The Doncaster Diaries: The Heart Of The City

Doncaster is a vibrant city with a lot to offer. It had never been a place I'd thought to visit before, but my first trip there last year to the new Hilton Garden Inn was definitely my first taste of seeing how far this city has come and the huge developments constantly evolving to make this city even more appealing. The city has a very Victorian feel, many of the buildings are of this era, which makes it intriguing when you just take the time to look up and see the architecture. The other great thing about Doncaster is that not only is it a city, full of shops, restaurants and nightlife, but in less than ten minutes, you're surrounded by the Yorkshire countryside, which for me is a huge appeal. It's lovely to have the best of both worlds, it makes the city feel incredibly spacious. I'd love to talk to you in this Blog about the city centre, to discover the hidden gems in the heart of the city, from the moment you step off the train! From shopping, to food and places of interest, and the most Instagrammable spots you probably never knew existed... it's time to discover Doncaster!


Doncaster has a huge shopping centre Frenchgate, the main attraction for shoppers, but there are plenty of high street names you'll find, and better still, they have incredible value markets, it's one of the things Doncaster is famous for, amazing finds at great prices, and of course, lots of independent shops. Parts of Doncaster have a high street feel, almost like a village or small town, so there's a mix for those who prefer to be in the shopping centres and those who like the more quiet high street shops. Some of the shops you can find at Frenchgate and surrounding areas are: Topshop, Miss Selfridge, (scroll down to see some of the outfits I picked up on my latest shopping trip!), Primark, Amon, Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins, H&M, Lovisa, New Look, Next, Pandora, River Island, Quiz and plenty more. Of course there is the new Wool Market to check out for some exciting fashion finds, and the best part about it is that everything is within walking distance. Not only that, but along the way, you'll find plenty of stalls that sell so many things, flowers seem to be a really big thing in Doncaster, for every occasion at really good prices, so it is no surprise that they take their Doncaster In Bloom competition very seriously. This year there's a new category too, "Community Champions", so I'd highly recommend keeping your eye open for this through summer!

Also, a stone throw away and just a little out of the city centre is the lovely Lakeside Shopping Centre. In a picturesque little part of Doncaster, this outlet has some incredible deals! Last time I visited I picked up a Lipsy dress in Next from £68 to £19; read more about my trip to Lakeside here. I picked up a lovely little purchase from Roman which you can find at Lakeside!

Places To See For All 

One of Doncaster's most famous spots is of course the famous Doncaster Racecourse. Just last year they opened up a beautiful new hotel, Hilton Garden Inn, which is a great place to stay with stunning views of the course, a trendy, modern bar with beautiful rose gold interiors (blogger's dream) and brand new modern rooms! The Racecourse, on Leger Way, has a history of over four hundred years, and also boasts an impressive exhibition centre, and plenty of featured events. Some upcoming events include Gin and Prosecco Race on April 26, and in May, Jess Glynne live on May 18th after the race!

The Doncaster Rovers are the city's sporting heroes. They are based at the famous Keepmoat Stadium and you can buy tickets through their website if you're wanting to catch a game whilst you're in the city!

Brodsworth Hall & Gardens is a beautiful hall is a Grade I listed building and really epitomises Yorkshire beauty. Shaping the beautiful landscaped parks, this beautiful hall is a Georgian country house with stunning gardens full of delightful colourful flowers, well worth a visit for those who enjoy history! It also boasts a lovely tearoom!

Potteric Carr Nature Reserve is one for the outdoor lovers! Perfect for dog walkers, explorers, picnics and plenty of nature to feast your eyes on. With animals for children to enjoy and lots of walks and ponds, this is a lovely summer spot and with the light nights upon us, it's brilliant to take advantage of them. You can also grab a coffee at the cafe on site. A really great one for walkers and outdoors people who love tackling winding trails and woodland!

Other museum and interesting places include, Ashworth Barracks, The Vulcan Experience, Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Yorkshire Wildlife Park and South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum.

Instagrammable Spots

Not only are these areas full of beautiful architecture, but they also hold a history that is incredibly meaningful for the city. England is famous for its grim grey buildings, but add a take a stroll through Doncaster and you're definitely going to find accents of gold, blue dome tops, stained glass windows and much more! There are some incredibly majestic buildings in the city, with intricate design and colour, it really highlights some of the best of British and we're about to find out where they all are!

Doncaster Mansion House - a historical landmark situated on High Street, this building is open every day and offers afternoon teas! Such a regal feel and the beauty of this building is plain to see.

Doncaster Mansion House
Doncaster Minster - yes, just like York, Doncaster also has a Minster and its stained glass windows are absolutely breathtaking. Full of colour and intricate art, the Minster is definitely worth a visit for photos!

Baxter Gate/High Street - in the centre of town, you'll see what is now the HSBC bank, but when you take a close look at the architecture, it's truly dazzling. There are often flower stalls and sellers outside which make this spot incredibly Instagrammable! The whole street is full of unique buildings!

Powerhouse Christ Church - this is a very imposing but beautiful looking church right in the centre of town. A brilliant place for aspiring photographers to practice their skills, especially when the ominous skies shroud the spires!

The Wool Market - you can read Part One of the Doncaster Diaries here, where I talk all about the new wool market. There are lots of spots inside and outside to grab your photos for the gram. With lovely eatery stalls with pretty design, this is a must see if you're going to the city.

The Corn Exchange - this building is just opposite the new wool market and it's a very intriguing spot. The square is vibrant and the building itself looks incredible royal - it is known as the jewel in the crown for Doncaster's market scene!

Look out for the next part of the Doncaster Diaries when we are exploring where to eat and where to stay!

*This is a collaborative post with Visit Doncaster 

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