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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An event every day that begins at 2:00 am, repeating until August 25, 2019
The ultimate family festival for food and music lovers The Big Feastival has become one of the UK's most popular family festivals for food and music lovers, held each summer on the farm of legendary Blur bassist Alex James. Combining family fun, food and music, the weekend includes an incredible spread of culinary delights, including sessions from Michelin star chefs, as well as street food caterers covering a huge variety of cuisines. Beyond the food, the music isn't half band…Find out more »
Join us at Henley Country Craft Show this August Bank Holiday in the gorgeous grounds of Stonor Park Manor House. Bask in the sunshine as you explore marquees and outdoor markets filled with handmade jewellery, homewares, clothing and more – all lovingly created by specialist Craftspeople. Enjoy a wide selection of artisan food and drink providers, and relax in the striking landscape to live music. A truly special day out for you and your family!Find out more »
Monday 8th July – Saturday 7th September 2019 Europe’s first ever pop-up Shakespearean Theatre. Following its highly acclaimed inaugural season in York this year, Europe’s first-ever pop up Shakespearean theatre arrives at Blenheim Palace for summer 2019. Four of William Shakespeare’s most popular plays - Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard III and Romeo & Juliet will transport audiences to the thrilling, intimate atmosphere of an Elizabethan playhouse, with plenty of breath-taking, spine-tingling and heart-stopping moments. The 13-sided scaffolding theatre…Find out more »