Filey, a fishing community turned tourist destination, is situated on a picturesque five-mile sandy bay.
In the north is Filey Brigg, a somber peninsula within walking distance of the town, and in the south lies the sandy Flamborough Head, an important seabird breeding location.
In the middle of the 19th century, wealthy tourists looking for a more tranquil vacation destination than Scarborough began to frequent Filey.
A lengthy series of mansions with formal gardens in front, The Crescent, is one of the lavish Victorian developments that line the coastline. The coastal and inland scenery is so breathtaking that you could lose yourself in it for days while hiking national trails and exploring nature preserves in search of wildlife.
Families can enjoy animal parks, water sports, and classic coastal attractions like pony rides and crazy golf.
Let’s look into the 20 top things to do in Filey.
- 1. Take a Picturesque Walk at Speeton Cliff
- 2. There’s Wildlife Galore at Filey Bird Garden & Animal Park
- 3. Enjoy the Outdoor Pursuits at Yorkshire Wolds Way and Cleveland Way
- 4. Taste the Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery
- 5. Walk Through the Filey Beach
- 6. Walk Through Filey Country Park
- 7. Offer Prayers at Oswald’s Church
- 8. Visit the Filey Evron Center
- 9. Gaze at the Green Farmlands at Hunmanby Circular
- 10. Explore the Geological Marvel at the Filey Brigg
- 11. Get up Close with Animals at Playdale Farm Park
- 12. Filey’s Full of water-based Adventure
- 13. Take a leisurely Stroll at the Crescent Gardens
- 14. Spot Puffins at Bempton Cliffs
- 15. Learn History at Filey Museum
- 16. Have fun at The Filey Detective Mysteries
- 17. Enjoy the Outdoor Pursuits at Flamborough Head
- 18. Spend an Evening at Glen Gardens
- 19. Hire a Bike to Pursue the Picturesque Outdoor Trails
- 20. Spend a day out at Filey Dams Nature Reserve
- Best Places to Eat in Filey
- Best Places to Stay in Filey
- When are You Planning Your Trip to Filey?
1. Take a Picturesque Walk at Speeton Cliff
Get to the top of the cliffs on North Flamborough by taking a lovely hike from the tiny settlement of Speeton.
You can enjoy the scenery and have a picnic with friends and family at one of Filey’s most picturesque tiny beaches where the walk ends.
Every day of the year, it is accessible to people and their four-legged pals. Take advantage of the free parking, put on some suitable shoes, and walk down to the sandy beach.
One of the best things to do in Filey where you won’t regret adding this picturesque site to your itinerary just as the sun is setting.
2. There’s Wildlife Galore at Filey Bird Garden & Animal Park
The Filey Bird Garden & Animal Park, located on the town’s western outskirts, shelters parakeets, greenhouses, and animal habitats.
There is a wide variety of birds, including eagles, doves, wild turkeys, fowl, rat terriers, and parrots. The birds are the main attraction.
There are also stables for alpacas, miniature foals, and donkeys, goats, bearded dragons, scorpions, wildebeests, and a 60-year-old tortoise.
The park also features three gardens and spaces for wildlife such as a palm grove, forest, seed bed, and wetland.
3. Enjoy the Outdoor Pursuits at Yorkshire Wolds Way and Cleveland Way
Surprisingly, Filey sits at the junction of not one, but two National Trails.
The first is the 79-mile Yorkshire Wolds Way, which connects Hessle on the north bank of the Humber Estuary with Filey. It traverses into Yorkshire Wolds which is a group of low chalk hills.
One of the best things to do at Filey is you have to catch up the trail inland that allows you to walk ten miles to the village of Ganton through a meandering landscape.
A 110-mile route known as the Cleveland Way begins in Helmsley, North Yorkshire, and follows the North York Moors.
The footpath follows the coast from Filey, so you could walk to Scarborough in the morning. You can have lunch in the famed resort, and then take the train back home.
4. Taste the Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery
The distillery opened its doors in 2016 and manufactures the first single malt whisky to be produced in Yorkshire.
The barley and spring water are even obtained from the family farm, making all the ingredients homegrown.
You can take one of the four tours offered daily, Monday through Saturday, to see the four-plate copper column and the distillery’s two largest Forsyth pot stills outside of Scotland.
Your tour guide will go over the process of manufacturing whiskey in detail and point you to the many casks where you can sample the malt as it ages.
5. Walk Through the Filey Beach
One of the top places to visit in Filey that draws crowds from all over Europe, especially in the summer. It is the gorgeous five-mile sandy beach, which is flanked by the limestone cliffs of Filey Brigg and Flamborough Head.
The beach features a vintage promenade and beach bungalows that are available for rent at Filey Beach from March to September.
Look for Cobble Landing, where boats are hauled onto the shore and is the main highlight of the beach.
To the north, Foley Beach curves around to the foot of Filey Brigg, exposing rock pools teeming with sea life at low tide.
On bright days, children can ride ponies in front of the village. There are also lifeguards, a cafe/restaurant, restroom, and a first aid station.
6. Walk Through Filey Country Park
Filey Country Park is great for a peaceful day out in a location rich in geological history.
No matter if you’re seeking the ideal location to fly a kite on windy days or just want a place for your dog to run about, this is one of the top places to visit in Filey.
The area offers some great views of the Filey shore, and while the kids are at the local playground, you can relax and take in the surroundings.
If you’re lucky, you might even see some whales and dolphins, making your vacation even more unforgettable.
7. Offer Prayers at Oswald’s Church
St. Oswald’s Church is placed on Grade I. It features the ancient ruins dating to between the 1100s and 1400s, and is the oldest structure in the town.
Today it is one of the top Filey attractions that was restored by Arts and Crafts architect William Swinden Barber at the turn of the 20th century. It features a castle-like bell-tower, which is a defining aspect of his creations.
You can spend some time admiring the stained glass, Medieval stonework, and ancient stones in the huge graveyard.
8. Visit the Filey Evron Center
What to do in Filey to catch art performances? The Evron Center, which overlooks Filey Bay, is a multiple attractions facility that serves the arts theater, business center, and conference hall.
The 120-seat theater is regularly used to screen films, host tribute acts, and stage traveling productions.
Cover artists are the most common performers here. The performances in the summer of 2018 featured Pink Floyd, Cage of the Elephant, Abba, Motown singers, and many more.
The Evron also houses Filey’s visitor center, where you can learn about upcoming events. You can pick up flyers to gain info on upcoming events and performances.
9. Gaze at the Green Farmlands at Hunmanby Circular
There isn’t a better way to explore Filey’s stunning coastline than by taking a stroll across lush fields.
The Hunmanby Circular walk begins in Filey and lasts approximately three hours. It gives you ample opportunity to explore Yorkshire’s wide countryside as well as the historic and charming village of Hunmanby.
Open all year, you can take the whole family for a brisk morning walk or make a day of it by stopping and taking in the various sites.
One of Filey’s undiscovered jewels is the ultimate adventurous activity.
10. Explore the Geological Marvel at the Filey Brigg
This long and thin peninsula, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, flanks Filey Bay to the north.
One reason that makes it unique is the geology of the peninsula. Its 20-meter cliffs are made of a mix of limestone and dolomite.
You can see waders like redshanks, flycatchers, and kittiwakes in the intertidal zone at the base of the cliffs. In 1857, the archaeologists discovered a Roman signal installation on the peninsula. Five foundation stones from this site can now be seen at Filey’s Crescent Gardens.
Filey Brigg juts out into the North Sea and can get very windy, but it’s worth it for the breathtaking views back into the harbor.
11. Get up Close with Animals at Playdale Farm Park
The Playdale Farm Park, one of the top places to visit in Filey where kids can get up close to animals, is open from spring to fall.
Children can pet sheep, llamas, goats, a donkey, pigs, alpacas, ducks, and goats in addition to more tiny animals like hedgehogs and budgies.
If you visit in the spring, kids can try their hand at bottle-feeding newborn lambs.
Additionally, there is pedal go-karting, a frisbee golf course, a play area, and a zip line. On wet days, the haystack barn and an indoor soft play area are available for indoor enjoyment.
12. Filey’s Full of water-based Adventure
Looking for some fun things to do in Filey? You can choose from a wide variety of sports, and Filey’s coastline will put you in the mood for some water-based fun adventure.
The first is coasteering, an exhilarating combination of climbing, trekking, and diving that involves climbing cliffs, venturing into smugglers’ caves, and diving into pools while wearing life jackets, thermal suits, and headgear.
The local business Bay Watersports offers gear and instruction for coasteering as well as other sports including kiteboarding, canoeing, and dinghy sailing. Bay Watersports has variable hours to accommodate shifting weather and tides.
13. Take a leisurely Stroll at the Crescent Gardens
Crescent Gardens, at its most exquisite, is a lovely green space. Basically, it comprises a terrace of mudbrick townhouses from the mid 19th century.
The formal, beautiful gardens are built for residents to stroll around. It features a pavilion, geometrical potted plants, and stunning vistas of the bay.
Summertime brings out brass bands at the bandstand. Frederick Delius was brought up at Crescent No. 24 before returning as a legendary music composer.
The grounds feature a cafe and a children’s play area. It also offers a spectacular view of the coast from Filey Brigg down to the Bempton Cliffs on Flamborough Head.
14. Spot Puffins at Bempton Cliffs
The Flamborough Headland Heritage Coast has five miles of picturesque cliffs, and is one of the natural preserves to enjoy all your outdoor pursuits.
The nooks and ridges in these chalk cliffs provide ideal mating nesting locations for Atlantic seabirds, greenfinches, marsh harriers. It is the only breeding gull colony on mainland England from late winter to mid-summer.
Here, the RSPB maintains a visitor center and six secure cliff-edge platforms with unobstructed views of the nests.
When you visit between April and July, you can see puffins coming in from the sea with colorful sand eels.
15. Learn History at Filey Museum
The two 17th-century houses that house the Filey Museum were saved from demolition in the 1960s and opened to the public in 1971.
One of these cottages has a plaque with the words “The fear of God be in you” and the date 1696 on the whitewashed exterior.
The seven rooms of the accolade-winning museum include the Victorian Room, which features a simulation of Victorian family life with real furnishings, a harmonium, and a treadle sewing machine.
You may learn about the geology and ecology of the seashore, as well as an exhibition honoring and chronicling local lifeboatmen and their sea rescues. It also features a section for rural trades, which contains old training, cutting tools, and balances.
16. Have fun at The Filey Detective Mysteries
If you’re looking for something fun and exciting for the whole family, why not put on your thinking caps and head over to the Filey Detective Mystery Trail?
A 2-mile walking trail in Filey with a detective theme is perfect for anyone who enjoy discovering new places. You have a chance to win £100 during the roughly two-hour event.
If you want to start right away, ask for the trail map to be given to you in the mail before you visit Filey or download it to your phone.
17. Enjoy the Outdoor Pursuits at Flamborough Head
To the south, an eight-mile chalk promontory supports enormous colonies of seabirds in its bumpy rocks, and is one of the popular attractions in Filey.
These are the only chalk cliffs in northern England, and they reach a height of just over 100 meters.
You’ll discover two lighthouses if you head to the promontory’s tip.
Even though it was never lit, the octagonal chalk tower in this location, dates back to 1674, is the oldest lighthouse still in operation in England.
The 1806-old working light is occasionally open for visits.
18. Spend an Evening at Glen Gardens
A park south of The Crescent was designed in the 18th century when it belonged to the long-gone Ravine Hall.
The mansion was long since destroyed, and now a cafe stands in its place in the middle of the park.
Glen Gardens is more relaxed than its neighbor which features wildlife areas, mini golf, a putting green, a boating reservoir, a children’s play area, and plenty of places to sit and enjoy the coastline views.
19. Hire a Bike to Pursue the Picturesque Outdoor Trails
The trails and treks in Filey are excellent, but if you want to take things a step further, you can always rent a bike.
Visit Bikeabout in Filey Town Center to rent bikes of various sizes. Simply go on a bike ride or soak into the picturesque setting, or bring along your family, this place has something for everyone.
Select the trail you want to ride, then head to Bikeabout to add some more action to your Filey visit.
20. Spend a day out at Filey Dams Nature Reserve
Spend the day at Filey Dams to connect with the natural world. You can bring friends and relatives who also enjoy birdwatching to this excellent location.
It’s also known as Filey’s last freshwater marsh, and it’s a great place to find new plants, rare amphibians, and small mammals.
The six-hectare property is free to enter and has a parking lot for easy access. You can enjoy the many walks and observe the local animals grazing as you stroll through the area.
It’s unique and should be seen at least once during your travels, and among the top filey attractions.
Best Places to Eat in Filey
Those staying in the neighborhood for a staycation or a day trip have a wide variety of restaurants to choose from in Filey. We’ve put together this handy guide of Filey’s eateries to help you plan ahead and prevent last-minute disagreements over where to eat…
(i) The Star Inn
There is a delightful little children’s menu available, as well as a wonderful mix of British and foreign meals. There are, of course, many fish and seafood options available, such as Jumbo Scampi with Shrimp and a dish called Oyster, Lobster, and Scallop Risotto that sounds delectable. For a hearty main dish, choose from dishes like the 10 oz. ribeye steak, the slow-roasted lamb backbone, the hunters chicken, and more. The main courses begin at £11.95.
Address – 23 Mitford St, Filey YO14 9DX
(ii) San Marco Restaurant
One of the busiest restaurants in Filey is called San Marco. Here, you may savor delectable Italian cuisine in a warm environment. All the traditional Italian fare, such as pizza, pasta, meat, fish, and vegetarian options, are available. Daily deals are always available here, so keep an eye out for something different to try as well. Luca Masucci, the restaurant’s owner and head chef, uses authentic Italian recipes to produce the meals.
Address – 13 Murray St, Filey YO14 9DA
(iii) Filey Bistro & Coffee Lounge
Despite its diminutive size, Filey Bistro & Coffee Lounge has a lot of personality. The only time you may eat here is during the day, yet it delivers scrumptious homemade cuisine and sweet sweets in a charming setting. For outdoor dining and drinking, they also have a beautiful little courtyard at the back. Their menu ought to be able to satisfy your needs, whether you’re searching for a hearty hot main to refuel after a day of walking or a hearty cooked breakfast. Vegetarians can choose from a wide variety of dishes.
Address – 22 Murray St, Filey YO14 9DG
(iv) The Glasshouse at Charlotte’s
The Bronte Vinery and Charlottes of Filey merged to create the magnificent The Glasshouse at Charlotte’s. This lovely dining spot is one you won’t want to miss because it was constructed underneath the second-oldest grapevine in the UK. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and their menu items are straightforward but expertly prepared.
Address – 40 Belle Vue St, Filey YO14 9HY
Best Places to Stay in Filey
Searching for the top hotels in Filey? This cozy hamlet won’t disappoint you from its range of accommodations.
If you’re looking for a hotel room with a view of the sea, a cozy bed and breakfast, or a place to set up your caravan, Filey is the place for you to look. Some of the options include –
(i) Merry Dale and Swallows Nest Cottages
It has a private outdoor hot tub beneath a pergola with festoon lighting, a log burner, and a free-view TV on the wall. The property also features two bedrooms, each with an en suite bathroom, under-floor heating, and comfortable beds. Swallows Nest Cottage is nestled in a peaceful corner of the courtyard and features two en-suite bathrooms, a huge lounge, a great kitchen, and a dining space.
Address – Humble Bee Farm, Flixton, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO11 3UJ
(ii) Dale Farm Cottage
It has three bedrooms and three baths and was formerly a farmhand’s cottage. It is cozy in the winter, with a log burner in the sitting room and a sunny conservatory that extends into the garden. A well-equipped kitchen and eating area are also there. It even has a pizza oven! Free WiFi and parking too!
Address – Dale Farm, Bartindale Road, Hunmanby, North Yorkshire, YO14 0JD
(iii) Blue Dolphin Holiday Park
You won’t quickly forget our breathtaking coastal views. That’s because, after walking over the huge open green and over a stile, the cliff tops offer a natural viewing platform over miles and miles of water. And from here, you may take the sloping path that goes down the coast three miles down to Filey Beach. If the weather isn’t cooperating, bring the family to our indoor pool and multi-lane waterslide.
Address – Blue Dolphin Holiday Park, Gristhorpe Bay, Filey, North Yorkshire, YO14 9PU
(iv) Primrose Valley Holiday Park
Once families get here, we see that most of them cannot stop grinning. As soon as you set eyes on our huge, exquisitely designed, action-packed park, you’ll understand why. Once inside, you’ll notice our climbing wall, all-weather multi-sports courts, and fairground on the left, followed by the lakes with bumper boats, open green play areas, and lastly our welcome area. You still have our beach, pools, restaurants, and ShowBars to explore after all of that; this is just the beginning.
Address – Primrose Valley Holiday Park, Near Filey, North Yorkshire, YO14 9RF
When are You Planning Your Trip to Filey?
So, if you are looking for a beautiful, beachy town filled with mouthwatering seafood, there are indeed plenty of things to do in Filey. From seeing the stunning scenery and relaxing at the beach to renting golf carts and climbing the cliffs of Flamborough Head, this historic fishing village offers plenty of fun attractions.
With numerous beaches, historic buildings, antique stores and museums that are ideal for a day out, Filey is certainly worth adding to your bucket list. So pack your bags and give yourself a mini-vacation with your loved ones.