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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Made up entirely of new works inspired by the Palace’s collection, the Blenheim Art Foundation will unveil a major solo exhibition by acclaimed British Artist Cecily Brown. This will be the first exhibition in the Foundation’s programme to be comprised entirely of new work created in response to the Palace’s history as an English country estate and as the home to successive generations of the Spencer-Churchill family and their collection of paintings, tapestries and decorative arts. Ticket required: Palace, Park and Gardens, Park and Gardens…Find out more »
From Thursday 1 to Saturday 31 October, IF Oxford, the city’s science and ideas festival, presents more than 100 events for adults, children and teenagers on a dynamic new online platform. With dance, film, debate, demos from dining tables, and suggestions for hands-on activities to try at home, the Festival brings together real time cutting-edge research from world-leading academics with wide-ranging events to excite the imagination. Festival-goers can uncover big ideas and ask even bigger questions about science, humanity, the…Find out more »
An event every week that begins at 9:30 am on Friday, repeating until December 18, 2020
Wantage Country Market is held in the Museum Cafe every Friday morning. The best place to buy fresh homemade goodies such as jams, chutneys and cakes as well as home grown fruit, vegetables and flowers. They also have some crafts, including cards, aprons & knitted baby wear. *Please note this market is not organised by the Museum, the Wantage Country Market is a separate organisation.Find out more »