Discover Doncaster: a new city with a long history

For many, the south Yorkshire town of Doncaster is synonymous with horse racing. Its racecourse is indeed one of the largest and oldest in Britain. In fact it dates back to the sixteenth century. Today it is home to two of the most important events in the racing calendar, the Doncaster Cup and the St Leger Stakes. Both take place in September every year. While Doncaster is well known to racing fans, though, there’s a lot more to the town than that. Starting with the fact that it’s actually a city these days.

From fort to town to city

In May 2022, Doncaster was awarded city status as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II. (Quite coincidentally, Her Late Majesty was a noted horse racing enthusiast.) The actual ceremony came after the Queen’s death, however. It was overseen by her successor King Charles III, adding yet more historic weight to the occasion. Doncaster’s new city status is recognition of the former town’s growing population and importance in the 21st century. Its history goes back much further, though.

Doncaster first emerged on the site of a 1st century Roman fort. It was an important link between the Roman cities of York and Lincoln. Later, it was a thriving Anglo-Saxon settlement, before becoming a bustling market town in the 12th and 13th centuries. (In 1194, King Richard I granted Doncaster a town charter, 828 years before it made city!) It continued to expand in subsequent centuries. And it became an important transport hub, especially after its connection to the rail network in 1848.

A regional hub with attractions of its own

Like the Romans before them, today’s travellers can also benefit from Doncaster’s excellent transport connections. It is still handy for York and Lincoln. But also Leeds and Hull, as well as London and Edinburgh on the East Coast Main Line. There’s also plenty to see and do in the city itself.

Doncaster Minster is a grade I listed building designed by noted Victorian architect George Gilbert Scott. It overlooks a busy modern city centre, with two popular shopping centres, Frenchgate and Waterdale. There are also plenty of banks, local businesses and other amenities, including fantastic bars and restaurants.

The Doncaster Dome hosts over 50 sports and leisure activities. There’s a multi-pool swimming area, a dedicated cycling track and the UK’s only split-level ice rink. As well as a state-of-the-art gym and fitness studios. Elsewhere in the city, there’s also the Twisted Skatepark. Just outside the city, you can see the only polar bears in England at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. How many cities can say that?

Downtime in Doncaster

All this makes Doncaster perfect for a family retreat. Or indeed as a base for business travel in the region. Guestz co-manages a collection of newly-created residential flats in the city centre. 21 Cleveland Street is a modern mixed-use development resulting from a recent office conversion. Its elegant residential apartments include one and two-bedroom units. All are self-contained and include everything you need for an enjoyable stay. So why not book now, and explore one of the UK’s newest cities?