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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A 'history in pictures' of the Second World War from diverse and personal perspectives. Featuring artwork, produced during, and depicting scenes from, the Second World War. With art from professionals and amateurs, from already renowned artists to those who would go on to make a name for themselves in a post-war world. The stories behind these works are as colourful as the pieces themselves - from Vogue fashion illustrators forced to flee Paris to Beano cartoonists that turned their hand…Find out more »
A wide variety of stunning images from the members of OPS will be on display. Black and white, colour, wildlife, still-life, travel, portrait and street photography all covered. The pieces in the exhibition will be available to purchase, with price from £50. Featured photo: 'Behind the Scenes' by Sandra Devaney. See website for museum opening times and admission prices.Find out more »
As well as Easter trails, quizzes and daily egg-themed talks and shows, the Gloucestershire wildlife attraction is expecting some egg-stra special new arrivals in their hatchery. Dozens of eggs in special incubators are due to hatch out over the Easter break and visitors will have the rare opportunity of watching the new-born chicks make their entry into the world. Families can also take on the Easter Challenge Quiz, hunting down 10 hidden eggs around the park and answering…Find out more »