Welcome to Filey, where the pace of life is relaxed and the sandy shore is gorgeous. The Yorkshire coast is full of gems and, along with Whitby, Filey is among the best of them.
Formerly a fishing village, Filey is now best known for its stunning sandy beach and this is the centrepiece of the town. Families love this quaint seaside town, as the beach is so long, it never seems to get too busy even at the height of summer. Filey Brigg to the north of the beach is perfect for scenic walks and birdwatching while the town centre has plenty of things to see and do as well.
Things to do
Filey is incredibly relaxing and something about the town seems to make time go more slowly. While Whitby and Scarborough can sometimes get a little bit crowded, Filey is comparatively quiet even at the height of summer.
Historic landmarks such as the nearby Flamborough Head Lighthouse are worth visiting, while The Crescent is a beautiful construction right next to the beach. Many royal visitors stayed in this part of the town back in the day.
Looking for attractions? The promenade has plenty for all the family to enjoy and Filey Bird Garden and Animal Park is the perfect place to go with the little ones. St Oswald’s, the local parish church, once counted Charlotte Bronte among its regular attendees. The church has been operational since the 12th century and boasts some superb stained glass and stonework, so is well worth a visit.
Enjoy stunning views at Filey Brigg
Great views over Filey Bay can be enjoyed by taking a walkout to Filey Brigg, a short peninsula to the north of the town centre. The cliffs here rise to 20 metres high and there tend to be a lot of fossil hunters and fishermen out when the tide is low. Filey Brigg is actually a site of Special Scientific Interest, designated as such due to its geological importance. It is also a local Nature Reserve, with entry free all year round.
While walking on the Brigg, look out for a stone sculpture marked with the National Trust’s acorn logo. This marks the end of a couple of National Trails – the Yorkshire Wolds Way and the Cleveland Way. The full circular walk around Filey Brigg is around two kilometres. Legend has it that Filey Brigg was created by the Devil himself, who lost his hammer in the sea in the area, while another local story tells that rocks were made by the bones of a dragon.
Regular visitors to the North Yorkshire Coast will already be aware of the superb coastline but the town’s beach was garlanded in The Sunday Times’ list of the 50 Best British Beaches 2018, coming out the top. Hundreds of beaches around the country were assessed with Filey adjudged to be the cream of the crop. With five miles of sandy shore, there is plenty of space for everyone, with chalets available throughout the summer tourist season.
Pony rides are available and there are beach sailing lessons too. It is no wonder Trip Advisor has listed Filey among the world’s best beaches, alongside the likes of Sydney’s Bondi Beach. Fish and chips on the beach are the perfect summer treat and there are cafes available too.
Parts of the beach are dog-friendly but there are some restrictions too, so make sure you keep a close eye out for any signage advising where your canine companions are not welcome.
Where to stay
The Bay Filey
To the south of the town centre is The Bay Filey, which is dog friendly and located on the site of the old Butlin’s holiday camp. The resort boasts an incredible beachside location and a range of top facilities such as its own pub, the John Paul Jones public house. The Bay Filey provides a bar and a restaurant, the property also has a fitness centre, as well as an indoor pool and a sauna. The resort features family rooms. Guest rooms at the resort are equipped with a seating area and a flat-screen TV. At The Bay Filey, each room has a private bathroom and bed linen.
Downcliffe House Hotel
There are B&B’s aplenty with Downcliffe House Hotel, located right at the beach, among the best places to stay in Filey. A converted Victorian house built in 1840, the hotel was named among the top 10 European seaside hotels in Europe by the Independent newspaper. Facing the beachfront in Filey, the Downcliffe House Boutique Hotel has a restaurant and a bar. There is a terrace and guests can make use of free WiFi and free private parking.
Where to eat
Boat Shed Filey
Pizza and Gin, The Boat Shed perfectly mix the two adding something different to Filey’s traditional pubs and restaurants. They offer a great venue for just drinks or something more like delicious tapas or pizza. This cosy environment and friendly service are perfect for locals or holiday visitors.
San Marco is a wonderful Italian restaurant that serves the finest Italian dishes you will find. From great pizza to fish and vegetarian dishes. You can’t beat the atmosphere here. San Marco is open 6 nights a week and boasts genuine Italian recipes. Great choice and friendly service make it the perfect place to enjoy dinner in Filey.
How to get there: By car is the best way to reach Filey from Whitby, but the town does have a railway station too. Trains are regular southwards to Bridlington and Hull and northwards to Scarborough, which is just a few miles away.
Parking: There are a couple of big car parks that are probably the best place to leave your vehicle if you are having a day out in Filey. Country Park – itself an ideal location for dog-walking and kite-flying – has space for 3,000 cars and there is room for another 1,000 at West Avenue to the south of the town centre. Parking right on the coast, as with most places in this part of the world, is unfortunately very limited.
How far is Filey from Whitby? Driving to Filey from Whitby should take under an hour and the trip is a picturesque journey along the Yorkshire coastline. By car is the best way to make the trip between the two towns.