Wantage

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.com.

 

Local walks

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

 

Experience the Ridgeway Trail which stretches 140 kilometers across scenic countryside. Check out our 3 day itinerary including stops at Wantage.

 

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

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?

How to get to Wantage

  • S9: Wantage to Oxford via Grove and Cumnor

    S9: Cath the S9 to Wantage. Buses depart up to every 20 minutes and travel via Botley and Cummor.

    More info
  • Royal Cars

    Royal Cars is Oxford's largest taxi company offering all types of work, from local runs to airport tranfers to long-distance pickups and drop offs, weddings and occasionally have crossed the channel.

    More info

Things to do in Wantage

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December 2022

December 6 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

On Hobbits and Hominins

Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Parks Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3PW United Kingdom

How might we tell the story of our species? Our understanding of human evolution has changed drastically over the last twenty years. We now know that Homo sapiens have, for…

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December 7 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Lunch Time Talks – What a Liberty!

Museum of Oxford, Museum of Oxford, Oxford Town Hall, St Aldates,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 1BX United Kingdom
£4 – £5

Join the Museum of Oxford for a talk about some of the more dramatic and amusing incidents from five centuries of the ceremonial circuits of the city’s boundaries (or liberty)…

Find out more »
December 7 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

What a Liberty! with Mark Davies

Museum of Oxford, Museum of Oxford, Oxford Town Hall, St Aldates,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 1BX United Kingdom
£4 – £5

Join the Museum of Oxford for a talk about some of the more dramatic and amusing incidents from five centuries of the ceremonial circuits of the city’s boundaries (or liberty)…

Find out more »
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