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
Visit our first community exhibition in the Micro-Museum. See our West-Indian living room exhibition and find out about the experiences of the Windrush with the voices of local people and costumes from BK LUWO. Created in partnership with ACHKI (Afrikan Caribbean Kultural Heritage Initiative) and BK LUWO. This exhibition will be available Mondays to Saturdays. Key facts about the HMT Empire Windrush: British troopship anchored at Tilbury Docks in Essex on 21 June 1948 It was 500ft and 3inches long…
The Medieval Mosaic is a re-recreation of the Bayeux Tapestry handcrafted from 3 million pieces of spring steel. The mosaic, created by Michael A. Linton, is 64 metres long, weighs 350kg and took 33 years to complete. It is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest steel mosaic. In 2005 Michael added an 8 metre 'Finale Section' which depicts events leading up to the crowning of William the Conqueror on Christmas Day 1066. In 2012,…
Enjoy an aperitif in front of a roaring fire followed by a traditional Christmas Lunch in one of our dining rooms. Monday to Fridays throughout December. £21.50 per guest for two courses £27.50 per guest for three courses