The Racecourse is blooming thanks to local partnership

Doncaster Racecourse has been florally transformed just in time for the William Hill St Leger Festival thanks to a partnership with local award winning garden centre Walkers Nurseries._DSC7930

The popular family owned plant specialist was chosen to supply over 2,000 summer bedding plants to the racecourse for its floral borders and displays around the course’s public areas and parade ring.

“This is always a lovely time of the year as we see the course dressed for the packed live music events and the iconic St Leger race meeting,” said Tim Radford, Estates Manager Doncaster Racecourse. “We thank James and the team at Walkers for their creativity and providing such a plethora of flowers that help us make the course look so welcoming and colourful, which has seen us achieve a coveted 5 out of 5 for site presentation from Visit England.”

In addition to the summer bedding plants, troughs which surround the winner’s podium were supplied incorporating a selection of shrubs with varying colours and textures to give longevity to the display.

“We are very proud to have worked with racecourse team and support this iconic local business with its horticultural needs and we look forward to developing a long-term partnership with them,” said James Bodle from Walkers Nurseries. “The plants have been chosen to give depth and colour but be easily maintained to give a resplendent display during the summer months.”

“Strategic partnership such as this with Walker’s Nurseries reinforces our philosophy of buying local,” said Abby Chandler, Head of Marketing at Doncaster Racecourse.  “We’re really lucky that an award-winning garden centre is on our doorstep and delighted they are able to create such wonderful displays that will be blooming perfectly in time for the William Hill St. Leger Festival.”

Half Term Happiness – Where to find it!


 Already the first school holiday of the year is almost upon us and the thoughts of grownups across the UK will be encountering that age old question – How can we entertain the kids?

Well the good news is that Doncaster, and the wider county of Yorkshire, have lots of activities to keep children young and old amused and sometimes, you don’t even have to leave your home to have a day to remember.

We did a little straw poll in our offices at Doncaster Racecourse one gloomy January afternoon, and now have the pleasure of sharing our favourites with you. We hope you enjoy them!


The seaside – Yes, we know it’s cold but, providing the rain isn’t sideways, a wintry day out at the seaside is huge fun. Wrap up warm, walk on the beach, drink Yorkshire tea and have a go on traditional seaside rides and slot machines. Guaranteed to make even the grownups join in! And, with 45 miles of Yorkshire coastline to explore, you should be able to find somewhere to go!


At home with tradition – Many of us, and now our children, remember fondly the days at home with parents and grandparents in the holidays. No need to rush about –  just a day packed with simple pleasures. Watching favourite films, baking, learning crafts such as painting, sewing, woodwork and gardening and colouring all featured heavily in happy childhood memories so this half term why not create a few of your own.


Fitness Fun – When the weather is cool and chilly it is sometimes great to burn off some excess energy. There are lots of sporting activities for families to get involved in with lots in Doncaster including swimming, ice skating, walking and cycle trails, badminton and horse riding. For those who require something a little less energetic organise a group of you and challenge friends and family to Ten-Pin Bowling, a fun couple of hours for everyone!


A day at the Races – We know we might just be a tad biased but it really is great fun and less expensive than you might think!  Children under 18 can visit for free as long as they are accompanied by an adult over the age of 18 and one adult can admit up to six children. (Small costs may apply at some of our music live events) Our family enclosure has a fantastic lawned area perfect for warming picnics and often there are attractions just for the children (The details of each meeting should be checked). Don’t forget that on Wednesday 22nd February we have a family fun day at Doncaster Racecourse where there will be lots of children’s activities such as fairground rides, face painting and an interactive disco as well as a packed race card.

To find out what’s on in Yorkshire this half term visit and to book tickets for our event visit

The Crown Hotel, Bawtry hosts Ladbrokes St. Leger Preview Dinner

Come and get saddled up at The Crown Hotel, Bawtry ahead of the Ladbrokes St. Leger Festival and get insider information and tips from our racing experts for the best week of racing on Doncaster’s calendar.

Held on Tuesday 6th September, our panel of experts include;

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Natalie Kerry – Go Racing in Yorkshire

David Williams – Ladbrokes

Simon Mapletoft – ATR

Roger Hart – Doncaster Racecourse Tipster

The evening starts at 7pm with prosecco and canapes followed by dinner at 7.30pm. The Leger preview starts at 9pm followed by a charity auction and disco. The event finishes at 1pm. The dress code is Black Tie & Evening gowns.

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7th Heaven for Yorkshire Wildlife Park


The award-winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park is in seventh heaven as it celebrates its birthday with record breaking figures.

The fast-growing attraction is seven years old on Monday (April 4) having started with 35 staff and annual visitor figures of 66,000. Last year the Park welcomed over 678,000 visitors last year, had over 250 staff and is now in the top 10 of zoos and wildlife parks around the UK.

The majority of the staff live locally and the Park generates millions of pounds of business for the local economy. YWP has also become a major force in animal conservation with a respected record for animal welfare and conservation raising awareness of the plight of endangered species and taking part in critical European and worldwide breeding programmes.

“It is fantastic to be celebrating our seventh birthday and the achievements of Yorkshire Wildlife Park. ‘ commented John Minion, CEO. Everyone here has worked very hard to create a dynamic conservation centre and great family attraction that brings people closer to animals both physically and emotionally. The public’s reaction has been wonderful and is what makes the job worthwhile.”

“YWP is also about a great family day out and seeing smiles on faces and the wonderment in children’s eyes as they get close to lions, tigers or Polar bears is complete job satisfaction for us.” Cheryl Williams, CEO of the Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation added, “ Our visitors have also responded by supporting our fundraising efforts for conservation and animal welfare and our projects around the world – and they should be proud of their part in an international effort that is turning back the tide for some species.”

YWP has provided a huge boost to the local economy and its work and from spending £310,000 with local businesses in 2009, is now worth around £2.6 million a year to Doncaster and South Yorkshire. The park’s capital expenditure has also increased in that time from £300,000 in 2009 to £3.6 million in 2016. Staffing levels have leapt from the first 35 to over 300 during the peak summer holiday season this year. YWP staff have attended 500 training events since 2012 from animal husbandry to food hygiene to maintain high standards of delivery across the park.

During the seven years, YWP has won a series of accolades for its animal welfare projects and business performance and has secured the title as the UK’s Number 1 wildlife attraction, winning the prestigious Gold Accolade from Visit England for the past two years. Visitors enjoy a unique walk through experience coming almost face to face with some of the world’s most beautiful and endangered species, including the country’s only Polar Bears.

The park and the range of animals have grown with Land of the Tigers, Leopard Heights and Project Polar significant landmarks in the conservation programme which is championed by the Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation charity. YWP has hit international headlines by rescuing 13 lions from a Romanian Zoo, in 2010, and in 2015 for the remarkable footage of the birth of rare Amur Tiger cubs which was seen by around five million viewers. “It is a very special birthday for us but it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the local public and all our hard-working staff,” added Mr Minion. “We are proud to be a local and national success and to put Doncaster on the map for tourism.”

Bawtry’s 31 Market Place Cocktail Bar & Bistro is the perfect place to relax

31 Market Street

31 Market Place Cocktail Bar & Bistro is a family run licenced business headed up by Oli Clark in the heart of Bawtry. As the name suggests we are located off the Market Place with access via our garden terrace. The terrace offers a semi-secluded place to relax in historical surroundings away from the bustle of the thriving Market town. Beneath the terrace you will find our fantastic late night cocktail bar. Previously known as Coco Ice, this unusual hideaway has a vibrant atmosphere created by our charismatic, well trained mixologists and fantastic in-house DJs. You can enjoy some of the best cocktails around from our extensive menu or tailor made to suit your taste. We also stock world beers, wines and champagnes.  Our cosy Bistro will open in the summer of 2015. Eclectic comfortable styling will create a relaxed atmosphere where you where you can sample simple, good quality food and range of aperitifs, beers, wines and speciality cocktails. Accessible off the terrace, the Bistro will serve a selection of cured meats, cheese and fish with an affordable seasonal menu perfect for a small eatery. We will be open from lunch through to supper with table service for food and cocktails on the terrace on warmer days.