Doncaster is home to a number of well-known attractions including the award winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park which has recently benefitted from a major expansion scheme and is a ‘have to visit’ attraction, Doncaster Racecourse which is home to the world’s oldest classic horse race – the St Leger and The Doncaster Dome, home of the only split level ice rink in the UK. Doncaster also has a rich heritage that dates back as far as 71AD when it was founded by the Romans. Today, traces of the town’s history can still be seen in and around the town. If you want to get a sense of Doncaster’s history then make sure to visit our iconic buildings such as Conisbrough Castle, The Mansion House, Brodsworth Hall, Cusworth Hall and Doncaster Minster to name a few. So that’s the old, now for the new. Despite the turbulent year we have all found ourselves in, Doncaster was proud to open a number of new attractions in the town centre. There is the sparkling Savoy Cinema complex, a transformed train station forecourt including the incredible ‘Building Speed’ piece of public art which celebrates Doncaster’s rail and horse racing heritage, ‘A Rich Seam’ a sculpture designed by internationally renowned sculptor, Laurence Edwards, to commemorate Doncaster’s rich mining heritage, the restored 10 metre wide stone frieze from the former Gaumont cinema which depicts the story of movie making and is on display in Sir Nigel Gresley Square and we opened the fantastic new Danum Gallery, Library and Museum (DGLAM) to the public. The building has received excellent reviews and is a must for anyone visiting the town. You can read more about DGLAM in our spotlight feature.
For more information about things to do in Doncaster, please visit www.visitdoncaster.com
*Please check with venues and attractions before setting off on your journey to ensure they are open and that activities/events are going ahead*
Danum Gallery Library and Museum
Behind the original façade of the historic Doncaster High School for Girls lies the main Doncaster Central and Children’s Library, which features new state of the art technology, and a vast collection of remarkable artefacts revealing the story of Doncaster’s past. Have fun listening to story times, playing with interactives, touching tactile museum objects, and taking a closer look at artefacts digitally in Doncaster’s brand new building. Perfect for a family day out, an outing with friends, or a solo trip to explore the history of one of England’s oldest towns. Journey through Doncaster’s past as a Roman settlement, market town and industrial powerhouse. Discover the famous people who came from the area and learn about the town’s part in national and international events. The museum reveals how Doncaster’s rich natural environment has changed through time. Find out how Doncaster’s natural resources have been used by humans to build industries, transport routes, and communities. Explore wild Doncaster and discover the animals that have made the area’s rivers, peatlands, woodlands, and gardens their home.
Explore artworks reflecting Doncaster’s heritage, from railways to horse racing and much more. The Gallery showcases works of national and regional significance. View pieces by Frank Dobson, John Frederick Herring, and Joseph Wright of Derby among others. For the first time, Doncaster is able to welcome touring exhibitions from other museums and galleries. In 2021-22 we will be hosting exhibitions from the British Museum and Arts Council England.
Rail Heritage Centre
On the lower ground floor of the Danum Gallery, Library and Museum, visitors can explore Doncaster’s fascinating rail history. This area is home to the Rail Heritage Centre, featuring some of the Doncaster Grammar School Rail Collection. Many of these wonderful items of rail memorabilia are on public display for the first time. Alongside the objects on display are two Doncaster built locomotives, No. 251 ‘Atlantic’ Locomotive and Green Arrow, which have returned home to take centre stage in the Danum Gallery Library and Museum. They are on loan as part of a partnership between Heritage Doncaster and the National Railway Museum. There is a superb King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Museum, a modern library, iconic statues, a lovely café and garden for chilling out, a gift shop and much more besides, it’s a great day out and it’s FREE. For more information and details on how to book, visit: www.dglam.org.uk
Photographs by © Ben Harrison Photography