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What's On

What's On in Southern Oxfordshire?

There's always something interesting going on with events, festivals, shows, exhibitions and fairs happening all year round. This events diary will keep you up to date with what's on in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse so you can plan your visit.

Although major events such as the Henley Royal Regatta, Thame Show, Rewind, Wallingford Food Festival, Thame Food Festival and Henley's Festival of Music and the Arts attract massive publicity, there are plenty more events taking place.

To make it easy to find events we've listed them in different categories - just click the bar and the event details will be revealed. To find events in a particular location or during specific dates use the event search box to the right of the page.
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If you have a smartphone, you can download the free Oxtrails app straight to your phone to allow you to manage events. 
To find details of Southern Oxfordshire's events and things do click on the bar below and it will open to display relevant results. Click the bar again to close the results and open a different category.

Results in Wantage

Fairs & Festivals

Stanford Summer Festival, Stanford-in-the-Vale - Wantage

13/06/2015 to 14/06/2015

On and around the Church Green. Events include a Flower Festival, and this year's theme is 'The Land of Nursery Rhymes', Wantage Silver Band, Lenny's Lizards and rescued reptiles, 'Fred in the Shed', Juggling John, bouncy castles, family entertainment, live music, a bake-off, photography competition. There will be plenty of refreshments including beer tents and a BBQ. 

Ray's Wantage Carnival - Wantage

30/08/2015 11:00

A summer carnival extravaganza with live music, stalls, BBQ, inflatables, fun fair, licensed bar with Carnival ale, arts and crafts, picnic area, classic car parade and more. Contact: Ray Collins tel: 07964 863 947, email:

Wantage Autumn Festival, King Alfred's East Site - Wantage

18/10/2015 12:00

Time to celebrate autumn again with the annual Wantage Autumn Festival. Showcasing some of our finest local producers and musicians with a great selection of stalls, live music, a local food BBQ, real local ales & cider, teas & cakes, plus fun stuff for the kids too. The festival is a fundraiser run by Sustainable Wantage. You can bring along your garden apples for traditional apple pressing and there's a grow-your-own area with Master Composters. The kids can have a go at gladiator jousting and sumo wrestling, get their face painted and get creative in the crafts area. Entry: adult £2, children FREE. Enquiries 01235 766689.

Food & Drink

Not Just a Beer Festival, West Hendred - Wantage

05/06/2015 to 06/06/2015

On Saturday there will be fun family events until 17.00 with Aunt Sally, under 5s bouncy castle, skittles, tug of war competition, splat the rat and welly throwing. At 19.00 the acoustic music starts. A beer festival on Friday evening and Saturday with our biggest selection of real ales on tap, plus ciders, wines, soft drinks and FREE squash. There will be indoor pub games. Great food and BBQ on Friday 19.00 to 22.00 and Saturday, a hog roast from 12 noon to 22.00. Vegetarian food also. At West Hendred village hall. Friday 18.00 to 23.00 and Saturday 11.00 to 23.00. Admission is £3.50 to include a glass, programme and all events. Children FREE on Saturday 11.00 to 17.00.

Live Music

Wantage Music Festival, Challow Park Hall - Wantage

20/06/2015 to 28/06/2015

The Festival movement aims to cultivate the joy of music-making, and Wantage Music Festival provides a friendly and supportive platform for musicians of all ages to share in the excitement of making music. We aim to keep the element of competition to a minimum, and we hope to encourage performers to learn from one another, as well as from expert adjudication, by grouping classes together. We use the British Federation of Festivals' performance categories: Outstanding, Distinction, Commended, Merit, Moderate and Fair. We especially welcome new entrants and, of course, audiences. Our admission charges for audience members are deliberately kept very modest and it's an excellent way to come and hear music live in Wantage! Do come and listen. The Festival takes place over 2 weekends on 20 and 21 June, and 27 and 28 June. Please visit the website for the full programme.


Sweatbox Rock in the Park, Manor Road Memorial Park - Wantage

11/07/2015 12:00 to 12/07/2015 19:30

The long running annual 2 day live music festival organised by young people and youth workers from the renowned Sweatbox Youth Centre is bigger and better than ever. Featuring a diverse delectation of the very best in Rock, Pop, Folk, Indie, Blues and Country from artistes of all ages. Plus BBQ, inflatable gladiator joust, sumo wrestling, bouncy castle and much more. Entry donations for fundraising. At Manor Road Memorial Park, Wantage, Oxfordshire, OX12 8DW. Contact telephone: 01235 225700 ext 2284.

White Horse Folk Festival, Grove - Wantage

14/08/2015 to 16/08/2015

Taking place in Grove, near Wantage in rural Oxfordshire, WHFF is a small, friendly festival for folk fans who enjoy making new friends. WHFF has been described as just like a weekend-long party - and that’s just how we like it! Festival guests are encouraged to be part of the general goings-on over the weekend and will host workshops, mini-concerts or give special presentations as well as performing in the Saturday evening concert in Grove Village Hall. There will be plenty of food on offer and camping is also available.

Seasonal Events

May Half Term Activities, Vale & Downland Museum - Wantage

27/05/2015 10:30 to 28/05/2015

Get Crafty! Wednesday 27 May, 10.30-12.30. A fun morning for families!  Have a go at crafts inspired by objects in our collection. Weave on a frame and make yourself a bookmark! See Jane Cook's fab cut out pictures, then make a card! FREE but we welcome donations! Suitable for everyone aged 3 - adult.
Victorian Pastimes! Thursday 28 May, 10.30-12.00. More drop-in family fun! Have a go at making lace, quilling, learn to write on a slate, handle Victorian objects, meet Victorian poet Mr Martin Tupper and more! FREE but we welcome donations. Suitable for children aged 3 - adult. 

Sporting Events

Wantage Triathlon - Wantage


About 180 athletes from across the UK will run, cycle and swim in the triathlon, now in its 16th year. It consists of an 800m indoor swim, a 35km bicycle ride and 12km run. Competitors cross three separate counties, with the toughest part being considered by many to be Smith Hill. The fastest competitors to scale the obstacle will win special 'King and Queen of the Hill' awards. All competitors receive a medal and t-shirt. The public is welcome to attend.

MTB Marathon Cycle Challenge - Wantage


Wantage in Oxfordshire is a lovely small market town in the Vale of White Horse with a good range of shops, services and miles of fast flowing mountain bike trails. In its first year this venue offers masses of scope for our team of course designers. Using the historic Ridgeway as the backbone to the course, there are several route options to choose from: Mini Marathon (under 16) an exciting opportunity for under 16s to ride for FREE with their friends and family. Mini Marathon, an exciting family friendly introduction to a mountain bike event, approx 25km.  Half Marathon, your first step towards the full marathon or for those who have a more casual approach to their riding, approx 50km. Full Marathon, 75km, the real big distance with great trails.  Monster Marathon (at least 100km), as the name suggests this route is not to be taken lightly and provides the ultimate test for anyone brave enough to tackle it. FREE camping. Entry fees apply.


Bridge the Gap River Thames Walk - Entire Region


Help Us Bridge The Gap to finally eradicate Polio. Walk along some of the most beautiful sections of the Thames Valley. Start when it suits you from one of the Thames bridges and finish with Riverside BBQ at the Crowne Plaza, Caversham Bridge at 16:00. Start points are the Bridges at Wallingford (28km), Goring (17km), Marlow (29km), Henley (16km) or Whitchurch /Pangbourne (10km). Your fundraising through our Thames Walk will make a huge difference to some of the world’s most vulnerable children. With your support we can End Polio Now. Your entry fee includes a riverside BBQ and a medal.  There is also a leisurely fun walk starting at Sonning to The Crowne Plaza, Caversham at 14.30. Please arrive by 14.15. Registration fee applies. Organised by the Reading Abbey Rotary Club.


The Ridgewalk, Watlington & Ashbury - Entire Region

20/06/2015 to 21/06/2015

An amazing walking challenge across Oxfordshire and Wiltshire - have you got what it takes to take on The RidgeWalk 2015? Taking place along the oldest road in Britain – The Ridgeway - we assure you that this challenge will test you and your team both physically and mentally. We are offering all teams a choice of three routes: trek 52 miles in 24 hours, trek 26 miles in 12 hours or trek 13 miles in 6 hours. You will be provided with hot meals en route, regular checkpoints with FREE drinks and snacks, medics, marshals and pace walkers, a finishers medal and t-shirt for every trekker. The 52-mile route starts at 14.00 on Saturday 20 June  at Watlington and the 26-mile route starts 10 hours later at midnight at West Ilsley. The 13-mile route starts at 8.00 on Sunday 21 June at Ashbury. At the big finish at Barbury Castle there will be music, hot food, drinks, massages and a refresh tent available, so why not get your family and friends to come along and cheer you over the line! Sign up by the end of January and receive 50% off your registration fee.

Breast Walk Ever - Entire Region

06/09/2015 08:00

Against Breast Cancer’s Breast Walk Ever is back for its second year! This event doesn't require running shoes or jumping out of an aeroplane, is open to all ages and involves a fantastic day spent out in the fresh air! Take a walk on the pink side, help us to beat breast cancer! Our day-time walking full or half marathon is open to men, women, children and even dogs! Join us on this incredible walk along the beautiful Thames riverside from Abingdon Bridge to Beale Park, Lower Basildon and help us to fund our ground breaking research. If you want to take a walk on the pink side with us, don’t delay, sign up today! The marathon starts at Abingdon Bridge between 9-10 am and the half marathon at Wallingford Bridge betweem 11-12 noon. Entry fee applies.

Art / Exhibitions

Grove Art Group's Annual Exhibition, Vale & Downland Museum - Wantage

07/07/2015 09:30 to 18/07/2015 16:00

Grove Art Group make a popular return to the museum’s art galleries with an exhibition of its latest work. Tutored by artist and teacher, Tatiana Wise, the group was formed as an Oxfordshire County Council evening class back in 2009. It started off as a beginners’ group. However, as the class expanded and students’ work developed, an intermediate group opened. Students work with a wide range of mediums and on a variety of subjects. They all learn from each other, by sharing their work as well as from the tutor’s knowledge and encouragement. This has proved to be a winning formula and the group has gone from strength to strength. Wendy Dobbenie says, "It’s a few hours each week when I can completely forget about everyday pressures and immerse myself totally in trying to do something creative.” Another student, Susan Hollroyd, adds: ” I never thought I would say it, but I now actually like trying modern art. It is so different to my day job and such fun!”. The museum is closed on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays.

Tranquil Brush, Vale & Downland Museum - Wantage

21/07/2015 09:30 to 01/08/2015 16:00

Don’t miss this lovely exhibition  by ‘ Tranquil Brush’, a group of twelve people who meet regularly to explore the art of Chinese brush painting. The group originally attended an evening class. When the class had to close, they were determined to keep  in touch and continue experimenting with this artistic tradition. Margaret White, one of its founder members explains, ” The traditional Chinese artists copied works from the old masters. Our paintings are also in the style of some established artists, some of whom are still living. We use water colour and ink for our paintings. The ink is ground with a stick made of pine, soot and glue, on a shaped stone. The paper that we use is often know as rice paper even though it is really made from materials such as mulberry or cotton. The brushes are made from wolf, goat or horse hair which is bound together and glued into a hollow handle of bamboo.

Beginning by learning the ‘Four Gentlemen’ – bamboo, plum blossom, orchid and chrysanthemum, the strokes used will follow through into landscapes, birds and animals. We complete the paintings by adding a seal or chop, depicting the artist’s name. Calligraphy is then often added, quoting a poem or a saying. Each year is depicted by and animal. Last year was the year of the Sheep whilst 2015 is the year of the Horse.”

To find out more about this fascinating art, visit the exhibition in the Dr VF Squires Room The museum is closed on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays.

Wantage Art Group's Annual Exhibition, Vale & Downland Museum - Wantage

25/08/2015 09:30 to 05/09/2015 16:00

Wantage Art Group has run monthly demonstrations, exhibitions and occasional workshops in Wantage for 25 years and has exhibited in the museum every year except when it was closed for refurbishment. Amazingly, it still has some founder members amongst its ranks. Patsy Jones, the exhibition organiser, explains,”The annual exhibition is not only an opportunity to show what local artists can do but also to invite anyone interested in the visual arts to join a friendly group. There is a broad range of interests among the group with members working in watercolours, oil acrylics and print making.  Some paint regularly whilst others just do  a few holiday sketches. Whatever the commitment, everyone gains from their attempts. A handful of lines, drawn whilst sitting on a hard uncomfortable rock on a windy day, will evoke many times the memories that a photograph will trigger.”  The Museum is closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

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