Since Cranfield University’s Walks formed in April 2011, many students participated in its activities, which enabled them to discover the UK’s extensive network of footpaths and enjoy and appreciate beauty of the UK’s countryside. If you are a new student coming to Cranfield University and thinking of joining, hear from our existing and past members about their experiences of being part of the society:
Today I am talking to Pedro. Hello Pedro! Tell us something about yourself. I’m in the last stage of my PhD in computing science at Cranfield University. More specifically, my PhD is in image processing applied to robotics. Cool, uh?
Yes, very cool indeed! What were your 3 favourite Cranfield University’s Walks events and why? Stowe was good fun. It is a big park with a manor in the middle converted into a boarding school. It’s crowded by neat gardens and monuments, with one or two lakes around. We had an experienced guide (he was over 80, and that’s a low estimate) who explained the history of the site to us. Apparently the place is full of spots where love has been unrequited, as well as others where it has been… requited.
Another nice walk was in Bedford, a town located about 17km northeast from Cranfield University. The walk took place in December. After a gentle walk along the riverside we arrived at the centre of Bedford, and there a most proper guide for the period of the year (with a big white beard) told us interesting facts about the history of Bedford, a town which seems to be vast and bustling! Do you know that there is a house in Bedford where everything is ready in case the Messiah comes over?
All the weekend walks I’ve done have been great, but I if I had to pick one, it would be Yorkshire, I guess. The first day we climbed up three peaks which surround a valley, and for once the weather was good! I remember I ended up singing Spanish songs along with Belén, while the sheep stared at us in bewilderment and the rest of the group pretended didn’t know us…
What walking boots and other walking gear did you have that you found indispensable during the walks? My boots are ASOLO (I bought them with you, Kristina!) They were on offer but I made sure that they don’t let the water in and that the ankle is protected. Still as shining as the first day I bought them!
I’m not the best example for walking gear. Keeping you warm and with spare clothes in case you get wet is paramount, so I always take lots of layers and spare garments.
You should never trust the weather (definitely not in Britain) and so take with you on a walk water-proof clothes (trousers and top). A warm cap is really important, a lot of heat comes out of your head! Also, a good pair of gloves can help a lot when is 5ºC, windy and spitting. Ah! And for when the elements get extreme, I always take with me a buff to protect my face.
What did being a member of Cranfield University’s Walks mean to you? What did it mean? Mmm… dunno, I guess that it meant that I got to know friendly and open-minded people, most of them with similar interests as me. The walking society has introduced me to many students from other schools.
It has also been a gate to Britain. Thanks to the walking society I got to know so many places, traditions and folklore of the Anglo-Saxon world that otherwise I, as Spaniard, would have never known of.
Also, it made me realise that having a car really increases your status, here at Cranfield (for those who are not (yet) familiar, Cranfield campus is not in a town but in the middle of countryside, with limited facilities and public transport links).
Why would you recommend anyone at Cranfield University to join the walking society? I think there are two or three big reasons for joining the walking society. You see, if you like going to a gig or for drinks in some fancy venue every so often, Cranfield is not the best place for it. What Cranfield is optimised for is… walks! We couldn’t be in a better environment for enjoying the English countryside. Also geographically, Cranfield is less than one hour away by car from so many historic and picturesque English places.
Another big reason is socialising. During a walk you can’t help but socialising with people, where interesting conversations can be stirred and people can connect. You know, more than one couple has been formed under the umbrella of walking society… just saying.
As I mentioned before, I think that the walks, events and outdoor activities that walking society promotes create a bias towards outgoing and straightforward people. So if you socialise with great people, you end up… with great friends! 🙂
Thank you, Pedro, great talking to you. All the best, good luck finishing your PhD and keep on walking!
Visit our Membership page on how to join Cranfield University’s Walks.
post by @CUwalker
This entry was posted in Blog, More than walking, News, Social event and tagged alternative means of transport, Cranfield students, interview, membership, new members, public transport, walking boots, walking gear.