Doncaster has always been a proud gateway to Yorkshire from London and the South and more recently from European destinations through its Robin Hood Airport, which 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 is roughly equivalent to that of four metropolitan districts 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.
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, including the world's oldest classic race, the St Leger Stakes, established in 1776.
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 town 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 town and its nearby districts and villages.
The town 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.
The town 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.
Opened in 2013, the £22m modern venue created by Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, offers comedy, jazz, plays, gigs, family shows, brass bands and more.
Doncaster Little Theatre
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.
SportDoncaster Rovers play at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Doncaster Knights play rugby union at Castle Park.
Doncaster Racecourse is at Leger Way, Doncaster
Higher educationUniversity Centre Doncaster
Operated in conjunction with Doncaster College, the University Centre is based at a campus at the village of High Melton, about 4 miles west of Doncaster. Most of its degrees are accredited by the University of Hull, but there are also other course-dependent accreditation bodies.
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.
Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery
Chequer Road, Doncaster
The museum has exhibits of local history, archaeology, natural history, a programme of temporary exhibitions and various artwork. The regimental gallery of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry is in the same building. The museum is managed by Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council.
South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum
Dakota Way, Airbourne Road
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
Places to visit
The castle is situated in the small town of Conisbrough, about five miles south-west of Doncaster. 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 ParkHurst Lane,
The Yorkshire Wildlife Park, about 4 miles south-east of Doncaster, was created at a former farm and riding school in 2009. It now houses some 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.
The Trolleybus Museum at SandtoftBelton Road, Sandtoft, North Lincolnshire
Although just beyond 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
Station managed by: LNER.
Operators: LNER - Transpennine Express - Northern - Hull Trains - Grand Central - East Midlands Trains - Cross Country -
Doncaster Frenchgate Interchangeoff Trafford Way
The Frenchgate Interchange is the central bus station used by all bus operators running into Doncaster. It is at the town's Frenchgate Shopping Centre and next to the railway station. Services X19 and 91 provide links to Robin Hood Airport. In the opposite direction bus X19 is the most direct public transport route to
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 town 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
Robin Hood Airport is at Finningley, around six miles south east of Doncaster, which is considerably closer than Sheffield, 20 miles away. The airport offers flights mostly to Europe and to Mediterranan holiday destinations with some flights to the USA and Canada. The railway next to the airport does not have a station, but bus services X19 and 91 operate to or from Doncaster. The airport has premium, short and long stay car parks with a range of prices which can be found on the airport website. The short stay car park offers free parking for up to 15 minutes.
Further details on our
More information at the
The HS2 effect
DoncasterWhile HS2 will now be routed through the Doncaster metropolitan district, no station or link between HS2 and East Coast Main Line is planned there. Even after HS2 is built through the area, the existing East Coast Main Line will continue to offer the fastest route from Doncaster to London.
Emergency servicesSouth Yorkshire Police
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Metropolitan district councilDoncaster 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 authorityBarnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority
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.