The student society Cranfield University’s Walks had a busy month. Following our attendance at CSA student societies and clubs fair on 1st and 4th October, 6 local walks were organised for students and staff. The aim of these events was to show that Cranfield University and its surrounding areas are located in the midst of beautiful countryside that is ideal for walking.
A quick glance at the walks we’ve done in October:
Sunday 2nd October, a circular walk to Cranfield village: Fantastic turnout for our 1st walk! More than 40 students and staff set off from Cranfield University and continued on the cycle path to Cranfield village. The cycle path had been only recently completed; it appears to loosely connect to the national 51 cycle route that goes from Cranfield village to Marston Moretaine and Bedford.
In Cranfield village students were shown the site of the St Peter & St Paul’s church, Swan pub, and Budgens and Co-op supermarkets . Our group admired the views towards the Forest of Marston Vale, a community forest stretching behind the village high street towards Marston Moretaine. Return journey was led via the public footpath that circumnavigates Cranfield airport.
Saturday 7th October – A walk & shop trip: Discovering Bedfordshire’s best kept secrets! Following a short drive, 7 of us set off from the village of Great Barford, known for its beautiful medieval bridge. The walk continued along the River Great Ouse to Danish Camp and with a stop at the historical Willington Dovecote and Stables. Final stop was at Go Outdoors store on the outskirts of Bedford, a perfect place to unwind for some shopping – new walking boots, base layers, hiking socks and more!
Sunday 8th October, special interest walk – geology of Dunstable Downs: A minibus took our group of 13 about 30km south of Cranfield University, to visit the highest point of East of England. After a lunch at The Chiltern Gateway Centre run by National Trust, we met with our guide who teaches geology at Birbeck College, University of London. This was a circular walk, circa 10km in length. It included a stop at at the Whipsnade Tree Cathedral. We learned about the fascinating history of the area going back millions of year – think of dry valleys, shallow seas and lots of chalk!
Saturday 15th and 22nd of October, a walk to Lodge Farm and Farm Shop: There was a group of 25 and 8 of us respectively on these short walks from Cranfield University across the fields to the quintessentially English village of North Crawley and then to Raw Milk Dairy and Farm Shop run by Angela and Gary Adderson on the outskirts of the village. Homemade cakes, bread, fresh raw milk and cream awaited us. We enjoyed complimentary teas and coffees whilst sitting in Angela’s garden and even got a tour of the dairy and learned about milking cows.
Tuesday 25th October, a special evening walk in the dark: 31 of us headed in the dark from Cranfield University via the footpath that circumnavigates the airfield to Cranfield village and beyond, via Marston Thrift to the village of Marston Moretaine. On the way students learned local ghost stories. Huge thank you goes to The Bell pub at Marston Moretaine for accommodating our large group for refreshments. Special spooky-themed cakes were made for us by Angela from Raw Milk Dairy and Farm Shop at Lodge Farm.
Our October walks were attended by staff and MSc and PhD students from across different schools. European countries were well-represented; we also had students from Australia, USA, Guatemala, Mexico, Cameroon, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Malaysia, China, and India.
More walks are planned before Christmas. Would you like to get involved helping Andrew and Kristina organise future events for students and staff at Cranfield University? There are volunteer positions available to join our award-winning team, visit our Committee page to learn more. Or do you have a car and would you be willing to be one of our volunteer drivers and thus help us cut out transport costs? We like to hear from you, get in touch! Finally..
Congratulations! Our 1st star walker is HoiKen, an MSc student from Malaysia, who attended
all of our six walks in the month of October!
Fancy a walk from Cranfield University to Cranfield village, using the public footpath that circumnavigates the air strip of Cranfield airport? Well, put waders on instead of walking boots as the path is seriously waterlogged in places – and soon you may need a boat to get across, as Cranfield University Walks found out during a walk this week on Wednesday evening.
Apologies to Missa about her squeaky clean white trainers turned somehow black and to Jayanthi for getting her trousers very dirty. At least the fish & chips purchased from Cranfield village chippy were spot on – who knows, we might be catching our fish in the newly formed Cranfield sea any time soon, if the rainy weather we’ve recently had continues.
PS: special thanks goes to the good Samaritan Kate who ferried our brave group of walkers back to the university, after the exhausting sea-wading walk.