The best things to do in Filey holiday cottages

The best things to do in Filey

Emily 09 January 2024

Halfway between Scarborough and Bridlington, you may think that Filey would be overshadowed by its larger neighbours, but think again, this beautiful Yorkshire seaside town has an identity and energy all of its own. The glorious beach offers a multitude of activities, from beachcombing to watersports and the coastal walks are an absolute treat for dogs.  

For family entertainment, you can divide your time between the town’s wonderful parks and gardens as well as exploring the nearby nature reserves and farm parks. Filey is on the doorstep of the Yorkshire Wolds, so you can head inland for inspiring views in a rural setting.

You’ll be spoilt for choice when it’s time for tea – from fish and chips to rump steak, there’s something for everyone. Don’t forget to raise a glass to a successful holiday at the lovely selection of pubs and bars this charming town has to offer.

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Things to do at Filey Beach

Sandy beach at Filey curving around the blue sea

The vast expanse of Filey Beach beckons as soon as you arrive. This 5-mile stretch of sand with the glittering sea beyond provides a blank canvas to create your perfect day of fun. Settle down in a deck chair or set up camp in one of the picturesque beach huts lining the seafront; the huts on the promenade are a great option at £25 a day, or weekly hire from Baker’s Chalets starts from £145

Don't miss:

  • In milder weather the placid waters are perfect for a swim or why not try kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding? The winter months see surfers arrive as the small, catchable 
  • There’s also the Filey Seafront Sculpture Trail along the Promenade, designed by sculptor Russ Coleman, to tick off while you head to the crazy golf or children’s amusements.
  • On Coble Landing, the slipway to the beach, look out for the very distinctive 12ft copper-coloured statue of a fisherman, commissioned to commemorate Filey’s fishing trade. By Ray Lonsdale, it’s called ‘High Tide and Short Wellies’.

Things to do in Filey with a dog

Close up of small white dog on Filey beach

From October to March your dog has the glorious expanse of Filey Beach to explore. During the summer season the only restrictions are between the Royal Parade and the beach slipway, leaving plenty of golden sand to pound along. Once you've had your fill of fun on the beach, there are plenty more dog-friendly things to do in Filey.

Don't miss:

  • A wonderful dog walk to try is the Wolds Way, which begins and ends in Filey. Although 79 miles may be too much of a walk for one day, you can take a circular 4-mile walk around Muston to experience the  gentle undulations ‘up hill and down dale’ of the Yorkshire Wolds. In June and July passing through the poppy-filled fields will make you feel like you’re in a Monet painting.
  • In the town centre, Glen Gardens is a beautiful dog-friendly park, with a boating lake, cafe and playpark. As well as lots of dog-friendly lawns to run around on, the formal flower beds and bandstand bring a genteel Edwardian style to the surroundings. 
  • For a freshly brewed cuppa and a warm welcome to the pup, choose The Coffee Shed. It excels at breakfasts and sandwiches and the cakes are a real treat too. For a more substantial meal, The Ship Inn is a great choice, famed for its Sunday roasts.

The best things to do in Filey with kids

Six meerkats sat together on a rock

Families will have a wonderful time in Filey as there’s lots of attractions and things to do that will entertain young and old alike. A brilliant way to explore the town is with the Filey Mystery Trail – download the app to embark on an interactive tour with clues to solve and landmarks to tick off. It will take you through all the main beauty spots of Filey and you can go at your own speed and choose when you want to start  

Here are some of our favourite family-friendly attractions:

  • Make a beeline for Filey Bird Garden and Animal Park, a 5-acre zoo set in beautiful Yorkshire countryside just outside Filey. From alpacas to zebu, there are hundreds of fascinating birds and animals to discover and interact with. Don’t forget to explore the wildlife ponds and secret gardens too. 
  • In an enviable clifftop position, Crescent Gardens has a brick maze that toddlers will love, and nearby is an open-air paddling pool for super-safe water fun. 
  • A little further afield is Playdale Farm Park, 5 miles outside Filey. It’s perfect whatever the weather as you can explore the interactive paddocks to see the animals in a farm environment and race around the pedal go-kart track or if rain stops play, head indoors for the soft play area, tractor zone and adventure trail.

More things to do in Filey

Aerial view of Filey Brigg peninsula surrounded by the sea

Whether you are looking to spot some of the Yorkshire coast's wonderful wildlife or want to uncover some of the rich history of Filey, you'll find seabirds, rock pools and historic buildings in and around the Edwardian seaside town.

Don't miss:

  • For a fantastic opportunity to see half a million seabirds in one place, visit Bempton Cliffs. This nature reserve 10 mile’s drive from Filey is home to gannets, puffins, kittiwakes and guillemots – watch their acrobatics as they plunge into the sea below in search of a fish supper. There’s a café too if all their hard work makes you peckish.
  • Set on a clifftop, St Oswald’s Church was  once used as a landmark by fishermen to guide them into port and there is a beautiful stained glass window commemorating them. While the Filey Museum is closed for refurbishment until 2025, St Oswald’s has been loaned the display boards, so there is a great opportunity to discover Filey’s history while you’re here.
  • Head to Filey Brigg, the long peninsula at the north of the beach with a bucket or net for some rockpooling. Identified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, it is teeming with marine life at low tide and you may be lucky enough to spot a seal lounging on one of the further outcrops. Archaeology fans will also be interested to learn that Roman artefacts were discovered here, suggesting it was used as an outpost.

The best Filey walks

Monument marking the end of the Cleveland Way in Filey

Filey marks the end of the Cleveland Way, a 109-mile National Trail walking route that follows a cliff top path running along the Yorkshire Coast. Of course it's entirely up to up which way you walk along the Cleveland Way so there's nothing to say you can't start the trail at Filey, it's just one of many scenic walks to enjoy around the seaside town.

Filey to Cayton Bay

View over Cayton Bay beach near Filey

This walk will take you along the aforementioned Cleveland Way where you'll get wonderful sea views, undulating rock formations and the chance to spot sea birds as you make your way along the cliff top pathway.  It's just over 5 miles to walk to Cayton Bay where you'll find a sandy beach, rock pools and some of the best conditions for surfing along the Yoekshire Coast. One of the highlights of the walk is Lebberston Cliff, a rugged open expanse where you can see for miles. 

Filey Dams Nature Reserve

Close-up of a water vole on a marsh

The best things in life are free, and that includes Filey Dams Nature Reserve. This well-kept freshwater marsh tucked behind a housing estate on the edge of Filey is a haven for migrating birds, including spoonbills and little egrets. It’s not just our feathered friends to spot, you can also see dragonflies, water voles and all three (count them) species of British newt. Walk between the three viewing hides and pond-dipping platforms to see a little patch of natural paradise.

Primrose Valley

Long stretch of unspoilt beach at Primrose Valley

To explore Filey and beyond on foot, head to Primrose Valley, south of the town on the coastal path. At just under 3 miles, this walk starts at the Promenade then takes you along the cliffs between the golf course and the sea before descending into Primrose Valley and its unspoilt beach.

Flamborough Head

View across to the white cliffs of Flamborough Head

For some of the most spectacular chalk cliffs in England, go to Flamborough Head, a 14-mile drive from Filey but unmissable. There is a superb 7-mile circular walk that takes in the village of Flamborough, the lighthouse with its 119 steps and of course panoramic views over the sea, where seals, porpoises and dolphins are regularly seen. The cliffs here are also home to the most southerly nesting puffins on the British mainland, spot them between March and July, peeping from burrows. Browse our Flamborough cottages.

The best Filey restaurants

The Glasshouse at Charlotte's

For an amazing meal in a stunning interior go to The Glasshouse at Charlotte’s. Boasting a 200-year-old grapevine that winds its way above the tables and chairs in a stylish conservatory, this restaurant is a real treat to visit. Name-checking the Bronte sister who frequented Filey, it offers a wide selection of traditional dishes and a grazing menu for lighter bites.

The Boat Shed

Group of people holding a selection of cocktails

The Boat Shed has identified a gap in the market and successfully filled it – where can you go for a meal out but also enjoy an evening of drinks. The comprehensive cocktail menu invites you for a sundowner after a day at the beach, while the appetising sharing plates and pizza selection tempt you to stay longer. With glowing reviews, this stylish establishment is a winner. 


With local recommendations, Monsoon is the place to head to if you want a satisfying Indian meal – but due to its popularity and its modest size, be sure to book ahead. The lamb shank curry is melt-in-the-mouth gorgeous or treat yourself to the banquet – starters, main course and two sides all for under £20. 

San Marco

People enjoying an Italian meal with wine

If you want authentic Italian cuisine, try San Marco, run by chef/owner Luca Masucci, who is originally from Padova near Venice. As well as traditional Italian objet-d’art that adorns the walls, Masucci has brought over some of the finest of his home country’s dishes to Filey, including an expansive pizza and pasta menu.

The best Filey pubs

People resting pints of beer on an outdoor table

After a day spent walking along the Cleveland Way or exploring Coble Landing, you’ll find a good selection of Filey pubs where you can enjoy relax with a pint and watch the world go by. Here are some of our favourites:

  • In the heart of Filey, The Star is a great choice for all the family. The spacious beer garden at the rear is perfect for a drink in the sun and the well-kept ales have earned it a regular mention in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide. The tempting menu offers homemade, hearty meals like steak and ale pudding and calves’ liver and mash.
  • Hidden in a side street away from the centre of Filey is Bonhommes. The elegant Regency architecture doesn’t immediately signal your typical pub, but venture inside to discover a traditional interior. Named after an American ship that was sunk in the battle of (nearby) Flamborough Head, this privately run establishment is CAMRA affiliated and offers four draft ales.  
  • If you’re looking for a drink or bite to eat where your canine companion can come too, there are lots of options in this quaint seaside town. Even though it may be the smallest pub in Filey, The Cobbler’s Arms makes the biggest fuss of your pooch, while you can choose from a generous selection of local ales.
  • Although it’s a 3.5-mile-drive away in neighbouring Hunmanby, The Piebald Inn is definitely worth visiting, mainly to sample one of its pies. There are 50, yes 50, to choose from in the dedicated menu, including the ‘Native Pony’ (steak and ale), the ‘Clydesdale’ (oxtail and kidney) and the ‘Mustang’ (chilli beef and cheese). 

The best Filey fish and chips

Aerial view of a plate of fish, ships and mushy peas

Inghams Fish Restaurant

A short walk from the seafront, Inghams Fish Restaurant serves perfect fish and chips after a hard day’s paddling. Enjoy your meal in the capacious interior or take it away to eat on the beach. As well as being traditionally battered, the haddock can be also be poached in wine, cream or milk.

The Brown Room

The intriguingly named The Brown Room on Union Street offers such consistently excellent fish and chips that it’s always busy, frequented by both locals and tourists who return year after year. As it’s located a short walk from Filey Brigg, you could take your fragrant, wrapped meal and enjoy it on a bench overlooking the amazing peninsular.

C.J.'s Fish and Chips

C.J.s Fish and Chips offers both a cosy dog-friendly indoor seating area as well as a takeaway and there’s a selection of savoury pies and vegetarian options as well as the traditional fish and chips. One review says it’s ‘the best on the east coast’ and that’s saying something with Scarborough and Whitby in fighting distance. 

Plan your Filey getaway

Filey beach with outdoor paddling pool and Edwardian houses in the background

Fresh air, fish and chips, and fun – Filey is the perfect family holiday destination. And with our superb selection of Filey cottages from sun-drenched apartments to elegant Victorian townhouses, you can explore all Filey has to offer from a comfortable and relaxing holiday home at the Yorkshire coast.

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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