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Living in Cranfield
Cranfield University is an isolated but self-contained research campus in the Bedfordshire countryside, just next to the village of the same name. It sits between Bedford and Milton Keynes.
The location might be something to keep in mind if you’re used to a large city, but those that enjoy peace and quiet won’t find themselves being left out. The campus has a lot of its own entertainments facilities, and getting to the nearest towns is easy.
Cranfield is about halfway between Bedford and Milton Keynes. Both of them are about 20mins away from the campus and both of them are well equipped to handle students
- The Harpur Centre and slightly smaller Howard centre are in the heart of the high street area, so you can get all your shopping done in one fell swoop.
- Bedford International Athletics Stadium is by the Priory Lake, where you can see the local rugby and football teams play. There’s also a cinema just next door, and a several gyms and leisure centres based around the middle of the town.
- The nightlife here is great, covering a good range of pubs, clubs and bars to suit all tastes. A lot of it caters specifically to students.
In Milton Keynes
- Milton Keynes has the Xscape centre with shops, a climbing wall and... wait for it... an indoor snowdome where you can ski on real snow! The spread of sports centres is slightly wider than in Bedford, so you may have to get a map out and see which is closest to where you live.
- There’s a theatre and several large cinemas based around the Midsummer Place Shopping Centre. Between Grafton gate and Campbell Park you’ll find the main retail zone.
- Again, a lot of the nightlife here is student orientated, with some big name clubs and bars as well as the comfort of a local pub. There’s also a good range of live venues, including the National Bowl - an open air concert venue.
And for getting out of both towns, the Woburn Safari Park is just down the road.
Good to know
- Bus: There is a regular Stagecoach bus from Bedford to the campus, and a shuttle bus to Milton Keynes which is free if you have ID on you. It also goes past the supermarket, so you can hop off and bag your groceries.
- Car?: Probably, especially if you plan to live off campus. If you don't have one it is possible to get by on public transport, although slightly less convenient, or you could just make friends with another student who drives and share lifts with them.
- Train: It takes less than an hour to reach London, Cambridge or Oxford to get your culture quota sorted.