Doncaster was in 2022 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
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 makes it the largest metropolitan district in the country by area. The area is roughly four times the size of metropolitan districts 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
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.
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.
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
WaterdaleOpened 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 StreetThe 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.
Rovers play football at the Eco-Power Stadium.
Doncaster Rugby League Club
'The Dons' play Rugby League at the Eco-Power Stadium.
Rugby Union club at Castle Park.
Racecourse and exhibition centre at Leger Way, Doncaster.
Home of the the world's oldest classic race, the St Leger Stakes.
University Campus Doncaster
The Hub, Chappell Drive, DoncasterOperated 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.
Cusworth Lane, DoncasterSituated two miles north of Doncaster, off the
More information at these
Doncaster Council - Cusworth Hall web pages.
Danum Gallery, Library and Museum
Waterdale, DoncasterThe 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, DoncasterThe 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.
South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum website.
Places to visit
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
Find on map:
Brodsworth Hall and GardensBrodsworth
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
Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Hurst Lane, Auckley, DoncasterThe 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 LincolnshireAlthough 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
More information at
The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft website.
Station managed by: LNER. Operator/s: LNER, TRANSPENNINE EXPRESS, NORTHERN, HULL TRAINS, GRAND CENTRAL, EAST MIDLANDS RAILWAY, CROSS COUNTRY.
NATIONAL RAIL - Departure and station info
External link to National Rail live departure board for services at this station (opens in new tab).
Doncaster Frenchgate Interchange
off Trafford Way
Further bus information at
Travel South Yorkshire external website.
Doncaster services Doncaster live departures
Road travelAlthough 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)
Emergency servicesSouth Yorkshire Police
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Metropolitan district 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.
Doncaster council website.
Doncaster is the responsibility of a elected mayor (2021 result):
Labour 40, Conservative 11, Independent 4
- 55 members
County strategic authoritySouth Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority
Covers combined services including public transport, housing, infrastructure and regeneration and adult education in
A mayor-led authority since 2018, the Mayor of South Yorkshire since the May 2022 election is Oliver Coppard.
Police and Crime CommissionerSouth Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner
Fire AuthoritySouth 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.