Plan your visit
Car park: Open, daily 6am-8pm. Closed outside of these hours.
Toilets: Open daily, 9.30am-5pm.
Visitor Centre: Closed.
Café: Open daily, 9.30am-5pm (take away refreshments only)
Festive opening times:
- Christmas Eve: visitor centre and toilets are closed. Car park and trails open 6am- 6pm.
- Christmas Day: visitor centre and toilets are closed. Car park and trails open 6am- 6pm.
- Boxing Day: visitor centre and toilets are closed. Car park and trails open 6am- 6pm.
- New Year’s Eve: Visitor centre and toilets open 10am-4pm. Car park and trails open 6am- 6pm.
- New Year’s Day: Visitor centre and toilets open 10am-4pm. Car park and trails open 6am- 6pm.
- All other days in the festive period are open our usual winter opening hours as above.
- Free entrance to RSPB members
- Car park cost
There are no entrance charges to the reserve, but the following car parking charges apply:
- RSPB members: FREE (please get a free members ticket from our car parking machine and display along with your membership card (face down) in your windscreen)
- Non-members: £4 per car
- Blue badge holders: FREE
Visitor centre is closed
Binocular hire is closed
Guided walks is closed
How to get here
The nearest railway station is Woodlesford, which is 3 miles (5km) away or Garforth, which is 4 miles away. There is a taxi firm based at Garforth station and taxis can access Woodlesford.
Buses run to Allerton Bywater from Leeds City Centre and Castleford (bus service 167). The nearest bus stop is Bowers Row stop number 45010157. This is 0.2 miles from the visitor centre.
The nearest Sustrans Cycle routes are the National Route 67 - Trans Pennine Trail Central, Yorks and Derbyshire and the National Route 697. Both of these run right next to the site.
Leave the M1 at junction 46 towards Garforth follow the Selby Road/A63, turn right at the roundabout onto A642, turn left after 1.4 miles onto Astley Lane, the reserve is on the right after 1.5 miles.
Sat nav POI file: If you have a satellite navigation system that can accept POI files, please see our POI page for a download link and instructions.
St Aidan’s can be accessed via several cycle routes. The Linesway from Garforth is connected directly into St Aidan’s from the East and the Transpennine trail connects onto the site from 3 access points on the south side.
Information for dog owners
Please keep your dog on a lead and under close, effective control at all times, due to the sensitive wildlife and habitats here. We know that the countryside is a dog walking paradise. It’s important to remember the special surroundings here are wonderful havens for rare wildlife so we’ve created a designated recreation area for you and your pooch to enjoy. Even if dogs are very well behaved, wildlife can easily become startled by a loose dog they perceive as a predator.
Disturbing wildlife does more than simply causing it to move away; it uses up their energy, decreasing their chance of survival regardless of season. Thank you for protecting the special wildlife here by keeping your dog on a lead and under close, effective control.
- Dogs are welcome in the recreation area, indicated in grey hatching on our site maps.
- Dog water bowls and tie-up area are available at the visitor centre.
- Sorry, dogs aren’t permitted in the visitor centre other than assistance dogs.
- Dogs die in hot cars, please do not leave your dog in the car when visiting us.
Group booking information
Groups are usually welcome to visit us during normal opening hours. However, changes to laws in England mean that the maximum group size able to visit our reserves together is currently 6, unless you are from the same household or bubble.