Filey is a seaside town in North Yorkshire, England. It was traditionally a fishing village, catching sea trout from cobles, but it lacks a harbour - boats have to be dragged up the sands. So its fishermen couldn't compete with better-endowed ports and in the 19th C the village evolved into (and remains) a holiday resort.
Filey's long firm sandy beach stretches for 3 miles between the Brigg and Flamborough Head. From 1910 to 1912 it was a test field for early aviation, with Bleriots and other locally-designed aircraft juddering into the sky on shaky wings.
Filey is on a branch line between Hull and Scarborough, so you can get here in two ways: via York, changing at Seamer (just before Scarborough) for the train towards Hull, or at Hull north via Beverley and Bridlington. The branch line trains run daily but only every two hours or so, and the Seamer connection can be tight - if your train from York is late, ask the conductor if the Hull train can be held. But you'll probably be advised to stay on the train to Scarborough then take Bus 12 / 13 (see below), which doesn't go through Seamer.
1 Filey railway station is a sturdy old brick building with a small waiting room & toilet and ticket machine. Outside is a taxi office, a string of eating places, and the bus station.
From M1 / A1 take A64 east past York. This road gets very congested on summer weekends.
From South and Midlands follow M18 east onto M62. Leave at Howden, take A614 to Bridlington then A165. This road can likewise be slow-moving.
Travel news on Yorkshire Coast Radio (96.2FM) will cheerfully confirm that you are indeed stuck in a traffic jam.
There's very little parking by the seafront, as the esplanade huddles against a cliff. Try north end of town, eg round Church Ravine, or the country park towards the Brigg.
First reach Scarborough, eg on the hourly Transdev Coastliner 843 from Leeds via York and Malton. (A branch route of this bus used to go direct to Filey but was cancelled in 2018.) Then take East Yorkshire Bus 12 / 13, which runs south from Scarborough daily every 20 mins to Filey (30 mins) and Bridlington (another 30 min). It's a leisurely trip as the bus visits all the caravan parks along the coast.
From Hull take East Yorkshire Bus 121 to Bridlington. This runs hourly, daily, taking two hours via Beverley and Driffield. Then take the 12 / 13 bus for Filey. Filey bus station, 100 yards from the railway station, is just a big brick bus shelter with no facilities.
Bus 12 / 13 gets you along the coast, but the train gets you closer to Hunmanby (eg for the Distillery) and Bempton (for Flamborough Head).
Bike About Filey do bike hire and repairs. They're at 4 Hope St, open Tu-Sa 10:00-16:00.
- Sculpture along the promenade, such as High tide in short wellies aka Finlay, the great steel fisherman.
- Gardens: Crescent Gardens, off The Crescent mid-town, is a sedate municipal layout of rose beds and summer bedding plants, with a Victorian bandstand.
- Glen Gardens south edge of town is a more open space for ball games and picnics; there's a cafe. These were the gardens of Ravine Hall, which no longer stands.
- Nuns' Walk on the north edge of town is a wildlife space, formerly the convent gardens.
- Filey Museum, 8 Queen Street YO14 9HB. Apr-Oct. Closed until Easter 2019.
- 1 Filey Dams is a freshwater wetland (now rare in this area) at the east end of the village. See bird life, plants & newts. Reach it along Wharfedale Drive.
- 2 Filey Bird Garden & Animal Park is a kiddy-zoo with aviary and gardens, a mile west of town on Scarborough Rd. It's open Apr-May & Sept-Oct Tu-Su 10:00-16:00, Jun-Aug daily 10:00-17:00.
- 1 Filey Brigg is the rocky neck of land extending from the cliffs of Carr Naze. South of it, the coast is clay, which the sea has scooped out and is still busily eroding to form the bay. A path has been laid along the Brigg, reach it either along the beach or by the path descending from the car park at the top of the Naze. Get yourself out of there two hours before high tide, as a couple of low spots along the Brigg flood early and will cut you off.
- Along the cliff top, the Cleveland Way is a clear trail leading north-east to Scarborough, and eventually to Whitby. The southbound path leads through Filey to Flamborough Head and Bridlington.
- See Bridlington for Flamborough Head, the great white cliffs that curtain the south end of the bay.
- 2 Yorkshire Spirit Distillery, Hunmanby Industrial Estate YO14 0PH (2 miles south of Filey, 200 yards east of Hunmanby railway station). Tours M-Sa 11:00, 13:00 & 15:00, Su 13:00. They produce English whisky, first casked in 2016 so it will go on sale from autum 2019. Various tours and on Tuesday at 15:00 there's a combined tour with Wold Top Brewery, you'll need your own transport between them. Basic tour £5.
- Filey Folk Festival is next held Fri 3-Mon 6 May 2019.
- Filey Steampunk Weekend is held in May. The next event is Sat 28 & Sun 29 May 2019.
- Sterchi's sell their own handmade chocolates. They're at 11 Hope St and open daily 09:00-16:00.
- Lots of small eateries on or near the main street from railway & bus station down to the shore. They include Amparian (Spanish), Monsoon Indian, San Marco's & Bella Italia, Gold River & Golden Dragon (Chinese).
- Fish & chips sit-in places include Inghams (Belle Vue St), First Catch (Station Rd) and Dicky Bee's (Mitford St).
- Filey is a traditional resort: you eat fish & chips, you yell at the dog, you drink beer. So Filey pubs are faring better than in other villages. They include The Imperial on Hope St, Bonhommes on The Crescent, The Buccaneer on Union St, Foords Hotel and The Grapes on Queen St, The Star on Mitford St, The Station on Church St, and Cobble Bar north end of the prom. They're all open daily, mostly 11:00-23:00.
- Wold Top Brewery is based on a farm 5 miles southwest of Filey. It doesn't normally offer tours, but see the Distillery for the combined tour.
- Most visitors are just on day trips, or stay in one of the numerous caravan parks dotted along the coast.
- Small B&Bs include Cherries and Athol House both on West Ave, and White Rose on Southdean.
- 1 Downcliffe House Hotel, The Beach, Filey YO14 9LA, ☏ . Boutique hotel in beachfront Victorian building. With restaurant. B&B double from £70.
- White Lodge, The Crescent, Filey YO14 9JX, ☏ . 3-star in Victorian villa, sniffily proclaims that it's "not boutique". With restaurant. B&B double from £130.
- Scarborough (to the North), and Bridlington (to the South) are other towns worth visiting on this popular stretch of coast.