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Filey Beach stretches for 10 kilometres and sits within a natural bay on the rugged east cost of Yorkshire. To the north of the beach lie steep sandstone cliffs whilst to the south there are sheer limestone cliffs. These white limestone cliffs extend south to Flamborough Head and onto Bempton Cliffs, the highest sea cliffs in England. During the summer months these cliffs are home to many thousands of breeding seabirds; predominantly guillemots, razorbills, puffins, kittiwakes and fulmars.
Filey is an ancient fishing village that grew up around the bay. It has a rich history with the sea and everywhere you look there are references to it. At the side of the jetty there is a RNLI lifeboat station that has saved dozens of lives over the years. Whilst at the side of this there are a few café's and gift shops but it is a lot smaller and less commercialised than most of the other East Yorkshire resorts.
The beach is very clean but it isn't composed of fine golden sand. Instead the sand has a more muddy texture to it but it is still ideal to sit on without getting caked in mud. There are lots of rocks and small pools making it an ideal place to search for crabs and shrimps and there are several small caves cut into the rocks. It is very flat, although the road down to the beach is steep and there are plenty of pay and display car parking spaces along the sea front.
At the far northern end of the beach is Filey Brigg, a natural rocky peninsula that juts out into the sea. This area is a nature reserve and it is possible to walk right to its tip.
This whole stretch of coastline from Scarborough to the north and Bridlington to the south is one of my favourite places in England and Filey Beach is certainly one of its highlights. Even during the peak summer months its is big enough to never get too crowded and there are always plenty of quiet spaces available. The beach slopes gently to the sea so bathing is safe even for relatively young children.
There aren't really any facilities on Filey Beach. If you want a bar, café or toilets then you will need to wander onto Filey seafront but there are deck chairs that can be hired, close to the jetty. There is a flat promenade that runs along the seafront from the jetty to the southern end of Filey, a distance of about 3km and this is perfect for a gentle stroll. It is also suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs too.
The best views of the beach are from the top of the cliffs at the northern end of the bay and if you want some good photos I would suggest the Country Park as an ideal location. One thing that you need to be aware of however is that this is one of the fastest eroding coastlines in Europe so whilst there is a good quality footpath along the top of the cliffs care should always be taken.
In summary I love Filey Beach. It's not the sort of place I would suggest that you wouldn't drive a long way to enjoy but if you are in the area and the weather is fine then it is well worth a visit.