Filey: an old-fashioned seaside break

Filey: a great base from which to explore the east coast of Yorkshire

Filey is not well known to too many people from outside of Yorkshire and is often overlooked in favour of bigger seaside towns such as Scarborough. However, if you want unspoiled, old-fashioned charm then Filey is the place to go.

We recently took the kids to Filey for a few days and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone – with or without children – looking for a peaceful few days with plenty to do.

Filey accommodation

We stayed in an excellent holiday home – 3C Southdene – that offered everything we could have wanted and more. The three bedroom flat gave us loads of space, is warm, modern, bright and very nicely finished with some vintage art alongside more modern pieces. We would thoroughly recommend a stay there and found the little extras – a good selection of books and toys for the kids, a coffee machine and nice bedding for the adults! – really made a big difference, as did the well-equipped kitchen. With prices ranging from just £245 for a week and the friendly owners flexible on the days of your stay it’s a real bargain.

Airy bedroom at 3C
Airy bedroom at 3C

If you prefer having your breakfast cooked there are a number of good B and Bs available, whilst there are also some other excellent holidays lets, both smaller and larger, available. We would certainly go back to 3C again though!

Eating and drinking

Filey is not know for its gastronomic wonders but with two food festivals a year and some decent dining options it punches above its weight. If fish and chips is your thing then Inghams is a good choice (although it’s hard to go wrong in Filey), whilst the Lighthouse (Filey’s only themed tea room!) provides an excellent afternoon tea with ultra efficient service at an incredible price. For a grander take on tea, scones and cakes, Downcliffe House Hotel is excellent too, with beach views, though a heftier price tag. There is also a very decent Italian, Bella Italia (not part of the chain) that the kids loved and that consistently gets good reviews.

In terms of drinking, whilst there are few options, by far the best is the curiously named Bonhommes, offering a slightly eccentric atmosphere and some excellent real ales.

Things to do

The area around Filey offers some splendid walking with the Yorkshire Wolds the inspiration for much of David Hockney’s work. The beach itself is small and perfectly formed, with the ancient peninsula of Filey Brigg offering biological and geological interest. If that’s your thing. Even if it’s not it’s a fine walk with great views.

Bempton Cliffs
Bempton Cliffs

Of course there is the beach, which offers surfers just enough encouragement to don a wet suit but is better suited to sandcastles and frolicking when the tide is out. Other than that Filey is all about relaxation and enjoying the slow pace of life, friendly locals and clean sea air.

Of course, within a short drive of Filey you have no end of options, with one great one the RSPB reserve at Bempton Cliffs. Bempton is home to huge numbers of puffins, gannets, kittiwakes, guillemots and razorbills with numerous other species often observed. Spring and summer are simply spectacular and this is one of Britain’s best spots for seabirds.

Scarborough and Bridlington are also nearby whilst the beauty of the North York Moors is also just a short drive away. With Whitby, Robin Hood Bay and Malton all close to Filey too there is no shortage of options. However, for us there is nothing better than a good play on the beach, fish and chips for tea and a nice glass of wine back at the delightful ranch once the kids have gone to sleep.