Things to Do in Filey: Your Ultimate Guide to Seaside Adventure

9 months ago   •   11 min read

By More Yorkshire
Table of contents

Things To Do In Filey

Nestled in North Yorkshire, the charming seaside town of Filey offers a tranquil coastal escape. With its expansive sandy beach, a promenade lined with quaint shops and cafes, and a variety of attractions catering to diverse interests, Filey is perfect for those seeking to unwind and explore the natural beauty of the English coast.

From the striking Filey Brigg, ideal for bird watching and rock pooling, to the Filey Dams Nature Reserve and the town's captivating fishing heritage showcased at the Filey Museum, there's something for everyone.

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy scenic walking and cycling routes, while families and couples can bask in the town's timeless charm and relaxed atmosphere.

Filey invites visitors to immerse themselves in the simple pleasures of coastal life, making it an ideal destination for a rejuvenating getaway!

Discovering Filey Beach

Filey Beach, renowned for its stunning views and extensive coastline, is an ideal destination for visitors looking to indulge in seaside activities and enjoy the natural beauty of North Yorkshire.

Sunbathing and Swimming

An aerial view of Filey beach and Filey Brigg

With its golden sand that stretches for miles, Filey Beach is a prime spot for sunbathing. During the summer months, lifeguards are on duty, ensuring a safe swimming environment. The water quality is typically high, inviting for both swimmers and paddlers alike. Visitors can embrace the therapeutic sea air while enjoying a dip in the refreshing waters of Filey Bay.

Walking on the Promenade

Coastal walking path alongside Filey beach

Guests can take pleasure in a leisurely stroll along the Filey's promenade, which offers a spectacular panoramic view of the North Sea. The flat walking surface ensures an accessible experience for everyone, including those with pushchairs or wheelchairs. Along the way, one might find picnic areas where visitors can pause to appreciate the seaside ambiance.

Outdoor Adventures

Filey beckons with a variety of outdoor activities for adventurers and families alike, offering everything from scenic hiking trails and cycling routes to an array of watersports to suit every taste and skill level.

Hiking the Trails

A sign for Yorkshire Wold's Way walk

Visitors can immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Filey by walking its well-marked trails. The Cleveland Way National Trail presents a mix of coastal and countryside paths, with panoramic views stretching over the rugged coastline. Each trail is mapped to cater to different experiences, from leisurely strolls to more challenging hikes.

Cycling Routes

Cycling enthusiasts can explore the numerous cycle paths that navigate through Filey's picturesque settings. The well-established routes allow cyclists to discover the town and its surrounding areas at their own pace, ensuring a refreshing blend of exercise and sightseeing. Safety gear and planning are highly recommended for an enjoyable experience.


Sail boats on the North Sea

Filey's coastline is a playground for watersport activities. Thrill-seekers can partake in kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, both excellent ways to traverse the waters and explore the coastline's hidden coves. Sailing in Filey offers an idyllic experience, with equipment hire and lessons available for all levels. Adventurers can also experience the exhilaration of coasteering, navigating the rocky shoreline by jumping, swimming, and climbing under safe guidance.

Historical Attractions

Filey's rich history is preserved in its monuments and buildings, offering an insightful journey into the town's past for any history enthusiast.

Visiting Filey Museum

Front shot of Filey Museum

Filey Museum stands as a testament to the town's heritage, housed within a preserved 17th-century fisherman's cottage. Its collections narrate the transformation of Filey from a quaint fishing and farming village into a seaside resort. Visitors will find a range of exhibits detailing local history, maritime activities, and the town's evolution.

Exploring St Oswald’s Church

St Oswald's church

St Oswald’s Church in Filey is a revered historical monument. Its structure embodies centuries of religious and communal life. The church grounds are home to an old graveyard, adding a poignant touch to the exploration of Filey's history. Inside, one discovers beautiful architecture and serene spaces, reflecting the town's significance throughout the ages.

Wildlife and Nature

Filey offers vibrant wildlife and serene natural landscapes, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers. From the bustling seabird colonies on the cliffs to the quiet of a nature reserve, visitors have various opportunities to engage with the natural world.

Birdwatching at Bempton Cliffs

Action shot of a puffin landing on Bempton Cliffs

Bempton Cliffs is renowned for its dramatic coastline and as a haven for seabirds. From March to October, visitors can observe a plethora of species including gannets, razorbills, and puffins. The cliffs are one of the best places in the UK to experience birdwatching, as they attract more than 250,000 seabirds annually for breeding.

Filey Dams Nature Reserve

Large pond of water in Filey Dams

Filey Dams Nature Reserve is a cherished locale for its flora and fauna. It is the last remaining freshwater marsh of its kind in the area, serving as a sanctuary for various wildlife species. Visitors can expect to see watervoels, as well as an array of insects and plants thriving in this carefully preserved habitat, indicative of the rich ecological diversity of Filey.

Rock Pooling at Filey Brigg

For those interested in marine biology or simply seeking a leisurely activity, rock pooling at Filey Brigg presents an opportunity to discover an underwater world teeming with life. With careful observation, rock poolers can uncover crabs, anemones, fish, and starfish. Rock pooling is not only enjoyable but also educational, offering insights into the marine ecosystem right at the shore.

Family Activities in Filey

Filey offers a variety of engaging and educational family activities within its natural and farm-based attractions, featuring a range of animals and play areas for children of all ages.

Playdale Farm Park

Play area for kids
Image Source:

Playdale Farm Park is a delight for families seeking both fun and educational experiences. Children can interact directly with domestic animals, making it an excellent platform for them to learn about animal care and farming practices. Highlights at the farm include watching meerkats, engaging with alpacas, and enjoying a bearded dragon encounter. The park also offers a tractor ride, providing a joyful adventure for young ones as they explore the farm.

  • Animals: Meerkats, Alpacas, Domestic Animals
  • Activities: Tractor Rides, Animal Encounters

Filey Bird Garden and Animal Park

Red-necked wallaby eating a leaf

Filey Bird Garden and Animal Park invites families to explore a variety of avian and animal species in beautifully tended gardens. It provides a serene setting where one can observe and learn about different kinds of birds and animals. Visitors have the opportunity to see and learn about animals such as bearded dragons in close quarters, and the park's environment encourages leisurely strolls and picnics.

  • Attractions: Gardens, Variety of Bird Species
  • Educational Value: Animal Learning Experience

Leisure and Relaxation

Filey offers tranquil spots for leisure and relaxation amidst its natural beauty and well-kept gardens. Visitors looking for quietude can find solace in the serene settings of Crescent Gardens and Glen Gardens.

Flamborough Head

Aerial shot of Flamborough Head and the beach in the bay

The stunning chalk cliffs of Flamborough Head provide a majestic backdrop to observe seabirds, seals, and occasionally even dolphins. With its rich marine life and the possibility of spotting puffins, Flamborough Head offers a remarkable wildlife experience.

Not only that, but due to the long cliffs in the bay, the waters are usually calm enough to take a dip on those warmer days.

Crescent Gardens

Beautiful colourful flowers in Crescent Gardens, Filey

Crescent Gardens are a testament to Filey's dedication to beauty and nature. Located in the heart of the town, the gardens offer a peaceful retreat with stunning floral displays and manicured lawns. They provide a picturesque view of the bay, making it a perfect spot for those who appreciate the harmony of nature and the elegance of landscape gardening.

Glen Gardens

Small pedal boat lake in Glen Gardens, Filey
Image Source:

These delightful gardens embody tranquillity. Glen Gardens are renowned for their relaxed atmosphere and the variety of activities available. They feature:

  • Play areas: Ideal for families with children.
  • Miniature golf: A fun, low-intensity sport suitable for all ages.
  • Boating lake: Visitors can rent rowing boats for a calm experience on the water.

Visitors can also enjoy the seasonal colours, with vibrant flower beds in spring and richly hued leaves in autumn. These gardens offer a natural sanctuary for relaxation and leisurely strolls.

Food and Drink Experiences

Filey's culinary scene provides a feast for the senses, offering diverse dining options and unique tasting experiences that cater to every palate.

Cafes and Restaurants

Small red cafe called Bramwell's Tea Room in Filey

Filey boasts an assortment of cafés and restaurants that serve up delicious fare for visitors. They can enjoy a casual lunch at a beachfront eatery with views of the sea, or indulge in a more intimate dining experience at a family-friendly spot. Local producers are often spotlighted, bringing fresh, Yorkshire produce to the table. Below is a selection of places that have garnered acclaim:

  • The Brigg Café: Renowned for its hearty breakfasts and stunning seaside views.
  • Cobble Bar & Bistro: Offers a modern twist on classic British dishes.

The Spirit of Yorkshire Tasting

The Belle Vue pub in Filey centre

For those interested in the finer side of beverages, the Spirit of Yorkshire provides a sophisticated tasting experience. Visitors can explore the intricacies of whisky production and enjoy samples of the distillery's finest. The Spirit of Yorkshire prides itself on being the county's first single malt whisky distillery, and their sessions are a testament to their craftsmanship.

  • Location: Located just inland from Filey, making it an easy trip for those looking to expand their palate.
  • Tours & Tastings: Regular tours include a guided tasting and the opportunity to purchase their exclusive spirits.

Scenic Tours and Guides

Filey, nestled in the heart of North Yorkshire, offers visitors an array of scenic tours, each led by knowledgeable guides who bring the picturesque landscapes and geological marvels to life.

The Yorkshire Wolds Way

The Yorkshire Wolds Way is a captivating national trail that unfolds over 79 miles of gentle, rolling countryside. It begins in Hessle, near Hull, and concludes in the seaside town of Filey. Tourists can partake in guided walks that span portions of the trail, granting a comprehensive view of the East Riding of Yorkshire's serene beauty.

  • Starting Point: Hessle
  • End Point: Filey
  • Highlight: Captivating landscapes of the Yorkshire Wolds

Guides typically have thorough knowledge of the local flora and fauna, enriching the experience with insights into the area's natural history.

Coastal Geology Tours

Filey's coast, a stone's throw from Scarborough and Bridlington, is renowned for its striking geological features. Coastal geology tours provide a deep dive into the astonishing cliffs and rock formations that define the region.

  • Focal Points: Flamborough Head Peninsula, Filey Brigg
  • Discoveries: Unique rock formations and fossils

These tours often focus on the geology of Flamborough Head, a peninsula known for its dramatic white chalk cliffs and seabird colonies, and Filey Brigg, where visitors can explore tide pools and cliff-top paths. Guides elucidate the ancient geological processes that sculpted the striking coastal features seen today.

Art and Culture

Filey’s investment in art and culture is evident through its local galleries and public events that celebrate the town's history and love for the arts. Visitors can immerse themselves in vibrant community gatherings and explore the town's artistic creations.

Exploring Local Art

Large lobster sculpture on the mini golf course on the coast of Filey beach

Filey fosters a flourishing art scene which is supported by numerous local galleries. These establishments display a diverse array of art pieces, ranging from traditional paintings to contemporary crafts. These galleries not only exhibit the work of local artists but also often feature pieces that reflect Filey's rich cultural heritage. Art enthusiasts can meander through these spaces, appreciating the carefully curated collections that provide insight into the town's artistic identity.

Bandstand Events

The bandstand in Filey serves as a cultural hub for a variety of events throughout the year. It houses performances that showcase both local and visiting talent. The schedule includes:

  • Concerts: Live music ranges from classical orchestral pieces to modern-day genres, resonating with an audience of all ages.
  • Cultural Celebrations: Festivals and events at the bandstand are windows into Filey's traditions and community spirit, often accompanied by historical narratives that enrich the experience.

Each event at the bandstand not only entertains but also educates attendees about Filey's cultural landscape.

Coastal Landmarks

Filey presents a wealth of coastal landmarks that are a must-see for visitors. Its iconic peninsula offers dramatic cliffs and expansive sea views, while architectural wonders tell a story of maritime history and cultural heritage.

Filey Brigg Peninsula

The cliffs of Filey Brigg

The Filey Brigg Peninsula, a distinctive promontory, boasts a wealth of natural beauty and geological wonder. With cliffs that offer a vantage point over the North Sea, it's a favoured spot for bird watching and exploring rock pools. The Brigg itself is known for its rich marine life, making it a popular site for both amateur and experienced anglers.

Lighthouses and Architecture

Filey's coastline is punctuated by lighthouses that historically safeguarded its treacherous shores. While some are private residences now, their distinct architecture continues to fascinate visitors. Beyond their practical purpose, they offer compelling sea views that contribute to the charm of Filey's seaside experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Filey offers a diverse range of activities tailored for families, pet owners, couples, and individuals looking for entertainment or relaxation regardless of the weather.

What family-friendly activities can be enjoyed in Filey?

Families can explore Filey Bird Garden and Animal Park, which features a collection of exotic species and farm animals, making it an ideal destination for a day out with children. The park covers 5 acres of land, providing an engaging outdoor experience.

Can you suggest some outdoor activities in Filey suitable for pet owners?

Pet owners can take pleasure in long walks along Filey Beach, where dogs are welcomed during certain times of the year. Additionally, many coastal paths offer splendid views and pet-friendly routes.

What romantic spots can couples visit in Filey?

Couples can find romance strolling along the beautiful Filey Beach at sunset or by exploring the quaint shops and eateries in the town. The serenity of Filey Brigg provides a picturesque backdrop for a romantic outing.

Are there any engaging activities for adults in Filey?

Adults looking for leisure can enjoy golfing at Filey Golf Club or explore the town's heritage at the Filey Museum. The bracing coastal walks also offer a refreshing experience.

What are the best indoor activities in Filey during inclement weather?

During rainy days, visitors can indulge in local history at Filey Museum or enjoy the friendly atmosphere of the town's traditional pubs and cafés, which serve as cozy retreats.

Where can one experience the Filey nightlife?

Nightlife in Filey is more subdued, focusing on enjoying seafront restaurants and pubs that offer a selection of local ales, live music, and a welcoming ambience for evening entertainment.

Enjoyed reading?
Save for later or share with friends on Pinterest!

Spread the word

Keep reading