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Thinking of joining us? Meet our member Ali

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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:
                      Ali in action.

Today I am talking to one of our most inspiring membersHello there, tell us something about yourself. Hi, my name is Ali and I’m from Saudi Arabia. I studied my Master of Science in Advanced Mechanical Engineering at Cranfield University, academic year 2016/2017.

What was your role in the walking society? I was the Photo Editor. As a committee member, my role included helping the committee in planning the walks but it was mainly to document every walk we had and share it through our social media pages.

Congratulations! You have won an award from the walking society. Thank you! I received the Chief Photographer award during our last year’s Christmas pub walk to North Crawley .

What were your 3 favourite walks and why? 

Snowdonia National Park: A hiking trip for three days with a group of energetic and lovely members of the walking society.  That experience showed how a team can work in a tough environment like climbing Snowdon Mountain.

Olney Christmas Market Walk: A walk that included passing by and seeing several attractive locations along the  River Great Ouse and Olney River Meadows  that are nature, the old market town and the Christmas market with a flavour of Victorian England.

Stevington Windmill Walk: A special walk to view an impressive postmill (a type of windmill that could be turned to face into the wind) built in the 18th century and the only complete windmill left in the county of Bedfordshire.  A historic windmill which is sort of  hidden, a stunning place to visit in Bedford.

What did being a member of Cranfield University’s Walks mean to you?

Being a member of this society gave me the opportunity to enjoy two things. Firstly, wondering around the beautiful countryside, villages and towns and knowing about their fascinating history. Secondly, I was honoured to work with and learn from the committee and our friends, Kristina and Alan, who all were driven by passion toward making this society lively and successful.

Why would you recommend anyone at Cranfield University to join the walking society? I don’t think I am exaggerating when I say that the Walking Society does complete the studying experience at Cranfield University, especially for international students like me so I strongly recommend it.

Thank you, Ali ! It was a pleasure talking to you. Keep on walking and all the best in your future endeavours!

Ali and fellow members of the walking society at Chicheley Hall.


Read further interviews with our members on our testimonials’ page.
Would you like to be part of the walking society?  Learn on how to join the Cranfield University’s Walks here

post by @CUwalker

Season’s Greetings from Cranfield University’s Walks

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To our members and all students and staff at Cranfield University

May the peace and beauty of the season remain with you throughout the coming year.

♥Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!♥

photos from our past walks taken by our student members: ©Cranfield University's walks

Thinking of joining us? Meet our member Chen

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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 one of our most active members of past academic year. Hello there, tell us something about yourself. Hello I am Chen, a student in MSc Welding Engineering at SATM School, Cranfield University. Academic year 2016/2017.

Say hi to Chen, one of the walking society’s dedicated committee members. 

What was your role in the walking society? I was the Membership officer, responsible for collecting, processing membership sign up forms and maintaining the mailing list for upcoming events announcement. Occasionally I helped with the event planning and photo taking.

Congratulations! You have won an award from the walking society. Thank you! I received an award during our Christmas pub walk to North Crawley last year as the member who attended most walks between September and December 2016.

What were your 3 favourite walks and why? The first would be Snowdonia National Park, 3 days, 2 nights. It was the first ever big trip organised by the new committee and our first hand experience on the planning, paperwork and preparation that had to be done. With the event taking place 3 months from announcement in early summer for advance accommodation booking, the participation rate was relatively low as some students were uncertain about their schedule, concerned they would be writing up their theses back in their home countries during that period. Fortunately we managed to get both accommodation and participation ready with special arrangement even a month before departure. With none of the participants having visited the national park before nor being  professional hikers we all took precaution and hoped for the best. It turned out great! The path, the weather, the stunning view and a birthday celebration for the president, which fell on the same day. From this event, the committee gained major experience for the next.

The second would be Peak District National Park, 2 days 1 night. It was interesting. We lost our direction at the top because it was a vast landscape full of tall vegetation with hardly any visible sign or a path. Getting lost was fun and I enjoyed it, having a chance to explore the unknown and making important judgement along the way. Eventually we were back on track and rewarded with a nice view!

The third would be Willington Dovecote, now managed by National Trust. It was the first walk organised by the walking society for new students that I joined.  The walk from Great Barford along the Great River Ouse was led by Alan and Kristina. We began to know each other and ended the walk by shopping at the Go Outdoors shop. It is the first walk where it all started for me – and I caught the walking bug!

What walking boots and other walking gear do you have that you found indispensable during the walks? I didn’t place an importance into the walking gear initially. I had my first serious hiking of a 4000m altitude with industrial boots, partly because that was the pair I had and partly as I was curious  to find out what were the advantages of wearing such boots (steel toe cap and sole against rocks, mud proof , water proof, windproof and good traction against oily surface). It works but with low bending flexibility and stamina consuming. From there I learnt about the importance of getting a pair of suitable walking boots. As a fan of waterproof shoes (avoiding all chance of getting wet feet), I had a pair of Timberland boots for walking. It works well, even for daily use to classes. Wind proof jacket and pants are absolutely necessary too.

What did being a member of Cranfield University’s Walks mean to you?

Phew, it was full of surprises and passion! Coming from a hot city full of cars, highways and buildings (I am from Kuala Lumpur), walking in a shopping mall is the norm during weekend. One of my objective during my time spent in the UK is to have some nice outdoor walks and hiking. When I saw Walking Society booth during the club & society event, I joined as a member without much thought. As time passed, I was surprised to know that the society had closed for a year, was revived and ran with great passion by Kristina, the founder, for almost half a year before a full committee was formed. Rather than running away from being a committee, I have accepted Kristina’s offer to be the Membership officer in hope that I can contribute to some extent. Not long after, the president expressed his wish to resign came in as the next jaw dropping surprise, followed by the Snowdon trip at the brink of being scrapped due to low participation and high advance payment. Even so, the team remained resilient. Out of expectation, a quiet member stabilised the society by volunteering himself as the new president, flooding the society with his raging passion. The team sailed through all the hurdles one by one and things eventually back on track.

Finally, the last surprise arrived: the society was given the Best Event award 2016-2017 by Cranfield Student Association, returning to its past glory! I was genuinely stunned during the event as it was the least expected outcome right from revival. The best of all, it was a treat to know a group of very supportive members whom practise the same interest, having a nice chat and encounter during each walk. Not to forget, Kristina’s passion in the society is an eye opener for me. With the memorable year ended, I think the walk continues for all of us, both physically and mentally, exploring new paths and wonders. Hopefully someday we will cross each other’s path again.

Why would you recommend anyone at Cranfield University to join the walking society? Definitely join I would say to those who enjoy walking and photography! It is a wonderful chance to meet people with the same interest from different schools within the university and from different countries across the world.

Thank you, Chen, really enjoyed talking to you. Keep on walking and all the best in your future endeavours!

Read further interviews with our members on our testimonials’ page.
Would you like to be part of the walking society?  Learn on how to join the Cranfield University’s Walks here

post by @CUwalker

Sunday 26 November: Exclusive walk & tour of Chicheley Hall awaits

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A stunning  countryside walk from Cranfield University via the quintessentially English village of North Crawley to the beautifully restored Chicheley Hall awaits us this coming Sunday. All thanks to a special invitation extended to the Cranfield University’s walking society and its members. 

Chicheley Hall is home to The Royal Society and its Kavli Royal Society International Centre that offers residential working retreat for scientists worldwide. It is a stunning Grade I listed mansion surrounded by 80 acres of beautifully kept grounds. Now a wedding venue and a conference centre with accommodation available to book.

This walk to Chicheley Hall is one of the longest circular countryside walks you can undertake in proximity of Cranfield University; about 15km and 2 hours each way. Expect to spot lively livestock along the way!

If you are romantically inclined, a true Jane Austin moment awaits you as approach the beautiful Chicheley  Hall.

The walk on 26th November is  fully booked. If you are interested in joining a countryside walk from Cranfield University to Chicheley Hall sometimes in the future, please get in touch.  

 

photos: @cranfielduniversity’swalks

 

Sunday 14 May walk: exclusive tour of Chicheley Hall

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Update on 10th May: the event has been cancelled

Join us for a delightful countryside walk from Cranfield University to the home of The Royal Society and its Kavli Royal Society International Centre. Attend an exclusive guided tour of the house and gardens.  A very special event not to be missed!

Chicheley  Hall is a stunning Grade I listed mansion surrounded by 80 acres of beautifully kept grounds. Now a wedding venue and a conference centre. Home to Kavli Royal Society International Centre that offers residential working retreat for scientists worldwide.

Walk itinerary: 14 May Sunday walk
Meet in front of the Cafe Bookshop. Depart at 11.30 hours.
Return: circa 19.00 hours. En route picnic stop. Optional pub stop on the way back. Total walk length: circa 14 km (2 hours one way)  Surface: footpaths, some stiles to cross over, it may be muddy. Cost: £3. Light refreshments at Chicheley Hall included in the price.


Read more about our last walk to Chicheley Hall.

 

Sunday 2 April walk: exclusive tour of Chicheley Hall

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Experience  a true Jane Austin moment as you walk from Cranfield University via the quintessentially English village of North Crawley to the beautifully restored Chicheley Hall.  Attend an exclusive guided tour of the house and gardens, followed by tea & cakes.  A very special event not to be missed!

Chicheley  Hall is a stunning Grade I listed mansion surrounded by 80 acres of beautifully kept grounds. Now a wedding venue and a conference centre.

Home to The Royal Society and its Kavli Royal Society International Centre that offers residential working retreat for scientists worldwide.

Walk itinerary:
Meet in front of the Cafe Bookshop. Depart at 12.30 hours.
Return: circa 19.00 hours. Optional stop at The Cock Inn pub on the way back.  Total walk length: circa 14 km (2 hours one way)  Surface: footpaths, some stiles to cross over, it may be muddy. Cost: £7 members, £10 non-members. Teas & cake at Chicheley Hall included in the price.

Limited places available. Book online here via our Eventbrite page. 

Read more about our last walk to Chicheley Hall.

 

Saturday 18th February: Milton Keynes Walk – Caldecotte and Willen Lakes

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Discover Milton Keynes: Join us for a lovely walk along the picturesque Caldecotte and Willen Lakes, admire the unique Peace Pagoda and a historical church. Great views all around!

Walk itinerary: Meet in front of the Main Reception  Depart at 11.30am. Return: circa 17:00 hours. Total walk length: circa 10km. Stop for refreshments at Caldecotte Arms  Surface mostly suitable for trainers but can be muddy and wet underfoot. Transport provided from the university and back.

Cost: £5 members, £7 members. Cost covers transport, pay for own refreshments. Limited number of places available, book by Friday evening 17th February.

Book online here

P1320146Photo from a past walk: Cranfield University students enjoying a visit to Milton Keynes.