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 March 7, 2020
Colin Jones (b.1936) is one of Britain’s most significant photojournalists but he began his creative career dancing with The Royal Ballet. This dancer-turned-photographer focused his lens on fellow dancers as his subject matter, capturing hardworking bodies and backstage drama. Jones’ backstage ballet photographs show not just the emotional intensity and beauty of ballet but also reveal the sustained physical exertion and discipline of a dancer’s life. Photographs from the 1960s include Britain’s iconic ballerina, Margot Fonteyn and the Soviet-born Rudolf…Find out more »
An event every month that begins at 1:30 pm on day Third of the month, repeating until December 18, 2020
The Museum's Knit Knot and Natter Craft Group meet in the Museum Cafe every 3rd Friday of the month. Bring along your own craft projects, take tuition from current members in crafts such as knitting, crochet and embroidery or just come along for a cuppa and a chat. Free to join but we do ask you support the Cafe. No need to book in advance, just come along on the dayFind out more »
An event every day that begins at 8:00 pm, repeating until February 22, 2020
An outrageous play about imperialism, cross-racial adoption, cultural appropriation…and tea. Brighton, 1862. A day in the life of Sarah, an African girl, adopted by Queen Victoria and raised in the Queen’s circles. Today is the eve of her having to return to Africa but will she go? The present. A day in the life of Sarah, a black middle-class woman staying in a Cheshire village with her husband and small child. They are paid a visit by well-meaning neighbours who have…Find out more »