Summary accessibility statement
Before you visit
Please check accessibility for events and activities.
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.
Access to facilities
- Ramped access to the visitor centre and balcony (less than one in 12 ramp).
- Unassisted doors.
- Step-free, level access throughout except for small step to access balcony from inside visitor centre (ramp available for use and friendly staff to help).
- Non-slip vinyl floor.
- Natural and artificial lighting.
- A magnifying glass, pen and pad of paper are available at the counter.
- Friendly staff available to assist.
- Blue badge spaces, approximately 30m from the Visitor Centre.
- Tarmac in the car park.
There is a mix of different types of paths, that are both flat and undulating, where walks can be enjoyed. Suggested trails are described on the trail guide and map and vary in length and difficulty, to appeal to explorers of different needs and desires. The trail guide and map are available free from the visitor centre.
Turning left out of the visitor centre, there is a 1 in 10 slope downhill to access some of the trails. It is 110m long. There is a bench at the top, halfway down the slope and at the bottom. This slope provides the most direct access to the Bowers Bimble, Reedbed Ramble and Hillside Hike trails, plus the most direct, uphill, return route to the visitor centre.
- Bowers Bimble - Starting from the visitor centre, this trail covers 0.9 miles and takes approx. 20 - 30 minutes to complete. The footpath is mainly loose gravel and it is at least 2m wide. Some parts of the trail are public bridleway, as well as some public and permissive footpath.
- Reedbed Ramble - Starting from the visitor centre, this trail covers approximately 2.8 miles (4600m) and takes around 2 hours to complete. The footpath is mainly loose gravel and is at least 2m wide. All of this route is public bridleway.
- Hillside Hike - Starting from the visitor centre, this trail covers approx. 2 miles (3km) and can take around 1 hour to complete. The footpath is very rough and unsurfaced, mainly long grass and roughly trampled. In wet weather it becomes very wet and muddy. It is very narrow in places (less than 30cm). It is not suitable for mobility scooters, wheelchairs or pushchairs. Some sections of the trail are public bridleway.
- Lowther Loop - Starting from the visitor centre, this trail covers approx. 1.7 miles (2.8km) and can take around 1 hour to complete. The footpath is very rough and unsurfaced in places. For example, the path along the north of Lowther Lake is mainly long grass and very roughly trampled. In wet weather it becomes very wet and muddy. The route is very narrow in places (less than 30cm). It is not suitable for mobility scooters, wheelchairs or pushchairs. Some sections of the trail are public bridleway.
- Dogs are allowed on all footpaths.
- Dogs are welcome at St Aidan’s and we have facilities such as a dog parking area, a dog bowl and a recreation area.
- Please follow the Countryside Code and keep your dog on a lead or under close control while on the trails.
- Only assistance dogs can be brought into the visitor centre but all dogs are welcome on the balcony.