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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Explore the county’s creative talent in artists’ studios, gardens, pop-up shops and galleries across Oxfordshire, throughout May (1st-23rd) in both venues to visit and as a virtual festival. With painting, sculpture, print-making, photography, design, ceramics, jewellery, mosaic, wood-turning, textiles, glass & more, Artweeks is an opportunity to browse the visual arts in a relaxed and friendly way, meeting the artists and designer-makers and seeing them in action. And all for free. Be inspired, diverted and delighted; have a go, and…Find out more »
Gorgeously ravishing, deliciously risque and just a little bit ridiculous, travelling vaudeville show Hundred Watt Club bring a glittering, sizzling line-up of burlesque showgirls, comedy, circus and cabaret acts to The Mill for the very first time! Starring : Dazzling vintage inspired stripteaser SERAFINA HART International vaudevillian JON UDRY World record holding circus star SYMONE Bodacious burlesque clown BONNIE KNOCKERS Chameleonic showgirl LENA MAE LENMAN Expect the unexpected, but be ready for a beautiful, brash and bawdy night of very…Find out more »
Henley on Thames and surrounding villages are a fantastic venue for a walking festival and is a wonderful base for walking as it offers walks in its beautiful countryside within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Beauty. From walks from Henley, Nordic Walking, a family fun walk, a Charles Dickens themed walk, a walk from the historic village of Hambleden, to an introduction to geocaching, the Henley Walking Festival has it all. To find places to stay and more information, go…Find out more »