St Aidan’s RSPB Nature Reserve is the hidden gem of East Leeds (although lockdown brought a lot of new visitors!). It is a brilliant place to come with families, with a number of walking routes around the reserve.
St Aidan’s is a preserved wildlife area looked after by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), so there is a wonderfully peaceful atmosphere and birdwatching is particularly rewarding here.
St Aidan’s also sits right next to the canal, so there are plenty of options to extend the walking up towards Methley or towards Woodlesford, which both offer excellent places to eat or enjoy a drink.
A map of the possible routes through St Aidan’s Nature Reserve is provided here, but do be aware that the trails aren’t marked in colours/ signs- so you need to pay attention to where you are headed. Another consideration is that after significant wet weather, the causeway is often covered.
Many of the paths around St Aidan’s are bridleways and so also accessible to bikes, making it a great choice for families with younger children who prefer to scoot or ride rather than walk. Expect fantastic views, lovely flat and wide paths and, of course, lots of opportunities for bird spotting.
For more family-friendly walks around East Leeds, please see this blog on South Leeds Mumbler, a local community website providing information to parents and carers in South, East and West Leeds.