The town of Wantage is an attractive market town with a good selection of independent shops – in 2014 Wantage won the Great British High Street Award.
A series of walking routes are available – call into the Vale and Downland Museum in Church Street to pick up the maps or download at www.wantage.uk.
Route 1 – The Dudley Iles Nature Trail Part 1
Route 2 – The Dudley Iles Nature Trail Part 2
Route 3 – Victorian Wantage part 1
Route 4 – Victorian Wantage part 2
Route 5 – Old Grove Walk
Route 6 – White Horse Hill Walk
Route 7 – Stockham Walk
Route 8 – Aeroplane Walk
Route 9 – Springfield Walk
Route 10 – Harcourt Walk
Wantage is most famous as the birthplace of Alfred the Great. A statue of King Alfred sculpted in 1877 by Count Gleichen, a relative of Queen Victoria, stands in the busy market place. Alfred was born here in AD 849, when Wantage was an important Saxon town. The history of Wantage goes back long before the Saxon period.
The chalk hills of the Vale are dotted with prehistoric remains and the Romans established a settlement here and built a road linking Wantage and Oxford.
The Betjaman Bust
A sculpture commemorating well-known former Wantage resident Sir John Betjamen stands proudly outside the Vale and Downland Museum. Sir John Betjamen lived in Wantage between 1951 and 1972.
Vale and Downland Museum
Visit the galleries interpreting the cultural heritage of the Vale of White Horse, an artist/craft exhibition space, a visitor Information hub, gift shop, garden space, and cafe.
For more information visit www.wantage-museum.com.
The Sack House
Purchased by the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust in 2012 this small building stands at what was the entrance way to the Wantage canal wharf. It is now open as a museum and canal information centre. It contains displays on the history of the canal, wharf and the building itself and other associated industrial archaeology.
The building was originally used as a weighbridge, coal merchants and a place where traders could hire sacks to send their produce around the south west of England. The enamel sign on the front is from the sack hiring company.
Open from 10am to 2pm on the first and third Wednesdays and Saturdays of each month and occasional special occasions. Entrance is free but donations are welcomed.
Grove is a village and civil parish on Letcombe Brook, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) north of Wantage in the Vale of White Horse. Historically, a part of Berkshire until the 1974 boundary changes transferred it to Oxfordshire.
Where is Wantage?
Things to do in Wantage
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An event every day that begins at 2:00 am, repeating until April 25, 2020
Seven Oxfordshire women artists in metal, glass and ceramics show enticing offerings for Christmas and beyond from 16 November to 25 April. Julie Grose and Sophie Thompson work in metal, Harriet Coleridge, Sally Dorrity and Laura Laub in ceramic and Anne Arlidge and Judith Berger in glass. Add an outdoor element to your Christmas gift-giving for long-term delight. 16 November - 25 April Through Summertown Library, South Parade, Oxford OX2 7JNFind out more »
Travel back in time to the Roaring Twenties as Blenheim Palace invites bright young things to a magnificent party celebrating this famously decadent decade. ‘Let’s Misbehave – Blenheim Palace in the 1920s’ is a fascinating insight into the heady world of the upper classes in a time of great social, artistic and political change. The 9th Duke of Marlborough and his second wife, American intellectual, Gladys Deacon, were lavish hosts at the baroque Oxfordshire Palace. Their numerous…Find out more »
An event every day that begins at 10:00 am, repeating until March 8, 2020
Discover the work of internationally acclaimed American artist Philip Guston (1913–80) in the first solo exhibition of his work in Oxford. The exhibition highlights the importance of working on paper for Guston’s artistic practice, and explores the inspiration he drew from historical art and literature. Gallery 8.Find out more »