6 reasons why Doncaster could be a great place to visit for a short break once the pandemic eases

There are plenty of attractions that make Doncaster the perfect place to visit for a staycation.

By Sarah Marshall
Thursday, 4th February 2021, 11:44 am

Blessed with brilliant rail links, Doncaster is a vibrant town which spans the largest metropolitan borough in the country and has plenty going for it.

Here, we will take you through just some of the reasons Doncaster should be top of your list when it comes to staycation destinations

New gallery, library, musuem and cinema complex in the town centre

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There are plenty of Doncaster attractions worth visiting

The Danum Gallery, Library and Museum and seven-screen Savoy Cinema complex are some of the town centre’s exciting new attractions which are just waiting to be explored once lockdown eases.

The £14 million museum, library and art gallery was completed last year, and also displays a nod to the borough’s past with the iconic frontage of the former Doncaster High School for Girls incorporated into the design of the new building.

It is set to display some of the most important and impressive works from the art collection cared for by Heritage Doncaster.

There is also a dedicated gallery space to accommodate influential art works loaned from the likes of the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Arts Council. Collection - a first for the town.

Snowdrops at Brodsworth Hall near Doncaster. Picture Tony Johnson

Some of Britain’s most iconic steam engines including the Mallard and Flying Scotsman were built in the borough, and now its proud rail heritage will be honoured with a new exhibit displaying the Great Northern Railway ‘Atlantic’ which was built at Doncaster’s railway works in 1902

It is the first exhibit to be announced for the gallery.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park

One of Doncaster’s most popular tourist attractions is the Yorkshire Wildlife Park (YWP), which is located in Branton and near to key travel links including the A1; M1 and M18.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Polar Bears enjoy the snowy weather. Picture: Acquire Images

Built on the site of a former farm and riding school, the YWP is home to over 400 animals of 70 different species including England’s only polar bears.

Other species of animals living at the park include painted dogs; baboons; meerkats; mongoose; camels; wallabies; capybara; anteaters; armadillo; lions; leopards and tigers.

Doncaster Racecourse

The borough is home to one of the oldest racecourses in the year, Doncaster Racecourse, which has a premium track and ordinarily holds 36 race fixtures per year.

Cusworth Hall

It also hosts one of the highlights in the horse racing calendar, The St Leger Festival, which centres around the historic St Leger stakes that dates back to 1776.

Eating out and nightlife

There are plenty of fantastic places to eat in Doncaster town centre including La Boca Steakhouse; Cactus Jacks and Turkuaz.

Doncaster is known for its vibrant nightlife, and those new to the town should head for Lazarus Court which is home to popular bars including the award winning Mañana Mañana as well as Secrets and The Social. Fans of rum and gin should head to No.7 at the Rum Rooms on Market Road in the town centre.

For those more comfortable with traditional pubs, there are also plenty of those to try including the Yorkshire Grey; The Tut’n’Shive; The Salutation and The Draughtman Alehouse at Doncaster railway station is definitely worth a visit.


The Wool Market, Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley

Doncaster is home to one of England’s finest traditional markets, which has existed in its current town centre location since AD43, and today currently offers over 400 stalls.

The market estate houses impressive buildings including the Fish Market; Corn Exchange; International Food Hall and Wool Market which has recently undergone a major refurbishment.

The Frenchgate shopping centre is located in the heart of the town centre and features high street stores including H&M; Next; Lush; Pandora and Ernest Jones.

Brodsworth Hall and Cusworth Hall

It is definitely worth venturing out to Brodsworth Hall for the day. The stunning Victorian country house has been left almost exactly as it was when it was when it was still a family home. The grounds have also been restored to their full Victorian splendour.

Meanwhile, Cusworth Hall should also be on the top of your list when visiting. The Grade 1 listed building, which was built between 1770 and 1774 for local land owner William Wrightson, is often described as the jewel in Doncaster’s Crown.


In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.