Things to do in Doncaster
Doncaster is a town in South Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, its name derives from Danum (from the Celtic for 'plain'), and 'castrum' (a fortification). Doncaster is near the confluence of the River Don and its tributary the Loxley to form the river Rye. With a population of 109,000 in 2011, it is one of four towns within the Sheffield City Region with a population over 100,000. The River Don flows through the centre of the town where it reaches a width of at Nine-And-A-Half Mile Bridge. The river is widely used for sailing and fishing although it does suffer from pollution from industrial sources upstream including steelworks and oil refineries. Doncaster was originally created as an industrial city. It's now home to more than 100 thousand people who enjoy all the amenities that this large market town has to offer. Doncaster is famous for its racecourse, which hosts many of the world-famous horse races every year. There are also plenty of other things to do and see in this beautiful part of Yorkshire!
Tourists visiting Doncaster can enjoy a variety of activities, from shopping to museums. The town centre is home to many shops and restaurants as well as the Art Gallery and Museum, which showcases exhibitions that are free for all visitors.
Doncaster has plenty of parks with natural scenery including Woodlands Park and Monckton Country Park where one can walk along scenic walking routes while enjoying nature.
What to do and see in Doncaster:
Visit the Minster, a 900-year old cathedral that has been through many transformations. It is one of only three English churches with an unbroken history from post-Roman times. Take refuge at St James' Church which was built by the Normans in a circular design due to their fear of Viking attack.
Join the crowds in The Shambles for its traditional Christmas Market or visit Mappin Art Gallery on King Street where you can view contemporary art exhibitions like 'The World Goes Pop'. There are plenty more places to explore when visiting this lovely South Yorkshire town!
Coal mining history
This town was a major coal mining area with many mines operating around these areas including Grimethorpe Colliery which is south-west of Wakefield in Henshaw Street close to the border with Rotherham, Bentley colliery in Henshaw Street close to the border with Rotherham and Hatfield Main Colliery on land owned by Bassetlaw District Council just north-east of South Elmsall near Pontefract. The railway came through during 1840 connecting Doncaster as one terminus for its network lines across Yorkshire: this led to an expansion into steel production and engineering too.
Doncaster town centre shopping is centred on the historic market place in the middle of town with its distinctive medieval cross and open space.The old Victorian market hall has been transformed into a modern shopping mall which provides more than 130 shops, bars, restaurants and cafes for visitors to enjoy. Shopaholics can also find everything they need at Doncaster's Outlet Centre just off junction one of the M18 motorway, which is about two miles out from central Doncaster, where up to 60 high street chains have outlets with discounts averaging 30%. A few minutes' walk away from Central Station you'll find: John Lewis Department Store; Debenhams Department store; Marks & Spencer department store; Primark clothing chainstore, Next clothing chainstore, and H&M clothes retail store.
The Miners' Welfare Heritage Centre is a museum, art gallery, and heritage attraction all wrapped up into one. It commemorates life as it was for a miner from 1855 onwards. The building contains much of Doncaster's industrial heritage with coal mining being at its heart. You can also see displays about other industries that have shaped Doncaster over the years including weaving and brick-making, lace-making, engineering, and shoe production among others.
You'll enjoy exploring Britain's oldest passenger railway engine shed which has been lovingly restored by volunteers of SAREDA (South Yorkshire Railway Preservation Group). Walkthrough exhibitions showcasing how engines were made before they went off on rail journeys across England or visit the original brick-built railway station which now houses the museum of British Railways.
Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery is housed in a beautiful neoclassical building, formerly an academy for young ladies and gentlemen. The original two-storey part was built on Doncaster's Sheep Market site in 1824 as a school with upper rooms being added later to accommodate classrooms and provide boarding accommodation for pupils from further away. Above the entrance is inscribed "Industry Is Wealth" - this motto has been used by industry throughout world history worldwide but it has particular relevance here at the core of Yorkshire coal-mining country where coal miners sought education so they could improve their prospects within society while also helping fuel Britain's industrial revolution.
Parks and Nature reserves around the Doncaster area
The landscape of Doncaster is sparsely populated and there are few parks in the town. The nearest park to the centre is an area called "the gardens'' which was created for people with disabilities. It features a children's play area, planted flower beds and sculptures (some designed by pupils from local schools). Tinsley Park near the south east of the town centre is a much larger area with fields, trees and paths. It includes an outdoor play space for children, football pitches, tennis courts and bowling greens.
Also near to the town centre are two nature reserves: Balderstone Valley Local Nature Reserve on Hatfield Moor Road; and Forest Hall Woodland at the junction of Doncaster Road and the Fothergill Estate.
Transport around Doncaster
It's been said that Doncaster has one of the worst transport networks in Britain, but this isn't strictly true as there are plenty of buses running throughout the day. You also have access to National Rail services through Northern Train Lines from both Thorne South or Bentley stations - though these do not run very frequently during off-peak hours – and other train routes at nearby Dinnington station too. If you're visiting from abroad and would like to have a taste of Yorkshire, take the train up with Eurostar or fly into Leeds Bradford which is around an hour away. From there, it's just a short trip by bus or taxi over the Pennines to Doncaster.
The buses are quite reliable in Doncaster but do not run as often as they do during peak hours so make sure you plan your journey well ahead of time - it can be quite difficult if you wait until closer to departure time when all services may already be full. The operators will also concentrate on the areas that need them most at certain times too.
Sports and sporting venues around Doncaster
The town of Doncaster has been nicknamed “Donny” by locals, and this is due to the sport that takes place in the area. There are many sporting venues for people to enjoy including an athletics stadium, a golf course, two football stadiums and even a racecourse.
There is also one major sports facility which houses all kinds of facilities from basketball courts to swimming pools as well as lots of other amenities such as shops and café's. If you're looking for your fix of rugby or cricket then there's no need to travel far because these games are played at the grounds on Selby Road where they have hosted some international fixtures too! The Super League team Hull KR play their home matches here so if you want to see a rugby league match then this is the place to go.
Eating out in Doncaster
For foodies, there are some great places to eat in Doncaster. There's a top quality Chinese restaurant called The Dragon House on the outskirts of town but if you're looking for something a bit more traditional than try Joe's Fish and Chips which has been voted one of Yorkshire best fish and chip shops! Or how about trying out some delicious Italian cuisine at La Molisana? And we haven't even mentioned all the pubs yet - with so many to choose from it can be hard deciding where to go. Whatever your taste or preference, don't worry because they're all here waiting for you...
As you can imagine, Doncaster is indeed a great town with plenty to see and do!