Walk on Saturday 15 October: exploring Cranfield

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Walk itinerary:       
Meet in front of Cafe Bookshop,                                                                                                 Depart at 10.30 am                                                                                                                           11.00 am – meeting Paul, our guide, at Cranfield village;  by the gate  where the footpath from Cranfield University leads into the road  (click on the hyperlink to see the point as an arrow on this map).                                                                                                                            For those who live in Cranfield village, you can join us there at 11 am.                                    Total walk length: circa 13.5 km (8.5 miles)                                                                                   Return: circa 15.30 hours                                                                                                           Bring with you a packed lunch and a drink (optional stop at Co-op supermarket)             Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing for a walk on country footpaths.
                There is no cost associated with attending this walk.                                                                Have a look at this website on the day of the walk to see if there’s an update.

Undulating countryside at Cranfield. ksodo October 2011

On Saturday 15 October we are going to do a walk led by Paul from Cranfield village.  We met Paul during the last guided walk organised by North Crawley Historical Society in September. We struck a conversation that started with us being impressed with Paul cycling all the way from Cranfield village to then attend the 8 km (5 miles) walk at North Crawley. Learning that Paul was an experienced rambler from an area that we have not much explored in the past (i.e. Cranfield village), we could not help asking about a possible walk for our group. To which Paul kindly agreed to. So here it is; we are going to do a walk with Paul this coming Saturday. But first, I asked Paul couple of questions:

Paul, could you tell us more about the planned walk on 15 October?
This will be a circular walk from Cranfield village in south-easterly direction, taking in woods and  open fields; providing good views of the undulating countryside. It will introduce  students to some of the features of Bedfordshire with a bit of information on the industrial history of the area.  This route might be bit muddy and there’s one very low stile to cross over. 
Tell us something about yourself.
I was brought up in London and started rambling in my early teens, with school friends, catching the train on Friday evening out into the countryside, then walk to a youth hostel. Next day, after we done the chores, on to another for the night, then back home on Sunday in time for tea (or so we promised).  I have lived in Cranfield for some 22 years now.
What is your favourite walk?
In England there’s many pleasant walks taking the views, going somewhere of particular interest or just want to get out.  But my favourites are the expeditions with my son and grandson.
What advice would you give to our walkers or what useful information could you share with us?
Get an ordnance survey map of the area you’re in or going to, 1:25000 scale Explorer map –  the one with orange on its cover ( there is a problem for Cranfield as it’s on the corner of four maps)
This link gives some independent help in choosing walking boots: http://www.which.co.uk/news/2010/04/which-reveals-the-best-walking-boots-207719/  Sometimes TK Max, a shop In the Centre Milton Keynes, has reasonable quality walking boots at discounted prices.
Thank you, Paul. I look forward to our walk on Saturday.  Kristina Sodomkova

Time to do some shopping!

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Those of you who met me on our walk on Sunday 2 October to Cranfield village; you probably wondered that I did not look like a serious countryside rambler but more like an urban stroller: trainers, shoulder bag casually hanging on my arm. Well, I used to have lovely walking shoes – I bought myself a very comfortable, nicely looking, pair of Berghaus boots as a birthday present to myself this year, after researching reviews on Amazon. One reviewer, and a very satisfied owner of Berghaus footwear, suggested buying size of the shoe you normally wear – which is not the advice normally given. Still I followed this suggestion and it was fine, my feet felt heavenly in the new boots I purchased. Except when I did a walk over 10 km, I felt my feet were expanding and the boots were suddenly too small! Blisters started to appear. So my lovely boots were passed on to one of my sisters as her feet are slightly smaller than mine. Regarding a suitable rucksack – I did have one too until strict airport luggage allowance during a recent trip to Europe made me stuff my hand luggage to the point that my rucksack burst. So for me, to do some serious walking, I  desperately need to do some serious shopping first!

My old walking boots. Photos courtesy of Mariana Felnerova.

I assume that some of you are experiencing similar dilemmas. This is where an idea came from Deborah, one of our walk leaders: Let’s do a walk combined with a shopping trip to an outdoor store.  So that is what we are planning to do on October 22  and 12 November 2011, visiting an outdoor shop in Bedford and/or Stony Stratford.  We are still finalizing details of both trips but in the meantime you can check out these stores’ websites, to see what merchandise is available:

Bedford store (Deborah and I both have a discount card that can be used during our group visit) http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/bedford

Stony Stratford store (our members receive 20% discount) http://www.theoutdoorshop.com/

More: To see what other walks we are currently planning in the next couple of weeks, check Walk Plan page.