Summer is just about upon us, at long last – which also means the summer holidays are soon at hand. You may have already planned out your major summer holiday plans for your family, but it can’t hurt to get some domestic days out in the calendar as well.
One often-overlooked destination for a family day out is Doncaster. Not only are London to Doncaster train tickets easy to buy and relatively cheap to boot, but Doncaster is a real repository of interesting experiences, from museums to gardens and even a wildlife park. Here are some of the best places to take your family in Doncaster this summer.
South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum
The South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum is a museum founded on the site of Doncaster’s former RAF base, utilising original hangars and buildings that were left following the base’s closure. It is a volunteer-led institution, with aircraft dating back as far as the UK’s first air show in 1909. There is also an extensive display commemorating the service of air force personnel during the Falklands War. In all, the museum is a unique treasure trove of aeronautical history, and a brilliant opportunity to introduce your children to national history in one.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Yorkshire Wildlife Park is a beautiful park, set in Auckley to the east of Doncaster. The park is a relatively recent addition to the UK in terms of wildlife attractions, being built on a small farm and officially opened in 2009. Nonetheless, it is home to well over 400 different animals, from tigers and meerkats and beyond.
There’s so much to see and do at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, with a number of experiences and activities days catered specifically to families or young children. Whether you’d like to take part or simply go for a walk through in your own time, the park nothing short of a great day out.
Cusworth Hall, Museum and Park
Cusworth Hall is a stately home on the western outskirts of central Doncaster, replete with well-maintained grounds and gardens as well as a museum for the history buffs. The Grade-I listed building has been expertly restored, and can be toured with all the family on Fridays and Sundays.
There’s something for everyone at Cusworth Hall; touring the Georgian property itself can reveal secrets about the landowner’s way of life in the 1700s, while the parkland is perfect for daytime picnics and strolls amongst the immaculate garden beds. This is a brilliant heritage site, and a great way to spent a laid-back day out.
Another heritage site can be found in the form of Conisbrough Castle, a 12th century fortification still standing strong today. The castle was initially built by William of Warenne, before being expanded upon by the Plantagenets and eventually abandoned in the 14th century. It was immortalised in Sir Walter Scott’s novel Ivanhoe, and has today been transformed into a museum and installation showing the history of the building.