On Sunday 2nd April Chicheley Hall, owned by The Royal Society, opened its doors to Cranfield University’s students and staff .
This special visit was part of the longest countryside walk so far organised by the university’s walking society in the academic year 2016/2017. The walk was attended by 23 Cranfield students, alumni, and staff from numerous countries: China, India, Saudi Arabia, Italy, France, Cameroon, Nigeria, UK, Czech Republic, and Malaysia. It followed from a similar event five years ago when Cranfield students visited Chicheley Hall as part of The Royal Society’s Heritage Open Day.
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.
About the walk: Chicheley Hall lies circa 8km from Cranfield University in north-easterly direction. It provides the perfect opportunity for a lovely countryside walk between these two locations, by using a network of public footpaths. The walk to Chicheley Hall took us under 2 hours and we repeatedly crossed the local watercourse, Chicheley Brook. Having turned off left just before reaching the village of North Crawley through the fields; having passed a field with horses, we crossed Folly Lane towards Brook End; then continued until crossing the main road towards Chicheley; walking along the road on the inside hedge of a field (with the permission of a local farmer) before turning right and continuing on a track until reaching a turning on the left through the fields. Then it was an opportunity to experience a true Jane Austin moment where at one point Chicheley Hall emerges on the horizon as you walk through a small woodland not far from the final destination.
Before arrival at the beautiful grounds of Chicheley Hall and its manicured lawns, we passed primitive Hebridean sheep in the field. A guided tour of the house was arranged; we learned about the fascinating history of the house and admired its interior. Next was time for a tea/ coffee and cake, freshly prepared at the hall’s kitchen, before we headed outside to explore the gardens and visit the unique raptors’ sculptures hidden among the trees. Then it was time to head back to the university. A quick drink stop at North Crawley’s local pub energised us for the last leg of the journey across the fields back to Cranfield University‘s campus. We were back before sunset. What a fabulous day of walking it was!
Special thank you goes to Chicheley Hall staff who made our visit possible and very enjoyable: Lauren kindly made special arrangements for our visit. Charles and Maurice, our guides, shared their knowledge of the hall and its history and patiently answered our numerous questions.
Next walk to Chicheley Hall: 14 May 2017. Bookings will open soon, check this website for updates.
Photos by Ali, our Photo Editor; Hoiken & Kristina. @Cranfield University's Walks 2017.
Walking society members, help us put together a great plan of walks and other activities for the new year 2017!
The walking society organised 9 local walks for the new students at Cranfield University between the months of October and December 2016. You can read about some of these events here. These walks followed the footpath and cycle path to Cranfield village; showed us the way across the fields to a local farm shop and along a country lane to a local pub in the quintessential village of North Crawley; led us to visit a nearby historical market town of Olney and the medieval hunting ground of Salcey Forest; and explore the geology of the highest point of East of England and Bedfordshire’s best secrets.
Where could our walks take us in the new year 2017? This is an opportunity for our walking society’s members to have their say and get actively involved in planning our next walks.
If you are not a member yet, this is an opportunity for you to meet our friendly bunch and join our society.
Looking forward to seeing you!
If you cannot attend this meeting in person and would like to contribute with ideas for upcoming activities, you may email us at email@example.com
Andrew and Kristina
Who is behind Cranfield University’s Walks?
Currently the activities of the walking student society at Cranfield University are managed by Andrew, a member of staff and a PhD student, and Kristina, founder of this walking society and an ex- PhD student.
Cranfield University’s Walks is now looking for volunteers to form its committee for the academic year 2016-2017. Having a committee is a prerequisite for any student society to be eligible to apply for funding from Cranfield Students’ Association.
What committee positions are available?
1st and 2nd Photo Editor
Social Media Officer (Facebook, Instagram)
Why become a committee member for Cranfield University’s Walks?
This is what our past committee members say:
Getting involved on the committee is a great way to gain organisational skills, as well as meeting the locals.(Sarah,a committee member extraordinaire, President and 2x Treasurer)
This will help you to develop quite a few useful skills such as planning, budgeting, leadership, team working, etc. Not joking. I very successfully used my experience of being a committee member in the competency questions of job applications and interviews.This led me to be offered a place on a graduate scheme with Rolls-Royce. (Belén, Photo Editor, Social Media Officer - the voice of the walking society!)
I won the award of “Bee’s knees” of the walking society in the academic year of 2013-2014. I was happy to get this unexpected award.I was also happy that I improved from the activities (Jing received Cranfield Students’ Association awards 2013/2014. The nomination read “Well done, Jing, great to see you gaining confidence and becoming a walk leader and an events organiser.” )
By joining Cranfield University’s walking society, you will make friends for life. Just remember, KEEP WALKING! (Vikas, the most enthusiastic participant of the society's activities and its WordPress Editor-in-Chief, a committee member extraordinaire)
It helps you win friendship, keep fit, see beautiful scenery, but also enriches your knowledge in nature and history.It would definitely make your life at Cranfield University different and much more delightful and enjoyable.(Xiaojian, Photo Editor, Picasa and HTML troubleshooter)
The walking society at Cranfield University was one of the warmest fraternities I got involved with on campus.(Ann, Membership Officer)
Read more on our Testimonials page.
Kristina says: This is a fantastic opportunity for you to be at the heart of the student community at Cranfield University: as the founder of the society and a committee member it has been priceless for me to see Cranfield students so happy on our walks in the fresh air, out in the beautiful countryside. By being part of our committee, you gain valuable transferable skills such as using WordPress and Eventbrite and being a good leader. Or perhaps you already have some great experience that could benefit our student walking society ‘Cranfield University’s Walks’. Whatever the reason, don’t hesitate to get in touch if you are interested to be part of our winning team and to discuss further these positions!