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East Riding
Filey beach.jpg
Filey Beach at low water
Grid reference: TA115807
Location: 54°12’36"N, 0°17’21"W
Population: 6,819  (2001)
Post town: Filey
Postcode: YO14
Dialling code: 01723
Local Government
Council: Scarborough
Thirsk and Malton

Filey is a small town in the East Riding of Yorkshire, on the North Sea coast between Scarborough and Bridlington. It enjoys a long, sandy beach reaching up to Filey Brigg. No longer simply the quiet Yorkshire fishing village of its origin, Filey is a popular holiday resort. Whereas the Old Town lies in the East Riding, Filey has expanded into the North Riding; in fact, the parish extends into both, with the 12th-century parish church of St Oswalds situated in the North.


Filey is at the eastern end of the Cleveland Way a long-distance footpath; this starts at Helmsley and skirts the North York Moors. It was the second National Trail to be opened, in 1969 It is also the northern end of the Yorkshire Wolds Way National Trail which starts at Hessle and crosses the Yorkshire Wolds. Filey is the finishing point for Great Yorkshire Bike Ride. The 70 mile ride begins at Wetherby Racecourse.

In and around Filey

St Oswald's Church
Filey Beach

Filey's long beach has brought it many summer holiday-makers. Guest-houses have sprung up beside the sea and visitor attractions.

Filey is served by a railway station on the Yorkshire Coast Line. Once Filey had a second station too; Filey Holiday Camp Station to the south of the town, serving the Butlin's holiday camp which stood there. The station has closed, and the camp has been re-developed into a 600-home holiday housing development, known as The Bay Filey, which is one of the largest coastal developments of this kind in the UK and the first homes began to be handed over to buyers in 2007.

The town has two wishing wells, located in the Crescent Gardens. One is a traditional looking type and a popular site for tourist and family photographs. A second was built later; smaller with a concrete model of a church and houses set around it, with a bell to ring and make a wish, but its creators seem to have underestimated the taste of the average visitor to the town; it does not attract such attention.


The Bonhomme Richard, the famous ship sailed by John Paul Jones, known as the father of the US Navy, was lost after a fierce landmark battle in 1779; The Battle of Flamborough Head) in which hundreds died. Its location remains a mystery and is believed by many to lie somewhere within Filey Bay. The Bonhomme Richard fought in the battle and even through its eventual sinking, the outcome of the battle convinced the French crown to back the colonies in their fight to separate from British rule. Although the precise location of the Bonhomme Richard is unknown, numerous expeditions have been undertaken to try and locate her. However, decades of fish trawling and numerous other wrecks have made this procedure complicated. So far, she has not been located.

Filey remained a small village until the 18th century when visitors from Scarborough arrived seeking the peace and quiet that Filey offered. Then in 1835 a Birmingham solicitor called John Wilkes Unett bought 7 acres of land and built the Crescent, later known as the Royal Crescent. It was opened in the 1850s and for 100 years it was the most fashionable address in Northern England.

English composer Frederick Delius stayed as a boy on the Crescent with his family at Miss Hurd's boarding house (number 24) in 1876 and 1877 and then also at Mrs. Colley's (number 24) in 1897.

In 1931 the spire of a church was damaged by the Dogger Bank earthquake.

For more than 40 years Butlin's Holiday Camp was a major factor in Filey's economy. Building work began in 1939 and continued through the Second World War during which it became an airforce station known as RAF Hunmanby Moor. In 1945 it became a popular holiday resort complete with its own railway station and by the late 1950s it could cater for 10,000 holiday makers. It closed in 1984, causing a decrease in the holiday makers visiting Filey.

In July 2007 Filey was hit by flash floods which caused major problems in the town, with various areas suffering damage.[1][2]


  1. "Floods Hit". Filey & Hunmanby Mercury. 2007-07-18. Retrieved 2007-12-09. 
  2. "Flash floods hit east coast town". BBC (BBC News Online). 18 July 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 

Outside links

[[Category:Towns and villages in the North Riding of Yorkshire]