Famous for horse racing and iconic locomotives, Doncaster has always enjoyed an important market town heritage and in 2022 it was able to celebrate city status. This has given a boost to the award-winning shopping, the wealth of attractions and the great transport links. The city was founded by the Romans, when the River Don marked the northern boundary of the Roman Empire, and today part of the Roman fort can still be seen in the grounds of Doncaster Minster. It has remained a lively and buzzing place to this day, and a great place to call home.
Enjoy the award-winning shopping
Doncaster is hard to beat when it comes to enjoying some retail therapy. Winner of the BBC Food and Farming Awards Best Food Market 2015, Doncaster Market is the biggest traditional market in the north and boasts elaborate cast iron decorations. The market has over 400 shops, stools and stands and is open on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. There’s also an antique and second hand market and farmers’ market three times a month. Doncaster Market features a wonderful fish market; fresh fruit and vegetables; the market hall, dating back to 1847; and the corn exchange, which is a listed building dating from 1875.
For fashion and homeware, Doncaster offers a number of shopping centres. There’s the 800,000 sq ft Frenchgate Centre with over 120 shops, cafes and restaurants; and Lakeside Village - an outlet village with 45 stores. In the town centre shoppers will enjoy the Clock Corner, where every 15 minutes Westminster chimes ring out. In December, the people of Doncaster can listen to a special yuletide festive song on the hour whilst they do their Christmas shopping!
Steeped in history
While Doncaster is now an active and modern place to live, the town centre boasts some impressive Georgian and Regency architecture, as well as a grand Georgian mansion house, one of only three originals in the UK. You can get your fill of culture at Conisbrough Castle just outside the town, which offers spectacular views, one of the best-preserved keep towers in Europe, an historical audio trail and a medieval fortress. The town is also home to the brand new Danum Gallery Library and Museum, which will chart the fascinating history of the town and is due to open in 2021
Plenty to see and do
There is no shortage of things to do in Doncaster. You can watch any number of incredible shows, gigs or comedy at Cast, Doncaster’s newest state-of-the-art entertainment venue. Or why not indulge in sports and leisure at Doncaster Dome, which boasts over 50 activities under one roof including swimming, ice skating and a Fitness Village.
No guide to Doncaster would be complete without a mention of the racecourse, which is the biggest dual-purpose racecourse in the UK and the country’s oldest regulated racecourse. The world-class venue recently saw a £34 million redevelopment and proudly celebrates the St Leger Festival, a spectacular 10-day events, every September.
Fantastic transport links
At the heart of a wide network of motorways and trunk roads, Doncaster has excellent transport links and is easy to get to by car and rail. Linking junction 3 of the M18 to the A638, the new Great Yorkshire Way also makes travelling from the motorways to Robin Hood Airport much easier.
Doncaster is on the East Coast rail line, meaning commuting to many cities is very quick. York can be reached by rail in 20 minutes, Sheffield in 30 and Leeds in 40. And for travel further afield, Doncaster Sheffield airport is 6 miles outside the town centre.