Filey Bay is a scenic 10-15 minute walk from Clara’s Den, and boasts 6 miles of unspoilt beach. There is direct pedestrian access from the village, and your stroll features panoramic views of the coastline, the path descends to the sands – with Filey town visible to the north, and Bempton Cliffs and Flamborough Head to the south.
Head north towards Filey itself, along the clean, good castle-building sand, and you’ll see abandoned WWII pillboxes and the White House – Billy Butlin’s former home. A 40 minute walk will get you to Filey town, but check tide times (opens in a new window) before you set off, being especially careful if you want to walk back on the beach. If the tide times are inconvenient or you wish for a less strenuous return to the village you can also get the bus from Filey bus station: the 120 and 121 services (opens in a new window) go past the entrance to The Bay village, after a picturesque trip through local villages.
Filey itself is at the north end of Filey Bay, and is an old fishing town which has maintained a quiet, traditional feel. For such a small town there is a wealth of local attractions, from the promenade along the sea front to the Edwardian villas, and cliff-top gardens with bandstand hosting summer concerts. Filey is a taste of how the seaside used to be.
Some particularly enjoyable places in Filey to visit are:
- Filey Brigg (opens in a new window): a spur of rock stretching into the sea, on top of which historians have found evidence of a Roman watchtower
- Coble Landing: the traditional launching point for fishing boats, now home to Filey’s impressive RNLI Lifeboat Station (opens in a new window) and a collection of cafes and seafood outlets
- Filey Museum (opens in a new window): showcasing hundreds of years of Filey culture, this really is a gem of a museum packed with fascinating objects – a treat for young and old! (Seasonal opening – check the website for details)
- Filey Bird Garden and Animal Park (opens in a new window): this award winning family-run attraction is a special mixture of animals, nature, exotic birds and gardens
- St Oswalds church (opens in a new window): a 12th century church with impressive array of headstones in the churchyard commemorating the many men who went to sea and sadly never came back
Filey bandstand on a summer evening
For more serious walkers, Filey is at one end of the Cleveland Way (opens in a new window), which takes in Scarborough and Saltburn-by-the-sea, before crossing the North York Moors to Helmsley.
Filey also has all the amenities you could wish for, including a bus and railway station, a library, GP surgery and chemists and a community centre which occasionally hosts film showings. There’s also a wide range of independent shops, cafes and restaurants – including some fantastic fish and chip shops (well, this is the Yorkshire coast after all!). For any basic provisions you may need there are Tesco and Spar supermarkets.
This video shows wonderful aerial shots of The Bay village, Filey Bay, and Filey town with the iconic Brigg.
Hunmanby Gap and Reighton Gap
From the beach below the village head south and you’ll pass Hunmanby Gap where you can find a lovely beach cafe (with customer toilets). The beach cafe is a particular favourite of ours, mainly due to the fantastic cheesecakes they offer! They do have seasonal opening hours, so check their website for details (opens in a new window). The cafe is also accessible by car, situated at the bottom of Sands Road, and has a limited number of parking spaces.
Further along the beach is Reighton Gap which offers – you guessed it! – a beach cafe with customer toilet (they have seasonal opening hours, but no website).
Continue south along the beach and you’ll reach the beginnings of Flamborough Head, with the world famous Bempton Cliffs (home to half a million seabirds in the season – see RSPB Bempton (opens in a new window) for details) stretching out into the North Sea. At the foot of these chalk cliffs you’ll find rock pools and fossils, a perfect natural playground for children and adults alike. And if you’ve had enough of walking on miles of clean, open sands then there are cliff-top walks (opens in a new window) to take you much of the way round the bay.