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 10:00 am, repeating until May 31, 2020
Free Exhibition open from 28 Mar 2020 Gallery 8 Free Admission Celebrating the art of wood engraving over the last 100 years, this exhibition curated by Anne Desmet RA, will display the most outstanding wood engravings in the Ashmolean, complemented by loans from private collections. Marking the centenary of the Society of Wood Engravers, the exhibition charts the history and global spread of this widely loved art form. Image: Edwina Ellis, 1996. Detail of WaterlooFind out more »
An event every day that begins at 10:00 am, repeating until September 20, 2020
Free Display from 4 Apr–20 Sep 2020 Gallery 29 Free Admission Through a selection of highlights from our collection, explore the visual richness and technical sophistication of 18th- and 19th century Greek embroideries, as well as their debt to the many artistic traditions that flourished around the Mediterranean.Find out more »
An event every day that begins at 8:00 am, repeating until April 19, 2020
Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang (b. 1957) is best-known for his gunpowder explosion events staged in public spaces worldwide and, in particular, for his firework display for the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. This exhibition focuses on the artist’s smaller-scale works, exploring the presence of Chinese culture in his art through the mediums of painting, drawing, and gunpowder on canvas, paper and silk. Learn about the significance behind the materials Cai Guo-Qiang chooses to work with, as…Find out more »