Click on the tabs below to see specific information relevant for Cranfield and Shrivenham campuses
Though it may initially seem remote, Cranfield is conveniently situated between the towns of Bedford & Milton Keynes so when you feel the need to get off campus, there are plenty of things to do.
Milton Keynes (MK) boasts an extensive array of entertainment attractions including cinemas, a theatre, 10-pin bowling, an indoor ski-slope, pubs and restaurants many of which can be found in the unique ‘Xscape’ complex.
Shopping in MK is highly rated with the Centre: MK and Intu:Milton Keynes hosting all the major stores, many of whom offer discounts with the NUS Card. Watch out for the parking zones though, there is a mixture of free and pay-and-display parking in MK, so make sure you know how long you can stay as it’s very easy to get a parking ticket.
Sport in the City is also strongly represented with MK Dons Football Club, MK Lightning Ice Hockey and watersports at Caldecote & Willen Lakes. There are a number of pay-and-play Golf courses and Paintballing is available at ‘Skirmish Central’ near Olney. Visit Destination MK for further information on all things offered in Milton Keynes.
The nearest large supermarket to the campus is Tesco at Kingston, approximately 4 miles away. Many students make use of the Tesco online service for their weekly shop and here’s a hint – get 5 of you round a computer and the delivery charge is only one pound each instead of five. For lovers of the ‘Golden Arches’, Kingston is also the home of the nearest McDonalds.
Many students live in Cranfield village and find it a friendly and welcoming place. You can find take-away outlets for fish and chips, Chinese and Indian food here as well as cafe OSO for coffee and great cakes. There are also 2 supermarkets, Budgens and Co Op plus a couple of pubs, 2 hairdressers and some lovely countryside walks for when you fancy some fresh air.
Situated about 10 miles from the campus is the market town of Bedford. Bedford has 3 swimming pools, the best for swimming is probably the 33m Robinson Pool near Bedford Park. For golfers Bedford has the municipal Mowsbury golf course as well as courses in Stagsden and Great Denham. Check out Love Bedford for more information.
The local bus from Cranfield to Bedford takes up to 1hr and there is a regular service running from the bus stop opposite main reception on campus. Bus timetables for Bedford and Milton Keynes are available at the CSA. Travelling to/from Bedford is made very easy with the train system. Up to 4 or 5 trains per hour leave for London Kings Cross (1hr), with most stopping at Luton Airport Parkway where you can get a free airport bus to take you further afield.
Shopping opportunities in Bedford are less comprehensive than Milton Keynes, but everything is there, as are some other interesting opportunities. At Peacock’s Auction House there are cheap bargains on anything from furniture to bicycles and even cars can be found. Next door to Peacock’s there are two reasonable pizza restaurants, The Cappucino Bar and Santiniello’s where a main course costs £8 – £9.
There are some nice pubs near Peacock’s and walking to the High Street from here you pass both the Castle and the George and Dragon. Most of the pubs on the High Street are now open until at least 1am
The best way to get back from Bedford after a night out is to share a taxi. Four of you are unlikely to have to pay more than £5 each, which will probably be the cheapest part of your evening. Enjoy exploring the area.
There are a small number of retail outlets opposite the main entrance to the Defence Academy. Here you can find a range of shops including a small Co Op, an opticians, a Subway sandwich shop and a hairdressers. There is also a MacDonald’s and a pub called “The College Farm”. Further along Majors Road there is an Industrial Estate called “Shrivenham Hundred Business Park”. Situated here, visible from the road, is a coffee shop called “Fancy Tea”, which sells tea, coffee, cakes, breakfasts and hot lunches. There is also a hairdresser’s on the Business Park called “Absolutely Gorgeous”.
Watchfield High Street includes small shops, informal restaurants, pubs and a post office.
At the campus end of the High Street there are three pubs popular with staff and students; The Prince of Wales, which serves food; The Barrington Arms, which provides food, and bed and breakfast accommodation and The Crown which fits the niche of ‘gastro-pub’. Further along are two Indian restaurants renowned for their portion sizes, and reasonable prices.
Swindon is a city that is currently undergoing rejuvenation. There are many banks and shops, as well as a cinema at Greenbridge retail park, and a bowling alley. There are a range of shows and concerts throughout the year at either The Wyvern Theatre or The Arts Centre.
Oxford is an historic University City that’s famous for its culture, museums, mixed with modern restaurants, shops and night life. There are far too many things to list here, but a good place to start may be the open top bus or walking tours of the city.
Highworth is a hidden gem. Deceptively small as you pass through there are actually a number of restaurants and bars as well as an active community life.
A small quiet town, with a healthy smattering of pubs. In the summer months there is a music festival – Ox-fest – which is heavily advertised in the area.
Wantage has a thriving social life with many clubs and local organisations. Music is important with a brass band in the first division and an operatic society. A month long festival of music and arts is held in June and July. There is a Dickensian Evening before Christmas when shops open late and the Town Mayor and Town Crier lead the townspeople and visitors around the town.
Marlborough, in the north east corner of Wiltshire, is the archetypical English market town. There’s plenty of accommodation, excellent shopping and a wide choice of places to eat and things to do.
Witney is the closest town to campus on the Oxford side. It has many shops, restaurants and a cinema. Witney is a unique combination of modern town, in a historic style. There’s also a famous English tea shop, Huffkins, on the High Street which is well worth a visit.
Also an historic town founded by the Romans. Home to both Bath and Bath Spa Universities and only a short train journey from Swindon, it’s worth visiting to soak up the atmosphere, world famous architecture and treat yourself to a shopping trip, or a weekend at the spa.
Described as the City in the Countryside, Salisbury in the south of Wiltshire retains much of its historic past and makes an excellent short break destination. With timbered buildings, an Early English Gothic Cathedral which is home to the famous Magna Carta, a thriving market, a buzzing arts scene, museums and some of England’s finest historic houses waiting to be explored.
Within Salisbury’s Cathedral Close there is a lot to keep you busy, including Arundells, Mompesson House, The Rifles Military Museum and the award-winning Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum with its Stonehenge Gallery.
Find out more about some of the great things to do in Salisbury.
There are plenty of events which take place in and around the city and we have some great shopping in Salisbury too! If you are looking for places to eat then you’ll be in for a treat as there are many types of restaurant and an excellent range of pubs to head to.