Blake Walsh

25 Best Things to Do in Doncaster, England

  • Published 2022/08/10

Doncaster is a charming England town that is a perfect destination for travelers who love basking in old-world ambiance and the beauty of nature.

The inherent charm of this beautiful town’s historical hotspots fuses magnificently with the calm of its scenic attractions, making this place a popular destination among tourists.

Doncaster has a fascinating history of its own, and its many historic sites and museums tell you all about it in an engaging manner.

On top of all that, the town will enchant you with its parks and wildlife reserves, art galleries, and many restaurants serving delicious cuisine.

Are you looking forward to discovering what else it has to offer?

Check out this list of the best things to do in Doncaster, England:

Join a Guided Tour of the Grand Brodsworth Hall

Exterior of the Brodsworth Hall

Alastair Wallace /

Brodsworth Hall, with its stunning 15 acres of award-winning formal gardens, is a beautiful reflection of the bygone Victorian era.

This country home was once owned by the Thellusson family and is now open to the public.

Visitors are welcome to join guided tours that will take you through the hall’s restored interiors and narrate to you the story of the fortunes of the people who lived here.

Interior of Brodsworth Hall

Alastair Wallace /

On the ground floor, you’ll find the grand rooms designed in the unique 1860s Italianate style, the Billiard room, and the impressive Victorian kitchen.

Enjoy your time with your family at the play area and explore the game larder.

Also, make sure to stop by the tearoom to sip on some delicious tea.

A statue in Brodsworth Hall

Alastair Wallace /

Be a Part of the Vulcan Experience

Aircraft of The Vulcan Experience

D K Grove /

Avail of the rare opportunity to experience what it’s like to fly extraordinary aircraft at The Vulcan Experience, an excellent heritage museum in Doncaster.

An information pack is provided to you right at the beginning, guiding you through the experience.

You may tour this place either on a one-to-one basis or as a part of a small group.

At this open-air museum, see the Vulcan XH558 in all her beauty.

Have a good time getting yourself photographed next to the aircraft or inside the cockpit of this magnificent piece of engineering.

Take your time and talk to the people associated with The Vulcan Experience, from engineers to volunteers, and make sure you don’t miss the air shows.

Go Back in Time at Cusworth Hall

Exteiror of Cusworth Hall

Alastair Wallace /

Set in the scenic parklands of Cusworth Park, this 16th-century home has been transformed into a social history museum and is a beautiful example of a Georgian country house.

Cusworth Hall is free for the public to enter, but you can donate voluntarily.

In each room, there is display material supported by information and interpretation boards that point toward the function associated with it.

You will also find interesting local stories along with evidence on the local people, clothes, mining, and so on.

Interior of Cusworth Hall

Alastair Wallace /

There is a green flag park with lakes and a play area with an ice-cream van for the kids.

At the famous Cusworth Hall Easter Egg Roll, you can even design your own Easter egg and participate in an egg decorating competition.

There is also a small cafe and a microbrewery in the old courtyard.

Stroll around the Cusworth Park Tree Trail

Cusworth Park Tree Trail

Alastair Wallace /

Surrounding Cusworth Hall, this nature trail is sure to provide you with an excellent experience of learning combined with leisure.

Look out for the mysterious strawberry tree, which grows some other edible red fruits instead of strawberries.

You can also take up the hidden word challenge, where you will have to find all the different trees on the Cusworth Park Tree Trail.

Children’s play areas are also located here.

Witness the Magic of Conisbrough Castle

Conisbrough Castle

Miles Mortimer /

The Earl of Surrey built the magnificent Conisbrough Castle in the 11th century.

Made of fine magnesian limestone, it is one of the most beautiful examples of medieval architecture in all of Europe.

The castle is known to have inspired the Coningsburgh Castle from Sir Walter Scott’s classic, Ivanhoe.

Entrance gate of Conisbrough Castle

Alastair Wallace /

Check out the visitor center and gift shop to purchase souvenirs.

You can also head to the grassy areas around the castle walls to spend time with the family while enjoying games and picnics.

Visitor center of Conisbrough Castle

Alastair Wallace /

Treat Yourself at Doncaster Market

Doncaster Market

NeilIrvine /

One of the biggest and finest traditional markets in all of England, Doncaster Market has received praise from customers and celebrities from all over the world.

Find all sorts of stands, stalls, and shops in different areas around this market.

Find the Goose Hill Market, the Fish Market, the Antique Market, and the Outdoor Market.

Exterior of the Doncaster Market

Doncaster Market by Bill Henderson, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

At the Wool Market, you will find a new, brightly colored magical well with a glass top.

You can see straight down the well.

Apart from this, you will even find the International Food Hall, which offers all sorts of award-winning delicacies.

Shop till You Drop at Frenchgate Shopping Centre

Exterior of Frenchgate Shopping Centre

Robertek /

Named after a medieval gate and originally known as Arndale Centre, Frenchgate Shopping Centre has over 120 stores to interest you.

Here, you will find everything you’re looking for, from chic clothes and fragrances to gifts, food, and more.

There is even a Flip Out trampoline and adventure park located inside!

Aerial view of the Frenchgate Shopping Centre

Clare Louise Jackson /

Discover Roman Ruins on the Grounds of Doncaster Minster

Daytime view of the Doncaster Minster grounds

Peter is Shaw 1991 /

The Grade I-listed Doncaster Minster is located in the heart of Doncaster.

On the church’s grounds, you can check out historically significant archeological remains that include pieces of an old Roman fort.

The 18-meter stretch of the ruins gives visitors an exciting insight into Doncaster’s history.

An organ instrument in Doncaster Minster

Jules & Jenny from Lincoln, UK, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Inside, you’ll find that the church’s interiors are also a sight to behold.

With high ceilings, stained glass windows, and an elegant yet tranquil atmosphere, it is a beautiful place to stop and have a quiet moment.

Stained glass windows of Doncaster Minster

Jules & Jenny from Lincoln, UK, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Explore Danum Gallery, Library, and Museum

Exterior of the Danum Gallery, Library, and Museum

Rcsprinter123, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Danum Gallery, Library, and Museum is abundant with evidence of history and information on archaeology, natural and social history, and fine arts.

This attraction will tell you everything that you need to know about the story of Doncaster, one of England’s oldest towns, from the Ice Age to the 21st century.

You will also get the chance to visit the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and see the war medals earned by soldiers who served in the regiment in the past.

The museum also hosts events on local and family history themes and even conducts workshops.

Make It to Tickhill Castle on Its Annual Open Day

The gate of Tickhill Castle

Peter is Shaw 1991 /

Interestingly enough, this 11th-century castle on the Nottingham/Yorkshire West Riding border opens to the public for just one day in June every year.

Inside this castle are hidden extensive grounds and a 70-feet-high motte.

This monument saw almost a thousand years’ worth of sieges, battles, and secret royal love affairs.

If you’re lucky, you may have the privilege of being a part of this highly anticipated day and get a rare peek inside this secret castle.

Spend Time in the Great Outdoors at Potteric Carr Nature Reserve

The waters of Potteric Carr Nature Reserve

AngieC333 /

Potteric Carr Nature Reserve nature reserve has fabulous views in store for the explorer in you.

Witness breathtaking murmurations of starlings, the view over the lake, and many different habitats with their vantage points.

You may look closely at birds like woodpeckers and kingfishers and meet mammals like deers and hedgehogs.

During the summer, various butterflies make the surroundings even more scenic.

Welcome sign of Potteric Carr Nature Reserve

Red Carpet 2020 /

The globally threatened animals one may get to see here are certainly an unmissable highlight.

It might be a good idea to enjoy a burning campfire here or to spend your time making crafts in the woodlands.

There is even a tempting little gift shop and a pleasant cafe, which lets you choose between eating indoors and outdoors.

Scenic hall of trees at Potteric Carr Nature Reserve

Tom Curtis /

Have a Great Family Day Out at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

A lion in Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Miranda Xue /

Yorkshire Wildlife Park is the best walk-through wildlife park in all of the United Kingdom and is home to over 300 different animal species.

You will get to see and interact with over 70 different animal species up close, including polar bears, lions, tigers, giraffes, and rhinoceros.

A tiger in Yorkshire Wildlife Park

mattyw1991 /

If you’re seeking a fun rush of adrenaline to spice up your day, the “zoom” slide at this place has you covered.

Along with play areas for children scattered all around the place, the park also has lovely cafes, stalls, and street food sellers for you to enjoy snacks.

Picnic area in Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Eddie Jordan Photos /

Enjoy the Countryside at Sandall Beat Wood

A trail at Sandall Beat Wood

Gary Brooks /

Sandall Beat Wood, also known as the Beat, is an ideal place to visit with the family.

Enjoy a nice walk, go fossil hunting, or learn amazing bushcraft skills at this wooded retreat.

Covill’s Trail, one of the woodland’s several trails, is accessible even for those who require wheelchairs.

The woods are home to various wildlife species, which you might meet as you stroll around the area.

In addition to offering hiking and biking paths, Sandall Beat Wood can be a peaceful picnic spot and an excellent place for kids to play.

Take the Kids to Sandall Park

If you happen to be visiting Sandall Beat Wood with your kids, you may want to head down to the children’s park at Sandall Park.

It is one of the largest parks in town and boasts a variety of facilities, including several that your kids will love, like swings, slides, and a thrilling zip-wire.

On top of that, the vast part comprises a beautiful lake, a pond, and areas sprinkled with wildflowers.

Visitors are welcome to relax, go fishing, or have picnics.

There are also sporting facilities and walking paths that guests can enjoy.

Catch Sight of Wildlife at Sprotbrough Flash Nature Reserve

The waters of Sprotbrough Falls

Des-Green /

The majestic Sprotbrough Flash Nature Reserve is the perfect place for sightseeing and hiking.

With its woodland trails, weirs, and wildlife, this place is especially suitable for a relaxing walk on a fine autumn morning.

View of a bridge at Sprotbrough Flash Nature Reserve

Peter is Shaw 1991 /

During the summer, you can spot a wide range of pretty wildflowers.

You may want to take your camera along to capture some beautiful shots of the scenery.

Spend a Memorable Night Out at Doncaster Little Theatre

Located on King Street, this community theater is a must-visit for tourists who love the performing arts.

Doncaster Little Theatre puts on 12 of its very own theatrical acts a year, including musicals, comedy, youth workshops, and a pantomime.

Make sure not to judge this theater by its relatively small size, for the professional energy and the spectacular performances by its talented actors and dancers will ensure you have a memorable time here.

Check out Doncaster Little Theatre’s official website while planning your visit in case you can schedule your trip in time to catch a live show.

Encounter Friendly Animals at Boston Park Farm

This traditional working farm is the perfect place to spend quality time with your family.

Boston Park Farm offers animal handling sessions, farming activities, and craft activities for children to enjoy.

The farm is also known for its Maize Maze, which is only open for a limited time every year.

Ideal for older kids, this attraction invites visitors to search for hidden flags and find their way out of the maze.

Don’t forget to book your tickets ahead of your visit.

You can also visit the on-site cafe for some good food.

Visit the Art Gallery at The Point

The contemporary art gallery at The Point is one of Doncaster’s cultural hotspots.

It is home to a wide range of displays, including beautiful installations, awe-inspiring photographs, and other ethereal works of art.

The gallery also holds several creative workshops throughout the year.

Here, you will also find a cafe that serves delicious homemade snacks and drinks.

Have Steak and Wine at La Boca Steakhouse

Exterior of La Boca Steakhouse

Ms Deborah Waters /

Founded in May 2019, La Boca Steakhouse is a family-run establishment.

When customers enter La Boca Steakhouse for dinner, they are greeted with a friendly, welcoming atmosphere.

The 60-seat steakhouse, custom-designed and inspired by Argentine influences, is situated in the center of Doncaster.

A plate of steak in La Boca Steakhouse

Ms Deborah Waters /

The restaurant aims to give consistently excellent cuisine and service across all of its menus while elevating any eating experience and uplifting the spirit.

La Boca Steakhouse has you covered whether you want a peaceful lunch or a music-filled evening with fine food, wine, and drinks.

Cocktail drinks in La Boca Steakhouse

Ms Deborah Waters /

See Various Plants at Walkers Nurseries and Garden Centre

The exhibition garden at Walkers Nurseries and Garden Centre is a growth of the original stock garden, which Lawrence Walker established and has been maintaining for more than 40 years.

The family has dramatically expanded and improved the original garden over the past 10 years.

There are plants of many hues, shapes, and sizes, including shrubbery, wildflowers, bedding plants, grasses, leaves, and pines.

You may dine at the Garden Restaurant for several local produce foods or head to the potting shed for afternoon tea.

You can also stop by their food-to-go counter and take some delicacies home with you.

Additionally, they offer lovely presents like cards, gift wraps, books, kitchenware, fabrics, garden accouterments, giftware, and artificial flowers.

Visit the Historic Doncaster Mansion House

Side view of Doncaster Mansion House

Warofdreams, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Owned and managed by Doncaster Council, Doncaster Mansion House is the focal point of Doncaster’s High Street.

This spectacular building was intentionally constructed in the 18th century as a venue for the town’s mayor to entertain visitors, and it is still the top spot for throwing events today.

Front view of Doncaster Mansion House

Rcsprinter123, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Doncaster Mansion House is utilized for public and private events, such as tours, noon teas, wedding ceremonies, and formal receptions.

During visiting hours, you can tour the house’s interior and see the artifacts collected throughout its 200-year history displayed in spacious, ornate rooms.

Explore the Collections at the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum

Aircraft on the grounds of South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum

Alec Wilson from Khon Kaen, Thailand, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum is home to a sizable collection of airplanes and helicopters dating way back to the invention of flying.

The museum showcases biplanes flown at the Doncaster Airshow, the first air show organized in the United Kingdom in 1909.

There’s something for everyone in the vast collection, which includes several aircraft in addition to a ton of well-known favorites and interactive exhibitions open all year long.

An aircraft in South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum

Alan Wilson, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The museum is a fantastic attraction regardless of the weather, be it rainy or bright and sunny.

The South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum also has a small cafe that serves snacks.

Enjoy a Shopping Spree at Lakeside Village

Originally known as The Yorkshire Outlet, Lakeside Village is a retail mall with outlet stores.

Get all you need at unbelievably cheap costs at this mall in the center of Doncaster, which features over 45 renowned name retailers giving year-round discounts of up to 60%.

After a long day of shopping, this shopping center offers a wide variety of eateries where you may relax or refuel.

Make a day of your visit by perusing Lakeside Village’s fantastic selection of food and drink establishments.

Final Thoughts

Visit Doncaster to experience its rich history and tradition and uncover the unimaginable.

View the transformation of the t industrialized hinterland into a mixture of green areas, thriving neighborhoods, and wildlife-rich habitats.

Have fun participating in all the best things to do in Doncaster and explore various tourist attractions!

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