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
Events Search and Views Navigation
An event every week that begins at 10:00 am on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, repeating until November 3, 2019
An event every week that begins at 11:00 am on Saturday, repeating until November 3, 2019
An event every week that begins at 2:00 pm on Sunday, repeating until November 3, 2019
Exhibition charting the Second World War invasion of Normandy by allied forces. Combining information panels from the National Army Museum with the regimental history and artefacts from SOFO's own archives to give an Oxfordshire perspective on D Day and the events surrounding it. SOFO Museum Open Tuesday - Fridays, 10am to 5pm. Saturdays 11am to 5pm, and Sundays 2pm - 5pm. Last admission at 4.15pm.Find out more »
The first coffee house in England opened in Oxford in 1651, but the story of coffee began many years earlier in the Ottoman Empire. Discover how coffee made its way to England through an exploration of both Ottoman coffee-related objects and English adaptations, which illustrate the fascinating and complex relationship between the two powers at the time. Gallery 29Find out more »
Learn about the untold stories and hidden narratives of empire, trade and transatlantic slavery through this contemporary art installation inspired by the Ashmolean’s European Ceramics collection. A cup of tea represents comfort for many of us, but every sip connects us to the legacy of the British Empire, global trade and transatlantic slavery. The fashion for drinking sweetened tea from China inspired the luxury tea sets in the Ashmolean European Ceramics Gallery. Behind this wealth was the brutal exploitation of enslaved…Find out more »