Lucy James

Student blog

Rural life at Hartpury

Lucy James

Hi, I'm Lucy and I'm a second-year BSc Bioveterinary Science student at Hartpury University. My interests include animal health and disease, and trekking around the country side.

Hartpury's rural location has so much to offer for those who appreciate exploring the British countryside - and today I'm here to share my experience with you.

Why Hartpury?

The accommodation, lecture halls and facilities are surrounded by a collection of hacking trails and public footpaths. This is what drew me to Hartpury as I’ve always dreamed of living in the countryside.

In my first year, I would often walk around campus before and after lectures to relax. However, it was only in my second year that I decided to go further and discovered there was so much more than I first thought!

Animal encounters

There are walking routes connecting Hartpury University with miles of footpaths. They pass through forests and fields, many of which are connected to farms, so you can spot a wide variety of animals along the way.

At a nearby farm and stud in Hartpury village, one friendly flock of sheep followed us through the whole field – although they most likely thought we had food!

My favourite time to go walking is first thing in the morning as the sun is rising. In the winter, the frosty fields appear as if they’re glistening, and in the spring, lambs can be seen bounding around excitedly.

I enjoy walking with friends and sometimes we take Ralph; the campus therapy dog. He loves being off lead in the empty fields and rolling in the grass – and sometimes puddles!

Making time for a treat

Our walks are usually around nine miles long, which allows us to get exercise and be back in time for our lectures – and of course a hot chocolate from the café. Sometimes, it’s worth getting up extra early to grab a Mcdonald's breakfast before we start!

My top tips

1. With Britain's weather being unpredictable all year round, I'd recommend wearing wellies as some fields (particularly those with sheep) can get very muddy.

2. I'd also suggest downloading a walk tracking app. That way you can map where you've already been and discover new places.

3. If you're following Google Maps and it tells you to walk up the B4215, ignore it. Don't get stuck waiting for 15 minutes to cross a busy B road like we did!

My favourite spots on campus

Home Farm; our commercial campus farm supplying M&S and Müller: Lambs arrive in early March and the Guernsey calves are outside from May and love head scratches. Running after escapee lambs at 6am will certainly wake you up!

I love walking from Home Farm to the centre of Hartpury. It takes you through forests and in the spring, you encounter lots of mares and foals in the fields. The main hidden gem is a field near a small housing estate where there is a lovely horse and several very friendly cats.

Rudgely Woods: Ralph particularly likes to explore here with us.


Walking is a great way to relax and relieve stress. It's good for you and best of all it's free! I hope you enjoy exploring Hartpury and the surrounding countryside as much as I have.

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Could you be the next Hartpury blogger?

We'd love for you to share your Hartpury experience in a blog, vlog or podcast! If you're passionate about Hartpury and feeling creative, get in touch with the Hartpury marketing team.