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A delightful historic retreat in South Yorkshire, Doncaster has preserved its Roman charm while offering a wealth of modern-day delights, including a great selection of eateries, shopping opportunities and public parks. Those spending a weekend (or a week) in Doncaster can also explore the beautiful gardens and fascinating artefacts at the Cusworth Hall Museum or can hunt for great bargains at the Yorkshire Outlet. Alternatively, hire a car and cruise through the picturesque countryside of rural Yorkshire; be sure to stop by the captivating Doncaster Aeroventure South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum on the outskirts of town for a peek at some of Britain’s most famous flying machines.
Who to Book With
Doncaster hosts local offices for a number of major car hire brands. In town, look for Enterprise, Alamo and Europcar in the vicinity of Balby Road/Cleveland Street, just south of the centre. About seven miles southeast of Doncaster is Robin Hood Airport, where you can find Hertz, Avis, Budget and additional offices for Europcar and Enterprise. Advance online reservations are recommended for any of the area’s rental outlets.
Best Time to go
Most out-of-towners choose to visit Doncaster in the summer. Car rental rates will often rise during the warmer season, particularly in the travel-heavy months of July and August; be sure to make your booking as soon as your dates are set. Additional travel rushes occur during standard holidays, such as Christmas, New Year’s and Easter.
Need to Know Essentials
To pick up your car hire in Doncaster, present the following documents at the counter:
- A booking printout (if possible)
- The credit card used to make the booking
- A full and valid driving license
Doncaster is fairly accessible by car when compared with many of England’s older mid-sized cities. Drivers can get in and away easily via the A1(M) motorway, which passes through the city’s suburbs. The M18 motorway can also be accessed about two miles south of central Doncaster.
Parking, however, can sometimes be a challenge in the centre of town, although a handful of public car parks can be found near Markets Roundabout, St George’s Bridge and in major shopping areas.
Outside of town, there are a number of scenic rural routes leading to Doncaster, including Sheffield Road/A630, Tickhill Road/A60 and Cantley Lane B1396, among others.
Doncaster is well connected to other parts of the UK via rail links and coach services. Bus services can be useful for inter-city trips, although a hire car is often preferred by visitors planning on travelling to outlying attractions. Finally, Robin Hood Airport, located just seven miles from the city centre, offers connections to a handful of regional destinations.
Doncaster Railway Station is situated just off of Trafford Way/A630 on the east side of the city centre. Direct services from this East Coast Main Line location are available via a number of train firms, including East Coast, Cross Country, Northern, East Midlands and TransPennine Express. Head over to the National Rail website to plan your journey and buy tickets.
Taxi services are readily available in Doncaster. Although efficient, they are typically expensive and car rental generally provides better value-for-money. Local private firms include Doncaster Airport Taxis and Dial-a-Cab. Alternatively, opt for a metered Hackney Carriage.
Visitors can make use of Doncaster’s public ‘First’ buses as an economical alternative to getting around town, although the city is small enough to walk between many attractions once you’ve parked your car. Unlimited day passes cost less than £5; ask for a ‘FirstDay’ ticket on the bus. Visit the First Group website for schedules and plenty of useful information. For coach services to destinations across Britain, head to the National Express station at the Frenchgate Interchange, just north of the train station.
Although Doncaster generally has enough to keep most visitors busy, the surrounding Yorkshire countryside and other regional attractions are well worth a daytrip – or two – in the comfort of a rental car. Below are just a few ideas to get you started.
Hardcastle Crags - For a great outdoor experience, head to the evocative cliffs and beautiful river valleys of The Hardcastle Crags. This landmark is highlighted, not only by its natural beauty, but also by its rich history as a vital crossroads in the region. The drive should take just over an hour, featuring a nice array of farmland, wooded areas and quaint villages.
Doncaster Aeroventure South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum - For a shorter journey, head just south of town to the Doncaster Aeroventure South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum. This fun family attraction provides hands-on displays of retired warplanes, helicopters and vintage flying machines. Be sure to check their event calendar for special exhibits and occasions.
Skegness - Finally, head east to the lovely resort community of Skegness on the North Sea coast for a variety of seaside attractions, including the Skegness Pier, the North Shore Golf Club and the Natureland Seal Sanctuary. The drive from Doncaster should take just under two hours and will guide you through some of the region’s most relaxed countryside.