Yeadon Tarn, Leeds Review For Families

Yeadon Tarn, also affectionately referred to as Yeadon Dam, is a charming man-made lake situated in Yeadon, a delightful suburb of Leeds. Spanning over 70 acres, this expanse of water is enveloped by lush greenery, creating an inviting atmosphere that beckons nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and families alike. The Tarn is not merely a scenic spot for picnics and leisurely walks; it serves as a dynamic hub for a diverse range of water sports and outdoor activities, making it the perfect destination for families to spend quality time together in the lap of nature.

We recently had the pleasure of visiting Yeadon Tarn, a hidden gem in the heart of Yeadon, just 9 miles north of Leeds City Centre. As a family, we are always on the lookout for places where we can spend quality time together and create lasting memories. Yeadon Tarn did not disappoint. In this article, we’ll share our experience and provide you with a comprehensive review of this beautiful park, tailor-made for families like ours.

Where is Yeadon Tarn located?

Yeadon Tarn is conveniently located just off the A658 along Victoria Avenue. With its 46 acres of land, it offers ample space for exploration. The circular route around the lake stretches for 1.15km. The lake itself is believed to have natural origins but was later used for industrial purposes. 

What’s more, it’s just a stone’s throw away from Yeadon town centre, offering shopping opportunities, and right across from Leeds Bradford Airport, making it an ideal spot for plane spotting enthusiasts.

History Of Yeadon Tarn

Yeadon Tarn is a man-made lake located in Yeadon, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It is situated on the edge of the town, close to Leeds Bradford Airport. The tarn is a popular spot for walking, fishing, and sailing.

The tarn was originally a naturally occurring pond, but it was enlarged in the 18th century to provide a water supply for Yeadon’s growing textile industry. In the 19th century, the tarn was also used for recreation, such as swimming and boating.

During the Second World War, the tarn was drained to prevent enemy aircraft from using its reflection as a landmark to identify the nearby Avro factory, which was producing Lancaster bombers. The tarn was refilled after the war, and it has been a popular recreational spot ever since.

In the early 1900s, the Yeadon Sailing Club was founded, and the tarn has been used for sailing competitions ever since. The tarn is also home to a variety of fish, including carp, bream, and pike.

Yeadon Tarn is a popular spot for birdwatching, as it attracts a variety of waterfowl, including ducks, geese, and swans. The tarn is also home to some other wildlife species, such as otters, foxes, and badgers.

In recent years, Yeadon Tarn has undergone several improvements, including the creation of a new path around the tarn, a playground, and a picnic area. The tarn is now a popular spot for families, walkers, and cyclists.

What is there to do for families?

Yeadon Tarn is the perfect place for families to have a great day out. While many visitors come here for a leisurely lakeside stroll and to soak in the breathtaking scenery, there’s so much more to do. From bowling on the green to BMX adventures and a fantastic playground for the little ones, there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Here are some of the park’s most exciting features:

A Mile’s Walk Around the Tarn

One of our favourite activities at Yeadon Tarn is taking a leisurely walk around the lake. The circular route covers a distance of approximately 1.15 km, providing a scenic and peaceful experience. As we strolled, we enjoyed breathtaking views, observed people fishing, and interacted with the friendly ducks and swans. We even fed them, as we always do wherever we go. Matilda and Barney were instantly captivated by the wildlife. There are plenty of benches along the way, allowing us to rest and soak in the beauty of our surroundings.

Playground for the Little Ones

For families with younger children, Yeadon Tarn has a fantastic playground that kept Matilda and Barney entertained for hours. They loved the park, which has a modern and trendy playground. Swings, slides, climbing frames—you name it, they’ve got it. The equipment is well-spaced, allowing children plenty of room to move and play. It’s a perfect spot for little ones to burn off some energy and have loads of fun.

Bike Friendly and BMX track

Yeadon Tarn offers a unique approach to cycling. While cycles are not allowed on the paths around the lake, children are permitted to ride their bikes in the park. This is why it is a popular destination for families with small children. We found this to be a particularly appealing feature since it provided a safe environment for our little ones.

For those looking for a more exhilarating cycling experience, Yeadon Tarn has an added bonus—an attached BMX track. We brought our bikes along and had an amazing time riding on the track, playing in the park with kids, and rewarding ourselves with delicious ice creams afterwards. It’s fantastic to see how Yeadon Tarn caters to both young cyclists and families out for a leisurely walk, ensuring everyone can enjoy their time here.

Nature Trail and Outdoor Activities

Yeadon Tarn is more than just a lake and a playground. It’s a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. There’s a fantastic nature trail around the tarn, which is wheelchair and mobility aid accessible. It’s perfect for those who want to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. Picnic tables and benches are scattered throughout the park, making it an ideal spot for family picnics and outdoor games.

The park also boasts an outdoor activity centre with a wide range of activities suitable for all ages. From nature courses to kids’ parties, there’s something for everyone. As a family, we found it enriching to connect with nature through these activities.

Facilities at Yeaden Tarn

Yeadon Tarn provides various facilities to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit for families. Here are some of the amenities you can expect to find:

  • Accessible toilets are located in the Activity Centre, ensuring convenience for all visitors.
  • Well-maintained entrance and paths, wheelchair, and pushchair friendly
  • One cannot visit Yeadon Tarn without indulging in some delicious ice cream. Ice cream vans are a regular presence here, offering a sweet treat to beat the heat. It’s a delightful way to conclude your visit.
  • Picnic tables and benches scattered around the park, perfect for relaxing and enjoying a family meal.
  • Multiple bins around the park help maintain cleanliness.

If you’re feeling peckish, there are several dining options nearby. Never Enough Thyme Café and The Little Fisherman, located opposite the tarn, offer tasty bites. The White Swan, just a short walk away, is a great place for a relaxed meal with real ales.

Areas for improvement

While Yeadon Tarn offers a fantastic family-friendly experience, we believe it’s important to acknowledge areas for improvement. This constructive feedback is aimed at enhancing visitors’ overall experience and making the park even more enjoyable for families.

One area that could be improved is the availability and cleanliness of public toilets. While accessible toilets are provided in the Activity Centre, the public toilets towards the south of the park can be inaccessible and lack essential amenities like toilet roll. Additionally, the ice cream from the van, though delicious, was a tad on the expensive side.

Would you recommend it?

Absolutely! Yeadon Tarn, with its stunning lake, captivating nature trail, and exciting recreational activities, is a hidden gem that we highly recommend for families. It’s an ideal destination for a day out during the school holidays or weekends. The park offers a peaceful environment, a chance to connect with nature, and a plethora of family-friendly activities that will keep everyone entertained.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a café?

Yes, there are cafes nearby, including Never Enough Thyme Café and The Little Fisherman, where you can grab a bite to eat.

What is your favourite part?

Our favourite part of Yeadon Tarn was watching the children have a blast at the playground and exploring the nature trail. It’s heartwarming to see them connect with the outdoors.

Are dogs allowed?

Yes, Yeadon Tarn is dog-friendly. It’s a great place to take your four-legged friend for a walk.

Can we bring our own bikes?

While cycles are not allowed on the paths around the lake, children are permitted to ride their bikes in the park. Plus, there’s a free BMX track near the Cemetery Road car park where you can bring your own bikes.

Is there parking available?

Yes, there are two parking options. The Tarnfield car park, off Cemetery Road, offers free parking for two hours. There’s also parking available at the activity centre, with disabled parking spaces.

Pros & Cons


  • Excellent play park
  • Nice walk around the lake
  • Good for little ones on bikes.


  • Toilet facilities are just ok.

Park enjoyment rating

Last Updated on December 17, 2023 by Ryan

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