Wednesday, 2 April 2014


Cayton Bay and Filey
The next accessible beach south of Scarborough is at the lovely Cayton Bay.
Sheltered by The Nab to the north and Redcliffe to the south it is popular with holiday camp visitors and surfers. Paths lead steeply down to the sandy beach from Filey Road.
The charming tiny Victorian/Edwardian resort of Filey, situated between Scarborough and Bridlington, boasts one of the finest beaches in the country. Filey Bay stretches  for some 12 miles from the headland known as Carr Naze in the north to Flamborough Head in the south.
The Town, which is part of Scarborough Borough,
has a population of some 7000 people


Carr Naze extends in an arc out to sea by a long ridge of low rocks known as Filey Brigg to form a natural break water. Indeed, the Roman's had a substantial signal station on the headland which was excavated in the mid 19th century and it is thought that they had a landing jetty on the Brigg.
Although there is no harbour, the town's heritage remains in the declining fishing industry. The Yorkshire coble fishing boat, which has its origins in the Viking longship is still evident on The Coble Landing a slope at the end of the sea wall. The cobles are towed into the sea by a small tractor.
in the late 19th century there were some 190 fishing cobles at Filey, reduced to 17 late in the 20th century and now just a handful.
Likewise the town's life boat house is on the Coble Landing and has to be towed into the sea, originally using horses but now by tractor.
There has been a lifeboat at Filey since the early 19th century and again, tales of heroism are legend.

There is a fine promenade along the sea wall


Fine views can be had from the Crescent Gardens high above the promenade,

During the summer months local bands give concerts in the open air bandstand.


and the stone bases excavated from the Roman Signal Station form part
of the garden display.

Filey was very much a closed community and merely a fishing village until Victorian times when the village expanded to cater for the steady influx of tourists who were discovering the benefits of this exclusive spot which had become even more accessible with the arrival of the railway.
After a writer in a gentleman's magazine described Filey as a 'summer retreat for those who possess a relish for the pure exhibitions of nature and take with them a little society' it became the holiday meeting place for the landed gentry
and indeed Royalty.


The Crescent was constructed for those people and Filey developed into the gentile resort which it remains today.


The old town is  full of former fishermen's cottages perched on the cliff top at the side of The Ravine which is the road down  to the sea shore

Whilst St Oswald's Parish Church is perched on the cliff top on the
other side of The Ravine.

The Rev. A.N. Cooper  was a much loved vicar for 55 years, (1880-1935). He was known as The Walking Parson, and wrote several books about his travels both at home and abroad. He thought nothing of walking from Filey to London after Sunday evensong, returning  by train in time for the following Sunday. On Easter Monday 1887 he set off to walk to Rome and having walked to Hull he took the ferry to Rotterdam and averaging 30 miles a day he completed the journey in one month. During his walks on the continent he reached Budapest, Vienna, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Lourdes, Copenhagen and Stockholm. His only luggage was a small knapsack containing a change of underwear and his bible.

The newer town centre is quite small with just a cluster of retail outlets.

and the ubiquitous fish and chip shop

The huge chalk cliffs at Bempton on the south side of Filey Bay are an RSPB Nature Reserve, forming part of England's largest seabird colony. Over 200,000 seabirds breed on the reserve between April and August and include  large populations of puffins and gannets. Many migrant birds also visit at other times of the year and safe view  points allow close up watching.

These huge cliffs end at Flamborough Head where the Yorkshire Wolds reach the sea. There is a small fishing fleet and access can be gained to several little coves.




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