Bawtry is a small market town and civil parish which lies where the western branch of the Roman Ermine Street crosses the River Idle in the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster in South Yorkshire, England and meets the old course of the Great North Road. Nearby towns include Gainsborough to the east, Retford to the south south-east, Worksop to the south-west and Doncaster to the north-west. Historically within the West Riding of Yorkshire, it had a population of 3,204 in the UK census of 2001, increasing to 3,573 at the 2011 Census.
Bawtry is located in the metropolitan borough of Doncaster on the border with Nottinghamshire, and is situated between Bircotes and Misson at the conjunction of the A614, A631 and A638 roads. The present A638 was for centuries the Great North Road, and in the 20th century the town was a notorious bottleneck, until it was bypassed in 1965. The county boundary with Nottinghamshire runs just to the south of the town and for this reason the southernmost house on the Great North Road is named 'Number One Yorkshire'.
The town's former prosperity was based on its communications, the River Idle in the days when it was a port, the Great North Road in the coaching era, and the Great Northern Railway.
Bawtry's geographical location is 53° 25' 40" North, 1° 1' West, at an elevation of around 65 feet (20 m) above sea level.
The town is located just south of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, formerly RAF Finningley. Bawtry Hall was home to RAF No.1 Group Bomber Command during and after the Second World War, and became the Headquarters of RAF Strike Command (see RAF Bawtry). From 1989 to 2013 Bawtry Hall operated as a Christian conference centre and a base for several Christian organisations.