The novelist Margaret Drabble recently wrote an affectionate piece about Filey in the Sunday Times, recalling her childhood holidays there. In the piece, she admitted that Filey is the inspiration for her novel The Sea Lady, although the place in the novel is called something else. Filey is a traditional seaside resort, with all the usual features such as amusements and so forth. The beach is 6 miles long and sandy, fringed by a long promenade with a sculpture trail, and there are beach chalets for rent. This is overlooked by Victorian terraces and gardens. The British Pathe website has some footage from 1923 showing horse racing taking place on the beach at Filey watched by large crowds.
The history of the town goes much further back than Victorian times, as seen in St Oswald’s Church, which has Norman features. One intriguing sight in the church is that of a stone effigy believed to be that of a Boy Bishop who died while in office. Filey has until recently enjoyed a thriving fishing trade, and the history of this time is told in the Folk Museum, which also pays tribute to the lifeboat service. For amateur fishermen, the mile-long promontory of Filey Brigg is popular with anglers, although care should be taken, because this spot is notoriously dangerous, and the advice is to go there with someone who has fished there before and knows the risks. Filey Brigg also marks the end points of two long-distance paths: the Cleveland Way and the Wolds Way. For the birdwatchers, Filey Dams Nature Reserve offers the chance to view birds such as greenshanks, pochards and ruffs.
For a list of events in Filey, see here.
Webcam view of Filey Bay
Map of the area.