Don Your Way column: Discovering the hidden delights of Doncaster in lockdown
Chances are you’ve discovered parts of Doncaster you never even knew existed over the past twelve months.
Lots of us have been discovering the great outdoors during lockdown, pulling on the trainers, wrapping up and heading out to discover Doncaster’s parks, paths and beauty spots in a bid to drag us away from the biscuit tin, Netflix and the sofa.
Last weekend, me and my partner Giulia, feeling sluggish after a rather satisfying full English breakfast and facing another full day lounging about, decided to make the most of the beautiful spring weather and head out.
We’d got a rough idea of where we wanted to head, but with no real final destination in mind or how long it would take us to get there.
And so it was we found ourselves along the somewhat windswept River Don, initially wondering if we’d made the right choice as we trooped along a litter stewn path near to Doncaster Prison.
But soon, as the path opened up, so did the views and we put our best feet forward, Sprotbrough to our right, Hexthorpe to our left on the other bank.
The path was flat and reasonably empty, just the occasional family waving and shouting a cheery ‘hello’ as they passed in the other direction.
And who even knew there’s a beautiful little row of riverside houses in Old Hexthorpe with glorious balcony and riverside views across the water? We certainly didn’t.
And I’ve lived here for 48 years.
Passing through the tiny hamlet of Newton, we eventually ended up at a rather busy but also rather beautiful Sprotbrough Falls, or Flash, depending on which you prefer.
Sadly, the Boat Inn was obviously closed, so fuelled by a soft drink from the coffee van, which had just stopped serving hot drinks, it was over the bridge and back down the other side of the Don.
A little more challenging, the path was undulating and includes a rather entertaining scramble up a rough embankment directly beneath the A1(M), but it wasn’t long before we were back among the dog walkers and cyclists enjoying the early evening delights of Hexthorpe Flatts.
Doncaster really does have some beautiful spots, right on your doorstep. Go and find them.