Filey beach was awarded Sunday Times beach of the year 2018. It described the beach as ‘beautiful, retro and understated, this is the pick of the bunch’.
Followed quickly in 2019 when TripAdvisor voted it the sixth best beach in the world for families, it featured alongside Bondi Beach in Australia and Siesta Beach in Florida. The accolade described Filey beach as ‘the perfect beach for kids to explore’.
The White Lodge Hotel is at the southern end of Filey’s dignified Crescent. Over looking the vast sweep of Filey Bay, the white painted homes have set the social tone of the town for one hundred and eighty years. The stroll along the Crescent Gardens, from the White Lodge into the town, offers both relaxation and stunning sea views.
At the northern end of the promenade is the Coble Landing. For generations the heart of Filey’s fishing community. You can wander at will among boats and drying nets. There never has been a harbour at Filey, so you may witness a fishing boat being launched, or recovered, with the aid of a tractor.
On a hillside overlooking both the town and the bay, is the ancient St. Oswald’s Church. Built in the twelfth century, St. Oswald’s has been at the centre of Filey life for 900 years. The earliest known works commenced on the site in 1180 and the church was substantially complete by 1230. The graveyard has over a thousand burials and some of the gravestones are fascinating windows into past lives and livelihoods.
Filey Museum is in Queen Street, in the old part of the town, the museum won the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year Award in the Discover Yorkshire Coast Awards. Whilst diminutive in size, this little gem makes up for it in content; a cracking place to spend a few hours, especially when the weather misbehaves.
A little further afield
From lonely Spurn Head to the busy River Tees, the Yorkshire coast has far more attractions than can be listed on any one website. We can only offer a few edited highlights and oddities.
The quiet and unassuming Yorkshire Wolds are the often overlooked cousin of the Dales and North York Moors. Less crowded and with a charm all of their own, the Wolds are a few minutes drive from Filey. It is a landscape of big skies and characteristic dry chalk valleys, famously captured by Britain’s most famous living artist David Hockney. The Wolds are also home to another cultural icon, Winifred Holtby. The author of South Riding is buried in the picturesque churchyard at Rudston. She shares the graveyard with the huge Prehistoric Rudston Monolith, which is worth the journey in itself. Perhaps the jewell of the Wolds is Sledmere House, a Georgian stately home set in a beautiful estate.
The towering chalk cliffs to the south of Filey Bay play host to the RSPB nature reserve at Bempton Cliffs. Between March and October the cliffs are home to around half a million seabirds. It is England’s largest seabird colony. Peer over the dizzying cliffs to see thousands of Puffins, Gannets and Guillemots wheeling around on the wind.
Just to the north of Filey is the bustling resort of Scarborough. Its cultural highlights include the Rotunda Museum, one of the oldest purpose built museums in Britain, it is a throw back to gentlemen, and doubtless lady, antiquarians, assiduously studying geological formations and collecting fossils. Directly opposite Scarborough railway station is the art deco beauty that is the Stephen Joseph Theatre, truly world class, which hosts premieres of Alan Ayckbourn plays.
We could wax lyrical about the dramatic ruin of Whitby Abbey, the Staithes Group artists colony or the baroque opulence of Castle Howard.
It’s a coast you will simply have to visit time and again.