The best things to do in Filey holiday cottages

The best things to do in Filey

Julie Smith 27 October 2021

With a huge swathe of sandy beach, gorgeous formal gardens and traditional fishing boats lined up on the historic Coble Landing, Filey is one of the Yorkshire Coast’s finest seaside resorts and marks the end of the Cleveland Way National Trail. It’s also generally much quieter at Filey than at Yorkshire Coast hotspots such as Whitby and Scarborough so is just right for a relaxing seaside getaway with family or friends. 

To help you plan the perfect escape to this elegant Edwardian town, here are some of the best things to do in Filey:

#01 Visit Filey Bird Garden and Animal Park

Butterfly on wild flowers

Filey Bird Garden and Animal Park is one of the area’s most popular attractions and includes wildflower meadows, wildlife ponds, landscaped gardens and a collection of friendly animals.

  • The Formal Gardens at the attraction are made up of four different sections, with gazebos, arbours and various seating areas where you can watch a selection of exotic birds soar above you. 
  • An interactive Sensory Garden which is reached through a 30-foot willow tunnel will stimulate your senses with an array of colours, textures and scents.
  • Mown pathways allow you to wander through pretty Wildlife Meadows which are home to a collection of bees and butterflies.  
  • Children will love meeting the park’s animals, which include meerkats, alpacas, wallabies, Shetland ponies and donkeys, which you can help to feed. 

#02 Spot wildlife from Filey Brigg

Filey Brigg

One of the finest viewpoints on the Yorkshire Coast and a wonderful place for spotting wildlife, Filey Brigg is a long, narrow peninsula that’s around a mile north of the town. It’s a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its unique geology which dates back 150 million years and a nature reserve where you can spot winter wading birds and migrating seabirds. 

  • The peninsula is part of Filey Country Park where you can relax in around 9 acres of open grassland and enjoy dog walks and picnics with views out to sea. There’s also a wooded ravine to explore in the country park and a children’s play area.
  • From the country park, you can walk to the top of Filey Brigg. The remains of a Roman signal station can be seen here, and it’s one of the best places to look out to sea - you may well spot dolphins and whales.

#03 Spend time at Filey Beach

Things to do in Filey - Filey beach

Filey Beach is regularly named as one of the UK’s finest stretches of sand and was awarded the title ‘Beach of the Year’ by The Times in 2018. With 5 miles of golden sand curving around the bay, Filey Beach is perfect for long walks, flying a kite or just stretching out on a blanket while the kids build a sandcastle.  

  • A seafront sculpture along the promenade at Filey showcases a number of artworks inspired by the town’s fishing heritage. You’ll also find a small selection of cafes and shops to call in at as you make your way along the promenade.  
  • The area of beach close to Filey Brigg is perfect for exploring rock pools with the kids, and there is also a selection of children’s rides on the promenade along with colourful beach huts that are perfect for a family-friendly day out at the seaside.
  • Filey has a dog-friendly beach if you fancy walking across the sand with four-legged friends, although there are some restrictions between May and September. The gentle slope on the beach also makes it really safe for paddling if you fancy dipping your toes into the sea. 

#04 Explore a Filey garden

Things to do in Filey - Crescent Gardens

There are a couple of gorgeous Victorian gardens to visit during a getaway to Filey, where you can stroll among pretty flowerbeds, enjoy a family picnic together and play with your children and four-legged friends.

  • Crescent Gardens features vibrant flowers and fragrant rosebeds, with seating where you can enjoy views across Filey Promenade and out to sea. There’s a cafe here where you can enjoy light refreshments, a wishing well and the Nun’s Walk wildlife gardens.
  • Filey Bandstand is part of Crescent Gardens and you can enjoy regular music performances from a selection of Yorkshire brass bands during the summer season. 
  • Glen Gardens features lots of things to keep kids entertained, including Crazy Golf, Pitch and Putt, Trampolines, Go Karts and a boating lake. The wide-open spaces here are great for ball games, and there’s a children’s play area with swings and slides. 

#05 Walk the Cleveland Way or Yorkshire Wolds Way

Things to do in Filey - Cleveland Way

Filey is the end point for both the 109-mile Cleveland Way National Trail and the 79-mile Yorkshire Wolds Way. The Cleveland Way follows the cliff-top paths of the Yorkshire Coast and either ends or starts in Filey (depending on which way you are walking), and the Yorkshire Wolds Way winds its way through parkland and rolling green countryside. 

  • We recommend catching a train to nearby Scarborough and then walking the 10.5-mile waymarked Cleveland Way trail back to Filey. It’s fairly level here so is suitable for most people, and there are wonderful cliff-top views as you make your way to Filey Brigg.
  • Around halfway along this walk is Cayton Bay, a peaceful beach with a cafe where you can stop for refreshments. Lebberston Cliff at the end of the bay affords one of the coastal views along the route, with mile upon mile of far-reaching sea and sky.
  • If you’re looking for a circular walk, you can head along the Yorkshire Wolds Way and through rolling countryside to the village of Hunmanby, where you can pick up the Centenary Way for the return journey back to Filey. 

#06 Go surfing at Cayton Bay

Things to do Filey - Surfing

Over recent years Yorkshire has become one of the UK’s leading surfing destinations, and Cayton Bay near Filey is one of the finest places on the coast to catch a wave. The coastal cove is renowned for its consistent waves, and the peaceful dog-friendly beach is far away from the hustle and bustle of Yorkshire’s larger seaside resorts.

  • Scarborough Surf School is based at Cayton Bay and offers equipment hire and lessons to help you take to the water. Coasteering sessions are also available around the cliffs of Cayton Bay.
  • If you fancy trying your hand at windsurfing, Filey Sailing Club is based near the town’s beach and offers training for all ages and abilities on most weekends during the summer season. Dinghy and powerboat sailing courses are also available.

#07 Head down Coble Landing

Things to do Filey - Coble Landing

The cobbled slipway that leads down to the beach in Filey is known as Coble Landing. It’s home to a number of wooden boats ready to head out to sea, with traditional fishing pots to haul in their catch of the day. There are a number of seats along the slipway where you can relax and enjoy the views out to sea.

  • A range of seasonal stalls line the slipway, and you can buy everything here from ice creams to souvenirs of your seaside stay.
  • They say that fish and chips taste best at the seaside, and you can tuck into some freshly caught cod from the takeaway shop on Filey’s Coble Landing.
  • The Coble Landing at Filey is also home to Holdsworth’s Amusements where you’ll find traditional 2p machines and classic arcade games.

#08 Relax in a Filey pub or restaurant

Things to do in Filey

After a day spent walking along the Cleveland Way or exploring rock pools on the beach, you’ll find a good selection of Filey pubs and restaurants where you can enjoy good food, relax with a drink and watch the world go by. Here are some of our favourites:

  • The Boat Shed - this stylish bar is just a short walk from the beach and specialises in pizzas, gin and cocktails, and is a great place for an evening with friends. 
  • The Ship Inn - a traditional dog-friendly seaside pub where you’ll find a warm and welcoming bar and home-cooked classics on the menu, including an excellent Sunday lunch. 
  • The Star - a family-run pub by the sea that serves real ales, a range of local seafood and comes with a large beer garden that’s ideal for the warmer summer months.
  • San Marco Ristorante - this family-friendly Italian restaurant has a prime spot in town and offers a range of tasty pizza and pasta dishes.

Plan your getaway to Filey

Filey on the Yorkshire Coast

If you have been inspired to visit Filey on the Yorkshire Coast, you’ll find a range of lovely Yorkshire cottages where you can rest your head. It’s also worth venturing further afield during your getaway - head north to the bustling resort of Scarborough or south to see thousands of migrating seabirds at Bempton Cliffs or Flamborough. 

Whether you’re looking for a cosy romantic retreat or a family-friendly holiday home where you can spend memorable time together, browse our full range of Filey cottages to find your perfect base. For even more Yorkshire Coast inspiration, read our blogs on Whitby, Scarborough and Robin Hood's Bay

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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