Walk to the amazing Chicheley Hall – what a delight!

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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. 

Saturday 4 February: Stewartby Lake – Forest Centre – St Mary Church

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Join us for a pleasant walk from Cranfield University, via Cranfield village and the wooded Marston Trift, to the Forest Centre  & Millennium Country Park, with a view over the Stewartby Lake, where we will stop for a lunch at the cafe (bring your own lunch or purchase at the cafe). This will be followed by a walk to  the ancient  St Mary’s Church at Marston Moreteyne where we will get a tour of this historical church. Transport back to the university included.
Walk itinerary:
Meet in front of the Cafe Bookshop. Depart at 10.30am.
Those joining us at Cranfield village, meet us at 11.30 am in front of The Swan pub.
Return: circa 16.30 hours  Total walk length: circa 10 km (6.5miles)  Surface: mainly tarmac or gravel path but it may be muddy. Cost: £6 members, £8 non-members. Stop for lunch: at Lakeside cafe

Book your place online here.

 Weather forecast:unsettled.Please bring a waterproof jacket in case it rains.

Country Walk around Emmaus Village Carlton (Sat. 28/06/14)

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Join us for a country walk around Emmaus Village Carlton.
Emmaus Village Carlton is a local charity that not only offers homeless people the opportunity to help themselves, but to help others. Its idea originates from the birth of the Emmaus Movement in post-war France, advocated by Abbe Pierre.

Walk & Shop: The Emmaus Village Carlton Shops and Bistro are Open
10:00 – 4:30 Tue – Sat. Perfect for low cost second-hand shopping if you need kitchen items (glasses, cutlery, plates, bowls, cute china cups) , books, lamps, picture frames, flower pots and furniture! Also drop off point available – if you are moving out soon from your student accommodation, drop off any unwanted items and prevent them going into landfill.

Emmaus Village

Activity date:  Saturday, 28th June
Meeting point:  The Café Bookshop (Cranfield University)
Departing time from Cranfield:  10:45
Arriving time to Cranfield (approx):  16:00
Walk length: 5.5 miles
Club members only?:  No. But limited spaces depending on the whole number and the drives’ number.
Sign up at:  Email walking@cranfield.ac.uk with “Jing – Emmaus” in the subject title
Sign-up deadline:  Friday 27th June by 1pm
Price:  £3 members  and £4 non-members ( this may change if we have drivers)
Meal provided?: Please ensure you bring a packed lunch for a picnic. Besides, at the end of the walk, we can enjoy some cakes (afternoon tea) at a cafe in Emmaus which provide yummy cakes (the society will buy the cakes!); always bring some water with you.
Gear: Wear appropriate clothing for a country walk, bearing in mind the prevailing weather and boots for a walk on farm paths.
Other information:  Drivers Wanted. If you have a car and are willing to drive please let us know in the email. The drive will be reimbursed.

Angelas’ Lodge Farm walk (Sun. 06-10-2013)

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Enjoy this easy peasy pre-season walk to the Lodge Farm!

If you have been in Cranfield the last year, you must be eager to get walking and socializing again (these last two weeks must have been tough for you as well 😉 ). If you are a new student, come and meet some new awesome people, maybe encounter your first English sheep, and taste the delicious products of the farm shop (cake, milk, ice cream, vegetables, bread…).

And who knows, we may end up in North Crawley having a beer in the Cock Inn or in the Cranfield Social Club 🙂 For the new English speakers, a teacher of mine told me once “one pint helps your English, however, five don’t”.


Activity date:  Sunday 6th of October 2013
Meeting point:  The Café Bookshop (Cranfield University)
Departing time from Cranfield:  14:30
Arriving time to Cranfield (approx):  17:30
Walk length:  5 Km (approx)
Club members only?:  No
Sign up at:  N/A
Sign-up deadline:  N/A
Price:  FREE
Meal provided?:  Cake! but you can buy something else in the farm
Gear:  Comfortable clothes and footwear, better hiking boots because the path may be muddy, and waterproof clothing (get used to it; Welcome to England!!). Always carry suficient of water with you.
Other information:  N/A

Wednesday 31 October: All Hallows Eve Walk

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Walk itinerary:       
Meet in front of the Main Reception                                                                                              Depart at 7pm                                                                                                                                Return: before 22.00 hours                                                                                                           Total walk length: 7 km ( circa 4.5 miles).                                                                                   Terrain: suitable for wearing trainers                                                                                               Walk leader: Andrew Potter from School of Applied Sciences.                                                  Event organisers: Sarah, Kristina & Vikas (Committee Members)                                              Refreshments at the end of the walk at The Bell pub, Marston Moretaine.  

Only limited places available.  Please book your place by 2:00 PM Friday 26th Oct.


Cost: £5 for members of Cranfield University’s walking society, non-members £8
Book your place at the Cranfield Students’ Association’s office, 1st floor                            Show you membership card to claim a discounted rate when booking a place.

St Mary’s church tower – photo by Periklis Lolis

Have a look at this website on the day of the walk to see if there’s an update.

Join us for this special Halloween walk in the dark on Wednesday evening. After a short journey to Cranfield village where the walk will start, we will continue  on the National Route 51 of the National Cycle Network towards the Forest of Marston Vale; through the wooded Marston Trift to the neighbouring village of Marston Moretaine; ending there by the 15th century church of St Mary. This is a beautiful ancient church with an unusual detached tower that perhaps served once as a watchtower, or a place of refuge. A very special event not to be mised!-)

Light candles with us in the church graveyard for the upcoming day of “all souls” and soak up the magical atmosphere of the church lit up at night.  

Did you know? Halloween is on October 31st, the last day of the Celtic calendar. It was originally a pagan holiday, honoring the dead. Halloween was referred to as All Hallows Eve and dates back to over 2000 years ago. See also: http://www.halloween-website.com/history.htm