Doncaster

South Yorkshire

Doncaster MinsterDoncaster MarketMiners Statue, Printing Office Street, DoncasterMansion House, DoncasterDoncaster is the newest of Yorkshire's eight cities and the centre of a wider metropolitan borough within South Yorkshire.

Doncaster has in 2022 been granted city status as one of the Jubilee Cities selected in a competition in honour of the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

The city has grown from industrious large market town which has always been a proud gateway to Yorkshire from London and the South and more recently from European destinations through its airport, opened in 2005 at the former RAF Finningley air base.

The town is 12 miles north-east of Rotherham, 15 miles east-south-east of Barnsley and 30 miles south of York.

Since 1974 Doncaster has been at the centre of one of four large metropolitan districts of South Yorkshire. The Doncaster district covers many other towns and villages and also extensive rural areas. Its size of around 219 square miles is roughly equivalent to that of four metropolitan districts of the size found in Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Tyne and Wear or West Midlands.

Doncaster initially grew around a Roman fort and Roman road, although there may have been earlier settlements. The route of the Roman road evolved over time into the Great North Road or A1. The A1(M), one of Britain's early motorway openings in 1961, now skirts around the town as a western bypass, while at the eastern side is the M18.

Doncaster is also an important station on the East Coast Main Line, which links London to York, North East England and Scotland. Some trains from London branch from the main route at Doncaster to head towards Leeds.

The industrial revolution saw Doncaster playing a massive role in rail engineering in the north. The town was the main workshops of the London North Eastern Railway with thousands of steam locomotives built at its works, some of the famous names being The Flying Scotsman and the speed record-breaking Mallard.

Lakeside, DoncasterDoncaster also played a role in aviation history. The Racecourse staged Britain's first air show in 1909 and was a base for the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War. A municipal airport was opened nearby in 1934. With the outbreak of the Second World War it became a Royal Air Force base and aircraft production and repair facility. Civilian flying returned to the airfield in the 1960s through a gliding club and flying club, but it eventually closed in 1992. The airfield now forms Doncaster's attractive Lakeside area. An aircraft museum at the site reveals Doncaster's aviation past.

More recently, Doncaster had been a centre of tractor production for 58 years. A succession of international takeovers ultimately saw the closure in 2007 of what was initially the International Harvester plant.

Today warehousing and distribution, including that of some large retail groups, plays an important role in the Doncaster economy.

The town has one of Yorkshire's best-known racecourses and its St Leger Festival in September is one of the most prestigious events of the British horse racing calendar. It includes the world's oldest classic race, the St Leger Stakes, established in 1776.

City features

The Frenchgate Shopping Centre is now a centrepiece of city centre shopping in Doncaster with many major high street brands based there, but there are plenty of more traditional shops in the surrounding streets and more shops to choose from at The Colonades Shopping Centre and Waterdale Shopping Centre, which is close to Doncaster's Civic and Cultural Quarter. Doncaster also offers out-of-town shopping at its Lakeside Village outlet, near to the Eco-Power Stadium, about 1.5 miles south east of the town centre.

Doncaster Post Office is at West Mall at The Frenchgate Centre. There are also several branches in districts around Doncaster.

There are many pharmacies in Doncaster and its districts.

The city has a range of bank and building society branches.

While Doncaster has seen a high number of pub closures in recent years, there are still more than 150 to choose from in the centre and its nearby districts and villages.

The city has a wide range of restaurants, cafes and takeaways catering in virtually every type of cuisine.

Doncaster Central Library is at Waterdale. There are also many branch libraries in districts and villages around Doncaster.

For museums and entertainment venues around Doncaster see below.

There are colleges and many schools in Doncaster and its districts.

Doncaster is on the River Don.

Doncaster is on the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation, which provides canal links towards the Humber estuary and the River Trent.

Places of worship: Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, United Reformed, Islamic, Sikh, other

The impressive Doncaster Minster, occupying the site of the Roman fort of Danum, is a grade one listed building which was built as the Church of St George in 1858 after the previous medieval church was destroyed by fire in 1853. The church was granted its Minster status in 2004.
More information at the  Minster website

Entertainment

Cast

Waterdale
Opened in 2013, the £22m modern venue created by Doncaster Council offers comedy, jazz, plays, gigs, family shows, brass bands and more.

Doncaster Little Theatre

King Street
The Doncaster Little Theatre is the venue of a community theatre group run by volunteers producing regular shows in the heart of Doncaster. It also hosts fortnightly Friday afternoon cabaret, youth theatre workshops, films and visiting artists.

Sport

Doncaster Rovers

Rovers play football at the Eco-Power Stadium.  Official website

Doncaster Rugby League Club

'The Dons' play Rugby League at the Eco-Power Stadium.  Official website

Doncaster Knights

Rugby Union club at Castle Park.  Official website

Doncaster Racecourse

Doncaster Racecourse

Racecourse and exhibition centre at Leger Way, Doncaster.
Home of the the world's oldest classic race, the St Leger Stakes.


Higher education

University Campus Doncaster

The Hub, Chappell Drive, Doncaster
Operated in conjunction with Doncaster College, the University Campus offers a range of higher education courses, including degrees validated by the University of Hull, University of Lincoln, Sheffield Hallam University or University of Huddersfield, depending on the course taken.
Find out more at the  University Campus Doncaster website.

Museums

Cusworth Hall

Cusworth Lane, Doncaster
Situated two miles north of Doncaster, off the A638 Doncaster to Wakefield Road, this grade I listed building, built in the early 1740s, can be explored together with its impressive parkland with lakes. Features of the house and gardens have been restored to various periods of its life and include ceiling paintings in an Italianate chapel, an Edwardian rose garden and 'below-stairs' features such as its great kitchen, bake house and laundry. The Hall is managed by Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council with the support of The Friends of Cusworth Park.
More information at these  Doncaster Council - Cusworth Hall web pages.


Danum Gallery, Library and Museum

Waterdale, Doncaster
The Danum Gallery, Library and Museum is behind the original façade of the historic Doncaster Girls High School at Waterdale. It has a vast collection of exhibits of local history, archaeology and natural history and a programme of temporary exhibitions and various artwork. The museum also has a Rail Heritage Centre on the lower ground floor. The regimental gallery of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry is also in the same building. The museum is managed by Doncaster Council.
More information at the  Danum Gallery, Library and Museum website.

South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum

Dakota Way, Airbourne Road, Doncaster
The museum has a collection of aircraft from the first air show to be held in Britain, held at Doncaster Racecourse in 1909, together with more modern preserved light aircraft and jets. It is located about a mile to the south east of the town centre. For opening times see the museum's website.
Details at  South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum website.



Places to visit

Conisbrough Castle

Conisbrough Castle

Conisbrough, South Yorkshire
The castle is situated in the small town of Conisbrough, about five miles south-west of Doncaster and seven miles north-east of Rotherham. Its tall circular cylindrical keep has had its walls and roofs restored to create a feeling of how the castle would have been in the late 12th century when it was built. In 1201, the castle had a royal visit, when King John stayed there. The castle became famous through fiction as the inspiration for Sir Walter Scott's 'Ivanhoe'. The historic site is managed by English Heritage.

Find out more at the  English Heritage - Conisbrough Castle web pages.
Find on map:  Conisbrough Castle


Brodsworth Hall and Gardens

Brodsworth
The Victorian country house at Brodsworth, about 5 miles north-west of Doncaster, was built in 1860, surrounded by beautiful gardens. It remained largely unchanged through its lifetime and is now being conserved by English Heritage. Yorkshire bands perform at the hall most Sundays during the summer. A car park for the hall can be accessed from Church Lane, between the villages of Marr and Brodsworth.
More information at the  English Heritage - Brodsworth Hall website.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Hurst Lane, Auckley, Doncaster
The Yorkshire Wildlife Park, about 4 miles south-east of Doncaster, was created at a former farm and riding school in 2009. Over the years it has grown and it is now the outdoor home of 400 animals of 70 different species, including polar bears, lions, tigers and leopards and a whole range of other animals native to Africa, South America and other parts of the world. A few of the species can be visited within their enclosures. A recent addition has been the addition of animatronic versions of long-extinct dinosaur species. Just outside the park gates, The Hive offers craft and gift shops, dining and a hotel.
Further details at the  Yorkshire Wildlife Park website.
Find on map:  Yorkshire Wildlife Park


The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft

Belton Road, Sandtoft, North Lincolnshire
Although just outside the Yorkshire border at the former RAF Sandtoft airfield in North Lincolnshire, the museum is only a 12-mile drive from Doncaster. It lays claim to having the world's largest collection of preserved trolleybuses and includes many examples of trolleybuses used in Yorkshire, including those from the fleets of Bradford, Huddersfield, Rotherham, and Doncaster, which have been beautifully restored by volunteers. The museum, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019, has a calendar of themed open days on weekends and bank holidays between April and November. The museum also organises trolleybus driver experience days. Details are on the museum's website.
More information at  The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft website.



Travel

Doncaster stationStation Court

Doncaster StationDoncaster station is a hub on the East Coast Main Line which connects to London to York, North East England and Scotland. It is also the station beyond which some trains from London branch from the main route to head towards West Yorkshire destinations and Hull. Transpennine Express services from Manchester Piccadilly via north Derbyshire and Sheffield call at Doncaster on their route to North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire. Northern operate services to several destinations, including stations to Adwick-le-Street, Sheffield, Hull and Bridlington, and to Lincoln. East Midlands trains operate services through Lincolnshire to Peterborough. A Cross Country route from Newcastle operates via Doncaster to Sheffield, Derby, Birmingham and Banbury.

Station managed by: LNER.   Operator/s: LNER, TRANSPENNINE EXPRESS, NORTHERN, HULL TRAINS, GRAND CENTRAL, EAST MIDLANDS RAILWAY, CROSS COUNTRY.

NORTHERN - Departure and station info
Link to Northern - external website providing information on all services at this station.



Doncaster Frenchgate Interchange

Doncaster Frenchgate Interchange off Trafford Way

The Frenchgate Interchange is the central bus station used by all bus operators running into Doncaster. It is at the city's Frenchgate Shopping Centre and next to the railway station. There are direct bus links to Robin Hood Airport. In the opposite direction bus X19 is the most direct public transport route to Barnsley.

Further bus information at  Travel South Yorkshire external website.
including  Doncaster services  Doncaster live departures


Road travel

Although in a southern location in Yorkshire, Doncaster is well-connected by road to the rest of the region by the A1(M) and by the M18 which links to the M1 and M62 motorways.
Doncaster has nine park and ride sites some distance from the city centre at villages and other locations within the Doncaster metropolitan district. These offer free parking and convenient public transport by bus at 10 or 15 minute frequency from some of the car parks or by train from stations at Adwick, Bentley, Conisbrough, Hatfield and Stainforth and Thorne North.


Doncaster Sheffield Airport (Robin Hood Airport) Finningley

Doncaster Sheffield Airport Doncaster Sheffield Airport's owners still proudly claim it to be "The UK's number one airport" as they continue their plans to close it. The airport has one of the biggest runways in the north of England and was until recently named Best Airport in the UK by consumer champion Which?. The airport is at Finningley, around six miles south-east of Doncaster and 20 miles from Sheffield. The airport has offered flights mostly to Europe and to Mediterranean holiday destinations with some flights to the USA, Canada and Mexico. Since its opening as an airport in 2005, an improved link has been built to the M18 motorway which links to the M1, but a direct rail link to the nearby East Coast Main Line was rejected by the Government. The airport's owners announced the airport would begin winding down the provision of aviation services in the week commencing Monday October 31, 2022.
More information at the  Doncaster Sheffield Airport website.



Emergency services

South Yorkshire Police  South Yorkshire Police website.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue  South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue website.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.


Local government

Metropolitan district council

Doncaster Council

Doncaster is one of four metropolitan district authorities within the county of South Yorkshire.

It covers Doncaster and many other towns and villages within a radius of between 7 to 10 miles from centrally-placed Doncaster.

Unusually within Yorkshire, the district council is run by an executive-powered elected mayor, who is supported by a cabinet. The mayor chooses the cabinet from elected councillors.

The elected mayor system means that Doncaster Council has two elections to organise, one for the elected mayor and one for councillors. The mayor and all councillors are selected in elections every four years, the most recent election being in 2021.

The election of 55 councillors is done across 21 wards with two or three councillors elected in each ward. Eight councillors currently serve under the chairmanship of the mayor on the cabinet.


Link to  Doncaster council website.

Doncaster is the responsibility of a elected mayor (2021 result):

Elected mayor - Ros Jones
The political composition of the councillors after the May 2021 election is:
Labour 40, Conservative 11, Independent 4
- 55 members


County strategic authority

South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority
Covers combined services including public transport, housing, infrastructure and regeneration and adult education in South Yorkshire, including the metropolitan districts of  Barnsley,  Doncaster,  Rotherham and  Sheffield.

A mayor-led authority since 2018, the new South Yorkshire Mayor since the May 2022 election is Oliver Coppard.

 South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority website.


Police and Crime Commissioner

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner
 South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner website.


Fire Authority

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority
The fire authority is made up of elected members of each of the four metropolitan district councils of South Yorkshire - Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.
 South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority web pages.


Ceremonial county

South Yorkshire

Historic

County Borough within the West Riding of Yorkshire




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