Oxford Vacation Workshop with Stephanie Bower

June 27 to July 1, 2023

Discover charming, historic Oxford, Bath and  Stonehenge and learn new skills with a sketching workshop taught by Seattle urban sketcher, Stephanie Bower! During this 5-day workshop we will explore the pubs and campus, streets and gardens of the beautiful city often featured in films such as Harry Potter and PBS Endeavour. Sketching locations in the Historic Town Centre include Radcliffe Camera, The Bodelian Library, Oxford Colleges, charming street scenes, and more. And we will enjoy a day-long excursion to Bath and Stonehenge!

The average daytime high temperature in Oxford is 66°F (20°C) and the average night-time low temperature is 60°F (10°C)--perfect weather for our art vacation!

Stephanie Bower is an architectural illustrator, teacher, author and avid travelling urban sketcher. In this workshop over the course of the week we will be learning watercolor techniques, how to capture buildings and landscapes and a little about perspective en plein air in the beautiful city of Oxford. Beginner artists are welcome. Learn more about Stephanie here: www.drawingperspectives.com and follow her on Instagram @stephanieabower During this workshop Stephanie will teach one 3-4 hour workshop per day. There will be opportunities to explore and sketch on your own or with the group excursions in the afternoons.


Check out this demo sketched by Stephanie of a view of Seville


Arrive Sunday June 25, 2023

Your arrival date is your decision but we suggest you arrive on Sunday June 25, 2023 so that you have time to settle in and possibly to adjust to a new time zone or the vagaries of travel which, as we know, could include a missed or delayed flight. Better to be relaxed at the start of your vacation workshop.

Monday June 26, 2023 Warm Up Sketch + Welcome Reception

Welcome to Oxford! Workshop participants who arrive early are invited to meet in the hotel lobby at 2:00 for a warm up sketch (optional). Stephanie will not be teaching at this time. This is your chance to warm up. All tour participants are invited to a welcome reception at 6pm. 

Day 1--Workshop #1 + Visit the Oxford Botanic Gardens

Tuesday June 27, 2023

There's so much to sketch in Oxford! Chimney pots and gargoyles and spires and domes! The question is what to sketch first? After breakfast, our group will walk together to the location of Workshop #1 in the historic centre of town. 

In the afternoon we will explore the Botanic Gardens just around the corner from our hotel.

Day 2--Workshop #2 + a Harry Potter Walking Tour

Wednesday June 28, 2023

In the morning we will explore the neighbourhoods near our hotel as we walk to the location of Workshop #2. 

After lunch we will enjoy a 1.5 hour Harry Potter-themed walking tour of some of the buildings and rooms featured in the film. 


Day 3--Workshop #3 + a free afternoon

Thursday June 29, 2023

There's so much to sketch in Oxford! There is the university campus of course, but there are also canals and markets and meadows and medieval buildings. After our workshop this morning you will have the afternoon for further sketching, exploring, shopping or relaxing.



Day 4--Workshop #4 in Bath + Stonehenge!

Friday June 30, 2023

Today we will travel by private coach to Bath, where we will visit the Roman baths and enjoy Workshop #4. 

On our return we will stop for a couple of hours to sketch Stonehenge. Our bucket list just got shorter!

Day 5--Workshop #5 + the Museum of Natural History

Saturday July 1, 2023


In the morning we will walk together to the location of Workshop #5 and visit the Museum of Natural History.

 In the afternoon we will enjoy free time before our Farewell Dinner. 


Sunday July 2, 2023

It's time to say goodbye but you will never forget the friends you made or the skills you learned during this great week! Or extend your stay for a long relaxing holiday!  

Please note that the exact locations of the sketching workshops and the order of events in this itinerary are subject to change.

Recommended Workshop Supply List

The complete list of supplies will be added later. 


Click HERE for answers to frequently asked questions.

For more information about the workshops content contact Stephanie at stbower@comcast.net.

For more information about this vacation package contact Brenda Murray Studio56Boutique@gmail.com. 





Tour Includes

  • A welcome reception
  • All art classes
  • Admission to attractions listed above
  • Full-day excursion via coach to Bath and Stonehenge
  • Farewell dinner

Tour Excludes

  • Flights to/from
  • Hotel
  • airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Meals (except those listed above)
  • Painting supplies
  • Porterage/luggage handling
  • Travel insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Items not explicitly specified in the inclusion list

    Early Bird Prices in USD

    Book now before January 28 and save $200!

    $1999. $1799. USD Workshop Participant

    $799. USD NonSketcher Companion (such as partner or travelling buddy)

    NonSketcher Companion tickets include the same attractions and meals as the Workshop Participants with the exception of the art classes.

    To reserve your spot in this workshop a $500 nonrefundable deposit is required for Workshop Participants and a $300 nonrefundable deposit is required for nonSketcher Companion that is due 150 days prior to the start of the workshop on January 28, ,2023. The balance is due 120 days prior to the start of the workshop on February 27, 2023.

    To make a deposit, please scroll to the bottom and click BOOK NOW.



    Hotel accommodation is not included in this package. The official hotel of this tour is Mercure Oxford Eastgate Hotel, 73 High Street, Oxford. Rooms are being held here for us with free cancellation until May 9. The hotel rate is 179£ per night and includes breakfast and VAT.

    Before making a hotel reservation, please click the BOOK NOW button below to ensure you have a spot in this workshop.

    After you have secured your spot in this workshop, then you can make a reservation in this hotel.

    Workshop participants are not obliged to stay in this hotel. You are welcome to stay in another hotel or Airbnb if you prefer. However, if you would like to stay in this hotel, we suggest you make your reservation asap to get the type of room you want as there is free cancellation up to May 9, 2023. Note if you want to share a room with another participant, let Brenda know and we will try to find a room mate for you. 

    How to Make a Hotel Reservation

    Email Radha Girotra at H6668-RE@accor.com or call (+44 (0) 1865 248332) with your check in and check out dates and ask for the Studio 56 group rate. They will ask for your credit card number to hold the room. These rooms are being held until May 9.

    Practical Tips

    Best transportation from Heathrow Airport to Oxford is Busbud at approx $29USD one way.  It is a 1.5 hour bus ride. The closest stop to the hotel is Gloucester Green. It is a 14 minute (0.7 mile) walk to the hotel from there. Reservation must be booked in advance.

    Travel + Medical Insurance

    Travel insurance is also highly recommended as it covers you in the event you must cancel your trip and it covers emergency medical services which may be significantly more expensive than expected when travelling in a foreign country. Please check with your insurance provider. Click HERE for a list of US insurance providers. Some credit card companies may also offer travel insurance if you paid for your trip with that card.

    Covid-19 Vaccinations

    The instructor and tour manager are fully vaccinated against covid-19.  This tour will be following all locally recommended protocols. Please check HERE to read more about UK entry requirements and check back closer to the date as entry requirements may change.

    Your Tour Manager

    Participants will be accompanied by Studio 56 owner, Brenda Murray. Brenda is a Canadian artist and arts advocate, the founder of Urban Sketchers Waterloo Region and a former Urban Sketchers Board member. A seasoned traveler, Brenda has traveled to Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Liechenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea (lived there for 4 years), Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Uganda, UK, and the USA (35 states). Brenda will be on hand to assist the instructor and to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Learn more about Brenda HERE. 

    For More Information

    Email Studio56Boutique@gmail.com or call Brenda Murray at 519-572-1757.

    How to Register for this Workshop

    The first step to register for this exciting vacation workshop is to click the BOOK NOW button below to make your deposit.