If you are looking for picture-perfect beaches, family-friendly attractions, and a traditional British charm, Filey is a wonderful choice. We've picked out 18 fun things to do in Filey when you visit.
Once a sleepy fishing village defined by its charismatic 19th Century cottages, Filey is now a popular holiday resort filled with plenty of things to do including sporting activities, historic landmarks, and some of North Yorkshire’s most beautiful scenery.
Whether you are spending just one day or a long weekend, there are plenty of things to do in Filey such as exploring the local culture and natural scenery. When it comes to food and drink this compact town has everything from historic pubs and independent cafes, to local distilleries and breweries.
Sitting between Scarborough and Bridlington, Filey is also brimming with outdoor activities. In summer, take to the water with some kayaking, sailing, and stand-up paddleboarding. There is a whole range of hiking and cycling paths that are perfect for those cooler spring and autumn months.
In order to begin planning your trip, take a look at our pick of the best things to do in Filey. From family fun at a local farm to unforgettable whiskey tasting experiences, believe us when we say that his town has a little something for everyone.
1. Spend some time on Filey Beach
Filey Beach may seem like an obvious place to start, but it’s something you certainly shouldn’t miss. One of the town’s main attractions, this beach boasts five miles of sand. If you are travelling with the family, the beach is lined with colourful beach huts that are available to hire during summer. The huts provide a cosy base along the beach with storage space, food and drink making facilities, a compact lounge area, and sun loungers. The beach is also perfect for swimming on a hot sunny day, with lifeguards visible during peak times.
2. Visit the beautiful Crescent Gardens
Crescent Gardens offers visitors and residents a place to relax and unwind. The floral gardens are nestled in front of The Crescent, a row of elegant Victorian townhouses. In summer, regular live music performances take place on the bandstand, making it a perfect picnic spot. These public gardens are free to enter and are open every day.
3. Expand your knowledge at Filey Museum
Filey Museum spans two 17th Century cottages, offering visitors an interactive insight into the town’s heritage. Going strong since 1971, the museum consists of seven rooms containing a range of Victorian artefacts. It is located in the town’s historic centre, close to St Oswald's Church. The museum is only open from Easter until the end of summer and costs just £2.50 to enter.
4. Witness glorious views at Filey Brigg
Set against a stunning backdrop of limestone cliffs, Filey Brigg is a long peninsula that is perfect for an afternoon stroll or a brisk run. Offering wonderful sea views, the Brigg is also home to the Roman ruins of an old station making it a great way to learn about the area’s heritage.
5. Explore Filey Bird Garden and Animal Park
A great place to bring the kids, the Filey Bird Garden & Animal Park is one of the most popular things to do in Filey. This family-run attraction is set across 5 acres of land and is home to a wide variety of exotic species and farm animals. Visit the alpacas and wallabies or take a look at the bearded dragon enclosure. The meerkats are a cheeky favourite amongst families while the secret garden is a great place for those who simply want to relax. There are also bird feeding opportunities, a cafe, a park, and a gift shop.
6. Wander around Glen Gardens
Once part of the Ravine Hall Estate, these beautifully landscaped gardens are a lovely place to relax with a book or picnic. Glen Gardens were constructed in the 1830s as part of the private estate. Today, they are free to enter with space for family ball games and scenic walks.
7. Have lots of fun at Playdale Farm Park
Situated towards Scarborough, just a short drive from Filey, Playdale Farm Park is an interactive attraction for all ages. This award-winning farm is located just outside the village of Cayton, an easy reach from Filey. Here visitors can learn how to ride a tractor, meet the farm animals, take part in feeding sessions, and explore the land through the adventure trail. There is also a soft play area for those with younger children.
8. Hike Yorkshire Wolds Way
Spanning across 79 miles, the Yorkshire Wolds Way is a hikers dream. This impressive track begins in Hassle and ends in Filey. Of course, you do not have to complete the whole route, choosing to do a leisurely day walk from town instead. The route enables walkers to experience North Yorkshire's impressive flora and fauna with chalk landscapes, valleys, and a collection of idyllic villages and towns along the way. The best part of the Yorkshire Wolds Way is that it's free for all to enjoy!
9. Check out Flamborough Head
For stunning ocean views, head to the impressive Flamborough Head. Nestled between Filey and Bridlington, these gorgeous white cliffs set along 8 miles of coastline. Take a walk along this chalk headland and enjoy the fresh sea air. Two lighthouses signify the beginning and end of the heads, having been constructed in 1669 and 1806 respectively.
10. Visit St Oswald’s Church
Situated right in the heart of Filey's historic town centre, St Oswald's Church is a wonderful example of 12th Century architecture. Inside, visitors can learn a little more about the church's history. It is open between March and September, Wednesday to Saturday, and is free to enter.
11. Spot wildlife at Bempton Cliffs
If you're looking for an interesting day trip close to Filey, the Brampton Cliffs nature reserve is a good option. Visit between March and October to catch a glimpse of the half-million seabirds that adorn the cliffs. This is one of the country's most impressive wildlife spectacles if you're lucky enough to be visiting the area during this time. If you are here outside the migration season, then the reserve is also frequented by puffins, owls, gannets, and guillemots. Onsite you will find a visitor centre offering information, maps, binocular hire, and guided walks.
12. Taste Whiskey at The Spirit of Yorkshire
One for the whisky lovers, the Spirit of Yorkshire is Filey's very own whisky distillery. Home to the Filey Bay single malt whisky, this distillery is a fun and interactive way to learn about the whisky-making process. Join a daily tour to see the distillery in action, with the potential of a fresh cask sample too. For a truly unique experience, the Spirit of Yorkshire also offers visitors the chance to be a distiller for the day – the perfect gift for a special occasion.
13. Spend the day at Filey Dams Nature Reserve
The Filey Dams Nature Reserve is a large freshwater marsh and the only remaining one in the area. Comprised of scenic walking routes and boardwalks, the reserve is home to a variety of plants, birds, and animals. Filey Dams Nature Reserve is open every day and is free to enter.
14. Become a detective on the Filey Mystery Treasure Trail
Offering visitors the chance to discover Filey in a unique way, these themed trails are perfect for families or those looking for something a little different. Explore the town of Filey on this popular murder mystery tour, finding and solving clues along the way. The tour begins in the Glen and Crescent Gardens taking you through Filey's parks and historic monuments. Find more information here.
15. Go back in time at Scarborough Castle
Another fantastic day trip option, Scarborough Castle is a stunning landmark containing 3,000 years of British history. Originally constructed in the Iron Age, this spectacular monument has since been rebuilt by the Romans and again in the 12th Century under the rule of Henry II. Offering fantastic views of Scarborough's dazzling bays, the castle grounds boast a lovely picnic area. Inside you will find incredible artefacts dating as far back as the Bronze Age. Explore the castle ruin, fly a kite, or relax at the onsite cafe.
16. Don't get lost in Raincliffe Woods
Once part of a grand 19th Century estate, the Raincliffe Woods offer three scenic walks, nestled amongst North Yorkshire's peaceful countryside. Located just outside Scarborough, the woods are just a short car journey from Filey. Each walk is easy to complete, making it popular with families looking to explore the area's woodland.
17. Challenge yourself to walk the Flamborough Coastal Circuit
If you are a hiker looking for more of a challenge, you will absolutely love the Flamborough Coastal Circuit. This 17.1-kilometre route will take you along the coastline, passing the towering Flamborough Heads along the way. It is also a great running route for those who enjoy long distances.
18. Enjoy a day out at Dalby Forest and the Bridestones
The Bridestones are a notable landmark in North Yorkshire that should be on any Filey itinerary. The Bridestones are a series of rock formations set amongst heather moorland and idyllic meadows. This gorgeous loop track is 7.6 kilometres long and boasts an easy to follow track with a short uphill section. It takes you through the Dalby Forest and out to the famous Bridestones. The track is accessible for all fitness levels, making it great for families with younger children. Find more information here.
What are your favourite things to do in Filey? Let us know in the comments.