Places to Visit in North Yorkshire
phill@philljamesbroadcasting.co.uk
phill@todoinyork.com

Filey North Yorkshire

Visit York and North Yorkshire through Video

   

The video below relates to Filey North Yorkshire. We visit this fantastic seaside town and discover things to do and see in this popular North Yorkshire seaside resort.

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Things to do in Filey

Official Website for Filey

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Where is Filey?

Watch the Things to do in Filey Video

Getting to Filey

Filey North Yorkshire

Filey is situated just south east of Scarborough in North Yorkshire, just offset of the A165. Of course, Filey is a small but exciting coastal resort beside the North Sea. Filey has a railway station that connects the town with Scarborough and southwards to Bridlington and Kingston Upon Hull. The line runs trains from Scarborough to Sheffield, and you can connect to the Filey train at Sheffield, Hull or Seamer depending on where you are travelling from.

The bus station is almost next door to the railway station, where you can alight and board the East Yorkshire bus services between Hull, Bridlington and Scarborough. Coastliner also run buses from Malton to Filey and Bridlington too, making your connection at Malton bus station. In comparison with the trains, the bus service is relatively inexpensive and there are more of them. There is also an express bus operated by East Yorkshire too. Buses from Scarborough run around every 30 minutes or so, but check Coastliner and East Yorkshire buses for timetables.

If you don’t want to wait at the bus or train stations, there is a seating area situated in a garden at the opposite side of the road, useful if you have children with you. There is also sheltered seating here in case you encounter that typical British summer, as we unfortunately did today.

If you are travelling by car, the best place to park is on West Avenue which again is relatively inexpensive. It is also a pleasant short walk to the seafront from here and is opposite Glen Gardens and next to Filey Golf Club.

Glen Gardens Filey

Filey North Yorkshire

Glen Gardens is a large park that is of interest to both adults and children and contains mini-golf, a small boating lake, putting area, a large cafe as well as toilets and a children’s playground. If you have a dog, it will also win their approval but it is recommended to keep them on a lead.

Glen Gardens Filey
Glen Gardens Filey

We intentionally came to video Filey during the week when the children are at school, but we were surprised to see flocks of school children visiting Filey with their teachers. Therefore, if you are in the teaching profession, you may want to consider taking your class here for the day, considering Filey has historic and nature educational value too. It certainly beats a classroom!

Not only are you welcomed to Glen Gardens with an enormous green space, but also there are intriguing wood carvings situated throughout the park. These include butterflies with are not uncommon in a green space such as this. The wood carvings include the good old Ladybirds or ladybugs with their bright red and black spotted wings. These creatures are actually part of the beetle family and range in size from 0.8 to 18mm. Of course, this one is somewhat magnified and enlarged. May favourite is the badger trying to scale the tree stump here. Badgers although having quite long bodies have very short legs. As most people are aware, they are also nocturnal, only seen at night and are now a protected species. Another favourite is the woodpecker, and in England we tend to see more the greater and lesser spotted woodpeckers as well as the occasional green woodpecker. Woodpeckers do not have a tuneful song but they do have chirps and chatters as well as alarm calls. However, you will also hear them tapping on wood for food to appear.

Glen Gardens has been around since the 1830’s and is adorned with green space, amusements, wildlife, picnic and ball game areas and woodland. There is a small boating lake including dogems and canoe as well as the odd duck or two.

Not all wood carvings are based on creatures you’d necessary find in today’s parks, but bring out the child in you nonetheless. I was uncertain if I should make my acquaintance with the intimidating Nessy here, but I’m sure he felt the same way when he saw me too.

Of course, lions are only made out of wood in Glen Gardens and I expect that this particular pussy gets all of the cat food it wants. Imagine the size of the mouse! In any case, this lion sits proudly looking over something else that Filey is noted for.

Of course, that would be Filey’s seafront, but it hasn’t always been the peaceful haven it is today. In September 1779, John Paul Jones who led a squadron of the American Continental Navy spotted a merchant convoy escorted by two British warships. The Bonneholme Richard captained by John Jones fought against Richard Pearson’s ship the Serapis which he was forced to surrender. However, the Bonneholme was badly damaged and sank two days later after being on fire for some time. The merchant convoy however escaped to Scarborough.

Today however, we can admire the views from Glen Gardens over Filey bay and it is also a great place for photography. If you have arrived on a day with the typical summer showers, there are also some sheltered seating. We hoped for better weather when we arrived but unfortunately the clouds didn’t show us mercy. This goes to show you can always expect great times in Filey, but the weather isn’t so much guaranteed.

We can take one of the stairs downwards to the beach and seafront where we can do a little more exploring what Filey has to offer as well as its historic past.

Filey Seafront

Filey North Yorkshire

Filey has a sizeable seafront which of course is subject to the tide, so it’s often a good idea to check the times of tides before arriving. When the tide is out, owing to the moon’s hold on the earth, there is a great space for sunbathing as well as constructing sandcastles. You are also surrounded by the cliffs off the Yorkshire coast that make the small seaside town extremely scenic. Dogs are allowed on the beach but obviously there are restrictions for public health, so it’s recommended to keep an eye on the instructions for dog owners.

Filey Beach
Filey Beach

Filey was originally a small village dating back to the 12th century, and St Oswald’s church is the oldest building in Filey. However, residents in Scarborough sought peace and relocated to Filey which helped the village to grow. By 1835, a solicitor from Birmingham purchased 7 acres of land and built the crescent known as the Royal Crescent. Filey was originally part of both the North and East Ridings until it was abolished in 1974, but is now part of the Borough of Scarborough. Filey was originally a fishing village, and we see the evidence of this shortly.

Today’s partly overcast weather actually teaches us that Filey isn’t just a place to enjoy on a sunny day, and lets face it they can be few and far between. It can be enjoyed much of the year round and it is a great walk either by the sea or along the promenade. Filey reflects its much larger neighbour Scarborough in the sense of scenery, amusements, gardens, beach activity and sea life. It is somewhat of a respite from our daily lives and overall a welcoming place to visit.

Magnificent Men of Filey Beach

Filey North Yorkshire

In April 1910, and application to Filey Urban District Council was made to ask permission to use the sands here as a base to launch and land early aircraft designs. These designs were engineered by Robert Blackburn who had a workshop in Leeds. When permission was received, the Northern Aerial Transport Company was formed who operated a flying school. The flights became airborne from the most southern sands at Filey where a hangar once existed which Robert Blackburn once rented along with a bungalow. Of course, the planes we have today would probably struggle to land or take off here.

Filey Seafront Promenade

Filey North Yorkshire

As many seaside resorts, Filey is not short of chalets that can be hired for the day and week, and also the season which are typically very vibrant in colour. They are also available off season in the winter too.

The promenade in Filey is quite long and makes a scenic beachside walk from the foot of Glen Gardens all the way past the Lifeboat station, following the curve of the seafront. If you require a rest, there are seating opportunities all the way along, and dare I mention, an opportunity for an ice-cream too.

Something else that you might not consider about the promenade is that the 109 mile Cleveland Way that encounters Scarborough, Whitby, Saltburn and back down to Helmsley begins here in Filey. In addition, the Century Way that features Malton and Castle Howard to York Minster also begins here too. Of course, you can’t walk these in a day, but are the beginning of a walkers holiday.

You will also note a small paddling pool area for children to enjoy is situated on the seafront. Obviously, youngsters should be supervised, but is a welcome area for cooling down in on a hot summers day, should we get one.

With the advent of the railways, the Victorian day trippers would alight the train at seaside resorts around the country, and this also includes Filey. The railway station in Filey was opened in 1846, the year after Scarborough station was opened.

Along the seafront are opportunities for refreshments, such as cafe’s, eating places, ice-cream retailers, and many others. However, this isn’t one of them as the donkey’s need a drink too. Although at home today, there are donkey rides available on Filey Beach.

Another water feature, again not for human consumption, is the large fountain that is situated in the centre of a compass. Not only is it ornamental, but also serves as a place to cool down on a hot day and also to get your bearings.

During busy periods, the promenade can become very popular, especially if you have a warm sunny day. It is a fantastic place to take your dog for a walk, and of course, it is oftentimes more cooler at the coast.

More inline with human consumption, you will get to see an old Victorian water fountain that was opened in 1897 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. This fountain erected by James Varley was actually relocated to the place it sits today. It was originally situated on the embankment steps, which would no doubt have served not only water, but a resting place when climbing upwards.

Water fountains, or sometimes called drinking fountains or even bubblers, were devised to have a constant flow of running drinking water where you could dip your head and enjoy a cooling drink of water. Granted, we tend to depend on water from plastic bottles these days, but these were extremely environmentally friendly as well as free!

However, bubblers are not the ornaments on this promenade walk. These coastal houses and cottages are also ornamental in their own right. These homes which are more than likely once belonging to those who relocated from Scarborough, sit on the hillside forming an attractive view. They also tend to be very well landscaped which add to the overall attractiveness and kerb appeal of the properties. Although I must admit, I wouldn’t like to mow these lawns as they look at little steep.

Downcliffe House is a fitting name for this Victorian house which is in fact a small hotel. What is interesting about it is that it has been voted one of the top 7 places to stay in North Yorkshire. It also consists of a Waterside Restaurant that serves locally caught specialised fish dishes.

Another interesting feature about these properties are the paths leading up the hill to both the cottages themselves as well as the town.

Another unique and noticeable building is the HM Coastguard which is a 999 emergency service that is run largely by volunteers. You may even want to volunteer yourself. However, the volunteers may be called out day or night and have to spend long periods of time in hazardous conditions. Being part of HM Coastguard will be a physically demanding role too, but very rewarding especially when saving lives is involved.

Closely related is the Royal National Lifeboat Institute that you will see practically all over Filey bay. You will notice the Lifeboat station and RNLI shop at the most northern end. The original Lifeboat house was erected in 1852 using local funding and extending in 1872. However, a new lifeboat house was constructed in 1889 at a total cost of £430! The current lifeboat house was built in 1991 to house the Mersey class lifeboat.

However, the RNLI are far from just lifeboats, they also patrol the beach of Filey serving as lifeguards. Of course, the RNLI are a charity that employ volunteers, so you may even be interested in being a volunteer. In any case, they are there for our safety so it is best to abide by the rules the lay out such as only swimming between the red flags for example.

Royal National Lifeboat Institute Filey
Royal National Lifeboat Institute Filey

One thing I learned in particular from the RNLI was that if you fall overboard, the best thing to do is not try to swim, but only try to stay afloat by using your feet and arms. Of course, even with lifeguards at hand, there is nothing more important than using common sense and not put ourselves in danger in the first place. In addition, even with a constant watch by the volunteers, we also want to keep children under supervision. The sea today is quite calm, but this is not always the case.

Continuing the emergency services theme, there is also a police station in Filey which is close to the seafront found at the Evron Centre John Street. Of course the usual telephone numbers apply too.

Even when the weather is somewhat overcast, it can still be warm in summer and we can still be prone to UV, so always take plenty of water with you and some UV protection, but I’m sure I don’t need to remind you of that!

In any case, there are plenty of opportunities to cool down with an ice-cream or cold drink. There are also opportunities to purchase some novelty items for the beach too. For me, I’d be heading more the direction of an ice-cream than a beach ball but we’re all different.

One of the things I like about Filey is how ornamental it is making it a very idyllic place to be. They tend also to reflect the history and nature of the town such as this fishing boat. This anchor also demonstrates the history of the local economy and how Filey is closely intertwined with the fishing industry, and still is today. So you have got these ornamental reminders that are overshadowed by some attractive cottages and gardens on the cliffside.

The promenade is not short of amusements either, such as this crazy golf course. Nationally banned from playing golf, most of my golfing is somewhat crazy, but crazy golf course is more amusing than frustrating. However, just beside it is an ornament of enormous interest.

High Tide in Short Wellies in Filey

Filey North Yorkshire

This giant fisherman is known as “High Tide in Short Wellies” is related to Freddie Gilroy in Scarborough. It looks to me as if he is searching for his short change never mind his short wellies. Seriously, this 12ft steel statue represents Filey’s fishing history by Ray Lonsdale from Whitby. Although he is the maticulate artist who created this fantastic statue, it was due to the generosity of a Scarborough resident. It is kind of one of those statues where you have to compare its size with the visitors stood around it.

High Tide in Short Wellies
High Tide in Short Wellies

Aforementioned, the statue is related to ‘Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers’ on Royal Albert Drive in Scarborough. Ray Lonsdale also has an exhibition in Saltburn by the Sea in the Arts Bank. I love these statues in Filey and Scarborough and they really bring a lot of entertainment to the seafront, especially with your selfie camera. However, I’m not sure if his wellies are really that short. I suppose you could say he is too big for his boots! In any case, don’t forget to have a read through the information board about the statue and take a few photos of yourself stood next to him.

Fishing in Filey

Filey North Yorkshire

High Tide in Short Wellies is kind of a precursor to what lies ahead along the promenade in Filey. Fishing, like in many seaside towns, was the main economy and Filey is no different. In Filey, fishing is a generational tradition, coming from a long line of fisherman. The fishing boats in Filey are known as cobles, an open style traditional fishing boat that are common in most fishing towns situated on the Yorkshire and north-east coast. You’ll undoubtedly see some at the most northerly end of the promenade if not in the sea itself. They tend to be high bowed and flat bottomed, especially engineered this way to meet the demands of the North Sea in these areas. Restrictions are in place for when and how the lowering of nets are used especially when salmon is concerned. This is to protect fish stocks, but also make it more difficult for Filey’s present fishermen.

Sea Fishing in Filey
Sea Fishing in Filey

They tend to rest on trailers that are pulled by a tractor out to sea, such as by the old David Brown tractor that enjoys getting wet in all weathers. We tend to think of tractors being solely for farming but this is not always the case. These 990 series where built between 1961 and 1968, so it is somewhat of a classic vehicle.

Filey Amusements

Filey North Yorkshire

Just opposite the dormant fishing boats are some amusements, eateries and gift shops which encourage a feeling of being in a Yorkshire seaside resort. However, these are not the only attractions on the seafront.

We briefly mentioned about the Crazy Golf course that resides next to the High Tide in Short Wellies, and this lobster is part of the course. Probably knocked out by myself earlier. In any case the crazy golf is not just fun but quite large too, and couldn’t be situated in a more scenic area if it tried. And even if the weather isn’t anything to rejoice about, it’s still very entertaining.

Crazy Golf in Filey
Crazy Golf in Filey

There is certainly a lot of opportunities for the youngsters to enjoy themselves such as with these carousels that bring joy and happiness to both the children and their parents, providing they do not refund their ice-creams in the spin of things. But this is the fact about Filey, there is something for all ages here, from the tiny tots to the elderly and really make an enjoyable day out for all. It is no surprise at all that it serves as a popular place to visit for school parties too. Obviously we’re intentionally filming at a time when it is quiet but during the weekends and school holidays Filey is incredibly popular for all. It also serves as a great place for families to bond and spend some time together.

Filey is not short of sealife of the flying kind as well as the aquatic kind. You may occasionally sea a porpoise in the North Sea if you are vigilant, but one thing you will definitely see are seagulls. They however carry a warning not to feed them because they can get a little volatile when it comes to food.

Although the promenade looks over the beach, there are plenty of access points onto the sands as you walk along. If you have a dog, then it is a good idea to ensure that it is not a prohibited area and to clean up after them. However, the promenade is equally as popular for dogs too and set the pace for all.

Filey Town

Filey North Yorkshire

I hate to tare you away from the beach, but we’re going to explore the town of Filey now, which originally began as a village. You can find the footpath not far from the lifeboat station that winds gently uphill.

You will soon see these large historic dwellings and this particular building is adorned with a model ship over the doorway. No chance of mutiny there.

Filey is not short of a place to stay overnight especially when it is a popular resort, so you will see many guest houses and B&B’s along the way.

However, no doubt many of these dwellings would have served at one time homes for fishermen and their families.

Filey Town Hall

You’ll find the council chambers on Queen Street which at one time had a fire station attached to the left as well as a caretaker’s property. You can still see the old fire station today next to the notice board for the council. Obviously, the town hall isn’t huge like some towns and city’s, but don’t forget that Filey began as a village and grew larger as time progressed.

When you see Reynolds Street, but instead continue onwards along Queen Street, you will come to see Filey’s one and only museum, although of course, it is far from the town’s only attraction.

Filey Museum

Filey Museum is literally a museum all about Filey and the local area. There are several themed rooms including Bygone Filey, Rural Crafts, Lifeboat Room, Rear Garden, Seashore Room, Fisher Room, and Memory Lane. The museum is only open on certain days, so if you intend to visit, please check their website first. In any case, it is a great place to visit especially when it has just begun to rain as it has now! Museum’s love the British summertime!

Filey Museum
Filey Museum

Filey Shopping Streets

Although Filey is a small town it does carry some busy shopping streets featuring high street retailers as well as independent shops too. Murray Street is one of the main shopping streets in Filey, just down the road from the bus and rail stations.

And don’t worry, there are plenty of opportunities for the traditional fish and chips, albeit not many people know that idea of battering fish originally began in Portugal. But not many people care about that, not when you’re hungry.

Also on Murray Street are these fantastic memorial gardens in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the Great War. Most towns and cities have them, including some villages too, but these gardens are quite tranquil which is ironic when we consider that the first world war was somewhat less than peaceful. There are benches available to sit on and reflect, and we instantly recognised them because they are the same design as we encountered in Malton. The garden has a variety of plants adorning it as well as a monument and flag centred in the plot. It would be a nice place to enjoy a breather for just a few moments.

A building I found to be interesting was Filey Post Office which also has an art gallery known as Gallery Eleven. The Gallery retails art, both originals and prints from Jane Took and driftwood sculptures from Ebb and Flo.

Also in the wall of the same building is a visitor information screen where you can receive local information.

Aforementioned, Filey is not short of places to stay and places to eat, and there are some attractive eating places on Belle Vue Street. It is Belle Vue Street that takes you to The Crescent, the area of land that was purchased by a Birmingham solicitor we mentioned earlier. This takes us to an area that looks similar to the Esplanade in Scarborough. These huge white and cream buildings really add to he beauty of Filey and its attractive seafront. However, they are not the only scenic attractions.

Crescent Gardens Filey

Filey North Yorkshire

The Cresent also takes you to Crescent Gardens which are a peaceful garden area that overlooks the North Sea. The gardens are more formal gardens but eventually meet Glen Gardens where we began our visit to Filey.

Crescent Gardens have a band stand where summer brass band concerts play on Sunday’s. There is also a cafe, but sadly we couldn’t film it as there were lots of children about which would violate YouTube’s terms. Crescent Gardens also meet Nun’s Walk Gardens. However, brass bands and gardens are not the only attractions on The Crescent because there is also Filey Maze to enjoy. These were officially opened by Edward Head in 2008, so they are just over ten years old. Regardless of age, you probably will have aged another ten years by the time you work out the puzzle. Fortunately, there are some seats opposite in case you get tired of waiting for others to work them out. Just say “I’m going to sit this one out if you don’t mind” and open a can of coke. I’m saying nothing.

Conclusion

Another landmark we thought we would point out is Filey Methodist Church. St Oswald’s is the oldest building in Filey, but this is probably the tallest spire in Filey, and it is opposite Murray Street mentioned earlier.

Another building we thought we’d mention is the Sea Cadets. We’re not press ganging you, but the gun outside is a British built deck gun which would have literally been on a deck. Have a great time when you visit Filey! Until next time!


Further Series Pertaining to North Yorkshire

The North Yorkshire Reporter

My North Yorkshire Walks Video Diaries

North Yorkshire Photography Workshop (Phovlography)

Britain’s Most Scenic Bus Route