River Aire 5km

A 5km run along the River Aire from Leeds city centre to Knowsthorpe and back.


Elevation gain:63m

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A 5k River Aire run from the city centre shopping district through Leeds Dock and to the edge of Knowsthorpe.

This route is a contrast between the hustle and bustle of the city and the quiet of the canal. Expect a little incline and decline at the beginning and end of the route.

Wanting to find your way to the start of the route? Here is a link for a Google Maps Directions page.

This route has a distance of 5.02km and an elevation gain of 63m.

The largest non-stop incline begins in the first third of of the route, and has a distance of 272m and an elevation gain of 7m. You can see this on the above elevation chart in red.

The largest continual decline is 149m long with an elevation drop of 12m which starts within the first kilometre of the route. This is shown on the chart as green.

Route Highlights

One of the best bits about the River Aire 5km route is the variety. Starting off in the shopping district of the city centre before coming to Knowsthorpe at the halfway point. If you like the peace and quiet of the canal you'll get more of this as the run goes on.

Best Time To Run

As this run is strictly road and path it makes for a convenient all rounder whatever the time of year. The only downside to running alongside the canal is your closer to a potential flood off the water. After a weather warning for rain double check the canal is still passable before running this one!

Route Description

Start outside Leeds Trinity and run past the Corn Exchange and take a right down Assembly Street. Pass through the railway tunnel and veer right down Shears Yard.

Once by the water run along the River Aire past Leeds Dock and the Royal Armouries Museum until you reach the Knowsthorpe junction. At the junction head back the way you came alongside the River Aire, diverting from the original route at the Leeds Dock murals.

Run past the Adelphi and over  Lower Briggate Bridge. You’re now back at the start of the run outside Leeds Trinity shopping centre.


During periods of poor weather check the river conditions for any sign of flooding that could affect your run. A great place online to check the river levels anywhere in the UK is River Levels UK.


The River Aire 5k run starts and finishes smack bang in the middle of the city centre shopping district. You will run past Trinity Leeds, the Corn Exchange and Leeds Kirkgate Market. This is the majority of the city’s shopping district. Only Victoria Gate and Victoria Quarter aren’t included.


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Bins will be found on this route. The nearest public toilet is at the start and finish of the run at the Trinity Leeds shopping centre (Google Map Directions).


The nearest parking to the run is paid at Trinity Leeds Car Park, postcode: LS1 4AG (Google Map Directions)

Food and Drink

At the end of the River Aire 5k route the Adelphi pub provides a friendly and chilled environment for some food and a drink after your run. Choose from gluten, vegan and vegetarian food options. All in a surrounding of old Victorian opulence!

Other Running Routes Nearby

Looking for other routes near River Aire 5km? Here are three just around the corner.