Edwardian Holiday Haven

Filey grew from a tiny fishing village to an elegant seaside resort during the mid nineteenth century. The arrival of the railway in 1846 and 1847 further increased the popularity of Filey.

Picture of Filey North Beach from the Cobble Landing
Filey North Beach from the Cobble Landing

As a visitor today you can expect to find a gentle, relaxing atmosphere with a no-rush feeling carried over from the elegance and gentility of the Edwardian era. To the great credit of its townsfolk, reckless, brassy development of the promenade has been resisted from the late nineteen fifties when proposals were made to add amusement arcades and more fairground type rides along the seafront. Today the shops and hotels have fresh coats of paint and there is a feeling of confidence and optimism about the town.

You’ll find this laid back town rests easily atop the cliffs overlooking majestic Filey Bay. A good place to head for is the Information Office – with its excellent display of what makes this popular holiday destination what it is today. The people here are very friendly – ready to offer help – pointing you to the information you seek. Pick up a pamphlet or three about local places that interest you or buy a small book of Filey through the ages. The Information Office is housed in a new building – part of the Evron Centre. Catch a play or wander around one of the art and craft exhibitions…

Picture of Filey Evron Centre
Filey Evron Centre
Picture of "The Pines Cafe" - a cosy cafe in Filey
“The Pines Cafe” – a cosy cafe in Filey

When tummies start to rumble and thoughts turn to food, you and your family are spoilt for choice here. Up in the town, seek out cosy cafes serving home baked meat and potato pie with lashings of gravy, seafood restaurants doing wonderful things with fresh-caught local fish, Asian and Chinese restaurants, fish ‘n’ chips to eat out. They’re all here – just wander the streets, check out the menus and take your pick! Down by the seashore you’ll find stalls offering shellfish, burgers, toasted teacakes and pots of tea, ice creams and waffles.

Hey – What’s a dinosaur doing in Filey?…

In the swirling mists at the dawn of time – when dinosaurs roamed the earth – a long necked aquatic reptile breathed its last and sank slowly to the bottom of a warm sea.

In the year 2001 a section of the Southern cliffs of Filey Bay slipped into the sea – sadly not a particularly rare occurrence along this coast. But this landslip was especially important because it exposed the fossilised remains of a rare Plesiosaur to the glare of the Northern Sun for the first time in more than 146 million years! Yorkshire, throughout the Jurassic period, was covered by warm seas – when the chalk and sandstone of today’s Yorkshire coast was laid down as sediment on the sea bed. Plesiosaurs were large, long-necked, aquatic reptiles that swam the prehistoric seas, feeding on smaller creatures.

Working as quickly as possible – always with the prospect of another landslip re-burying the find hanging over them – experts carefully dug the fossils out of the red clay. The team working to clean and assemble this specimen hope soon to display it in the Rotunda Museum of Geology in neighbouring Scarborough.

Picture of the sculpted cliffs after numerous landslips
Sculpted cliffs after numerous landslips

Interestingly, Nessie – of Loch Ness Monster fame – and her companions that inhabit Loch Ness in Scotland are now considered by the experts to be Plesiosaurs!

The cliffs to both North and South are constantly in danger of further erosion by landslip and indeed the famous Brigg, forming the Northern arm of the bay is but a fraction of its former size. There is evidence that the Brigg was used by the Romans as a landing place for sea bound cargoes – they built a road along the top to ease transhipment.

What’s a Filey Coble?…

Filey is known in the boating world for its particular design of fishing boat. The Filey Coble – with its origins in the longboats of the Vikings – is designed to be outstandingly seaworthy with a hull that can be launched and recovered from the beach. There has never been a harbour here!

Picture of the Filey Coble "Margaret" on the Coble Landing
Filey Coble “Margaret” on the Coble Landing

Before the days of the diesel engined tractor, horses were used to pull the cobles on their wheeled cradles to and from the Coble Landing. The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institute) lifeboat station is housed on the Coble Landing and is home to the all-weather, Mersey class lifeboat “Keep Fit Association” and the inflatable inshore life boat “Rotary District 120”

Hello Sailor!…

If you’d rather be on the water than looking at it then Filey Sailing Club is the place for you. They have a new clubhouse and dinghy park just along the beach from Coble Landing to the North of the town. Or, if you’re driving, they’re just down the slip from the Country Park.

Picture of Filey Sailing Club
Filey Sailing Club

Over the years numerous landslips took their toll as gradually the club buildings were lost to the sea – but in May 2001 their new clubhouse was proudly opened and the club has a home again. Dinghies and windsurfers are their thing and a full programme of events fills the summer weekends with occasional evening sailing. Early July is the time of the Annual Regatta and always draws a large gathering of sailors and spectators.


Close by – to the South of the town there’s Filey Golf Club – very popular and with great views over the bay. To quote from the Golf Club’s Web Site “The welcome you receive at Filey Golf Club has not changed over the years.” The club boasts two courses – the eighteen hole course laid out in 1899 by James Braid and a new, nine hole “Academy” course that’s popular with beginners. So, whatever your handicap, you’re bound to have an enjoyable round – even if it’s only in the “nineteenth hole”! Cheers!

Now I recall fond memories of a summer’s day on the beach, seeing how far out we could go on the Brigg before the tide came rushing in – and scrambling up the cliffs in mad retreat! Filey was a day out from Brid when I cycled to the East coast for a week’s holiday as a teenager with my best mate – my first holiday without mum and dad. Years later and my own kids had a great time at the seaside here when their mum and I rented a cheap caravan on the site overlooking Filey Bay. We didn’t have much money, but we sure had a great time building sandcastles – with moats that filled with seawater when the tide came in. I remember the weary-but-satisfied trudge up the hill back to the caravan after exhausting days on the beach with the kids – happy days!

Filey on the Yorkshire coast betwixt Bridlington and Scarborough is a gentle, relaxing seaside holiday resort – much loved by families. Looking for a quieter holiday or vacation in Yorkshire? I’m sure you’ll enjoy a visit.

Picture of Filey Brig from The Crescent
Filey Brig from The Crescent

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