Don Your Way column: London? Give me Doncaster anyday! 

Darren Burke says the streets of London can be a bit too stressful.
Darren Burke says the streets of London can be a bit too stressful.

I recently returned to work following a short break in London with my two children.

I’m not telling you this by means of showing off or about to bore you with holiday snaps (although I am rather proud of the “Waterloo sunset” from the hotel balcony pic which accompanies this piece).

No, I tell you this because as much as Doncaster comes in for some stick, I’d take it above London any day.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the capital, the smoke, call it what you will. I’ve spent many happy hours there over the years and the latest visit was no different as me and the kids rattled from our rather swish hotel overlooking the London Eye (OK, maybe I am showing off a bit) to the city’s sights and sounds courtesy of the Underground.

We packed in plenty and enjoyed every minute, but as the time came back to head back north from King’s Cross, we knew we’d seen and done enough.

I love London for all its pomp and pagentary, its landmarks and stunning views, the fact it’s easy to whizz around from one place to another.

But then there’s the pace of life, the hustle and bustle that I know I’d never be able to contend with on a daily basis.

Remembering my own introduction to London life as a teenager, I made sure the kids were standing on the right side of the Underground esclators to avoid being trampled underfoot.

As we waited for a Tube train, a flustered looking businessman, suit flapping and briefcase flailing, came crashing down the steps, hammering on the closed doors in frustration at having missed a train.

The next one was precisely one minute later.

An angry bus driver berated us for not climbing aboard quickly enough. On Oxford Street, I was left spinning around by a woman eager to either get away or back to her desk on a lunch break.

And we were constantly approached by beggars, hawkers and other undesirables as we made our way around the crowded streets.

Adjusting to such a frenetic pace of life when you’re trying to enjoy a relaxing break can be tough.

It’s much easier and nicer to stroll through Doncaster without wondering if you’re about to be sent sprawling onto the concrete by some Starbucks-clutching type with floppy hair, a beard and a waistcoat as he makes his way to a trendy brasserie.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we all need to live in a world where we’re all a bit nicer and kinder to each other and where getting from one place to another doesn’t come with taking your life into your hands.

Life’s too short to live in a world of stress, chaos and disregard for others.

I do love London and its people but its also nice to step back into a slower pace of life too. It’s good to be back in Doncaster.