in an exploration of four broad questions. How can we make sense of what’s going on and do we already have what it takes to respond? What could be stopping us and ultimately what matters?

The aim is to foster a greater sense of clarity and a renewed consciousness of the needs of our time, while having a joyful and memorable time together. The weekend moves through periods of sharing, uncertainty and hope that allows insights to emerge organically. The sessions will include some that all participants are invited to attend and others where there is a choice between “Think, Do or Feel”, to enable personal as well as shared experiences; these include Giles Abbott on finding our own story, sculpting, wild swimming, journaling in the grotto, yoga, exploring ‘the pleasure grounds’, sauna, gong bath, walking.

Each participant will also be invited to belong to a small group for the weekend, to facilitate discovery, discussions and connections. The input from expert speakers will range over history, philosophy, nature, science and spirituality. There will also be plenty of time for music, conversation, food, personal reflection, solitude, outdoor activities and the considerable beauty of St Giles.


We are inviting a small group to be part of the first festival to help shape and evolve it, with a view to growing in subsequent years and developing a programme of festival-related activities throughout the year. We are asking participants to contribute towards accommodation, food, drink, speakers and events in the first year, with some bursaries available. Would you like to be part of it? BUY A TICKET