The River Aire is a major river in Yorkshire. Further past Leeds it actually becomes the Aire & Calder Navigation, another lovely spot to paddle.
From start to finish the river measures 92 miles in length. Due to its meandering nature, it creates quite a fun paddle as you weave through the various places along the river bed.
Until recently it wasn’t particularly well known as a spot for wildlife enthusiasts. However, since a variety of measures have been put in place, the water quality has vastly improved. Now you will find many varieties of fish returning to the area, including reports of salmon upstream!
Things to note along the River Aire
Playboaters will be aware of the play-features along the River Aire. These include the Aire Wave located just to the east of Oulton, and Castleford weir. This is a popular spot with many practising their white water skills, but one to be shot or portaged if you’re not familiar with the features of the weir.
Other interesting sites along the route include Kirkstall Abbey, an impressive ruined Cistercian monastery in Kirkstall, north-west of Leeds city centre. It’s clearly visible for the river and provides an excellent focal point as you paddle through.
The river also flows through Leeds city centre, with Clarence Dock and popular spot to stop off and grab a quick bite to eat, close to the Royal Armouries and old Corn Exchange.