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 day that begins at 10:00 am, repeating until April 18, 2020
This is a special year for the Society of Wood Engravers as they celebrate their Centenary. It was founded in 1920 by artists including Eric Gill, Gwen Raverat, Robert Gibbings, Philip Hagreen and Lucien Pissarro. A break during the war years and then again in the 1970s meant that their annual exhibition ceased for a time, making this their 82nd show. Since their revival in 1984, they have built a reputation for excellence, attracting exhibitors and collectors from around the…Find out more »
An event every day that begins at 2:00 pm, repeating until April 8, 2020
One night, Arthur has an amazing dream about a beautiful pink and green boat with a stripy mast. He can’t wait to tell everyone about it but no one (not even his dog!) is interested. In fact, they don’t even notice that this very same boat is growing on his head, getting larger and larger by the minute! Soon, Arthur is bouncing along the waves in his very own dream boat. Maybe now his family will listen to him! A magical…Find out more »
An event every week that begins at 2:00 pm on Wednesday and Thursday, repeating until April 16, 2020
Every Wednesday and Thursday through the school holidays, come and explore our family-friendly museum and take part in themed craft activities! Create a work of art together, have a go at some wartime skills, or discover things old and new in one of our nostalgia trails. A perfect afternoon escape for grandchildren and grandparents! April 8th and 9th Navigation – The Toughest Easter Egg Hunt Learn navigation techniques to find the eggs hidden around the museum. April 15th and 16th…Find out more »