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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“We’ll tell the same old stories, all over again. And we won’t complain. Because it’s Christmas.” It’s Christmas Day. Three generations of a family are busy preparing a feast, and you’re invited. But someone is missing from the table. The Last Nöel is a funny, moving, uplifting play with live music and original songs by Chris Bush. Make this a Christmas you’ll never forget. Praise for previous grown-up festive shows at the Old Fire Station: ★★★★★ “A Christmas cracker…warm and funny…Excellent stuff.” – The…Find out more »
An event every day that begins at 7:30 pm, repeating until January 5, 2020
“When we get to the end of the story, you will know more than you do now…” This Christmas Creation Theatre will be really turning down the temperature and transforming The North Wall into the frozen wastes of Lapland. Gerda’s best friend Kai has gone missing and she can’t find him anywhere. Luckily there’s all sorts of helpful people she can ask; a river, some rose bushes, a crow, a robber girl and her talking doves…. you get the picture.…Find out more »
Ralph Vaughan Williams was enchanted by the beauty of traditional melodies and folk tunes. The composer’s Fantasia on Christmas Carols sees him transform those tunes into something new, something festive and something uniquely atmospheric. If the Fantasia celebrates beauty in restraint, then there’s plenty of jubilant fare in our Christmas Celebration to raise the spirits. The Orchestra and Concertmaster Natalia Lomeiko are joined by Roderick Williams, two of Oxford’s finest chapel choirs and a guest from Cambridge – the King of carols himself, John…Find out more »