Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Down to earth Doncaster

We stopped at Doncaster today on the return leg of our trip, the only major town we'd missed along the canal.
And I'm glad we made it because it's become our favourite – a straightforward, no-nonsense, down to earth sort of town that's a little bit old fashioned but in the nicest possible way.
From the visitor moorings it's just a short stroll past the magnificent Minster church to one of the town's high spots, the market, which was in full swing with outdoor bric-a-brac stalls as well as the familiar fruit and veg plus a sizeable indoor fish market. Shame we missed the wool market and international food hall which open on full market days (Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays).
The market area is lined with cafes: none of your continental rubbish but proper Yorksheer caffs serving fish, chips, mushy peas and scraps. Scraps? The left over bits of batter, crispy, crunchy and a heart attack in every handful. Needless to say, Starwoman pulled me away and bought a huge bag of "ripe, juicy plums" for 50p instead.
The town itself is a compact grid of busy streets, mixing old buildings with new shops and a couple of malls as well providing everything from House of Fraser to Poundland.
The town's old fashioned in another way: so many people smoke that the cleanest air is often to found inside the shops!
But we liked it.

PS I need to correct my previous post about the lack of visitor moorings: there are plenty but they are easy to miss. There is a long floating jetty, off which all the long term moorers sit but the outside of this jetty is apparently visitor space. Now you know.
None of which explains the huge concrete edged basin a couple of hundred yards away which is completely empty and aching to be moored in. What's that all about?

1 comment:

Christine Richardson said...

Really enjoying your comments about Rotherham, Sheffield, and we're pleased you like Doncaster (Donny). On Tuesday the Olympic flame came through the town, and there were tears of Donny pride for Ben Parkinson who walk 300 yards with the torch. Some think the Olympics a waste of money, but it's not when it creates a spirit in a town like this.