Filey (/ˈfli/) is a small town and civil parish in North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the East Riding of Yorkshire, it is part of the borough of Scarborough between Scarborough and Bridlington on the North Sea coast. Although it was a fishing village, it has a large beach and became a popular tourist resort. According to the 2011 UK census, Filey parish had a population of 6,981,[1] an exact number being 2001 UK census 6,819.[2]


Filey town centre

Arms of Filey Town Council
Location within North Yorkshire
Population6,981 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid referenceTA115807
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townFILEY
Postcode districtYO14
Dialling code01723
PoliceNorth Yorkshire
FireNorth Yorkshire
EU ParliamentYorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament


Filey is at the eastern end of the Cleveland Way, a long-distance footpath; it starts at Helmsley and skirts the North York Moors.[3] It was the second National Trail to be opened (1969). The town is at the northern end of the Yorkshire Wolds Way National Trail which starts at Hessle and crosses the Yorkshire Wolds.[4] Filey is the finishing point for Great Yorkshire Bike Ride. The 70-mile (110 km) ride begins at Wetherby Racecourse.[5]

Filey has a railway station on the Yorkshire Coast Line. A second station at Filey Holiday Camp railway station to the south of the town served the former Butlins holiday camp.[6] The camp has been re-developed into a 600-home holiday housing development, The Bay Filey.[7] It is one of the largest coastal developments of this kind in the UK and the first homes were completed in 2007.[8]

In July 2007 Filey was hit by flash floods which caused major problems.[9][10]


The 12th century parish church dedicated to St Oswald, on Church Hill in the north of the town, is a Grade I listed building.[11] It is the oldest building in Filey[12] and Nicholas Pevsner wrote "This is easily the finest church in the NE corner of the East Riding" (Buildings of England).[13]

Filey was a small village until the 18th century when visitors from Scarborough arrived seeking the peace and quiet that Filey then offered. In 1835 a Birmingham solicitor called John Wilkes Unett bought 7 acres (2.8 ha) of land and built the Crescent, later known as the Royal Crescent, which was opened in the 1850s.[14]

Fishing at Filey has been tradition, going on for a multitude of centuries, with most of those undertaking it coming from a long line of fishermen and women in their families. The fishing boats at Filey are cobles, like most of the others along the Yorkshire and North East coasts, and the catch is mostly sea trout. Limitations have been placed upon how and where they use their nets which also trap salmon; some fear this may lead to the end of the fishing industry in Filey.[15] In 1804, a lifeboat was procured for the town and it became a Royal National Lifeboat Institution asset in 1852. Filey Lifeboat Station is still in existence and has an inshore and an all-weather boat on station.[16]

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 at Mrs Colley's (number 24) in 1897.[17][18]

In 1931 the spire of a church was damaged by the Dogger Bank earthquake.[19]

For more than 40 years Butlin's Filey Holiday Camp was a major factor in Filey's economy. Building began in 1939 and continued during the Second World War when it became an air force station known as RAF Hunmanby Moor. In 1945 it became a popular holiday resort with its own railway station and by the late 1950s could cater for 10,000 holiday makers. It closed in 1984, causing a decrease in the holiday makers visiting Filey.[20]

Filey was historically split between the North Riding of Yorkshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire, with the boundary running along Filey Beck. When County Councils were formed by the Local Government Act 1888, the whole of Filey was placed in the East Riding.[21]

Filey also boasts the Grade II listed Langford Villa on The Crescent (c.1830)[22] which was often chosen by the famous chocolatier Sir Joseph Terry as his place to "summer"; it is situated next door but one to The White Lodge Hotel.[23]

In 2018, the town was featured in the Tour de Yorkshire for the first time.[24]

Coast and Country Housing Limited

Coast & Country Housing Limited plan to build 300 houses in Filey. Scarborough council has approved plans for the £45 million housing project off Muston Road by Coast & Country. Independent councillor Sam Cross, who represents Filey on the borough council, said: "The infrastructure of the town can't cope with it."[25] Coast and Country replied to the concerns by stating that the houses are being built to meet a pent-up latent demand for affordable housing and other housing within the town.[25]

Parliamentary representation

Filey was in the Ryedale constituency until the 2010 general election when it became part of the newly formed Thirsk and Malton constituency.[26] Proposed boundary changes to the constituencies, would see Filey be moved from Thirsk and Malton into the Scarborough and Whitby constituency.[27]


Filey receives a daily news service from local commercial radio station, Yorkshire Coast Radio.

Notable people

See also


  1. UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Filey Parish (1170217336)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  2. "2001 Census: Key Statistics: Parish Headcounts: Area: Filey CP (Parish)". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 7 July 2008.
  3. "Route Description & Downloads | National Trails". Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  4. "Signing the Yorkshire Wolds Way through Filey | News from the Yorkshire Wolds Way | National Trails". Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  5. "GYBR | Route details". Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  6. "Disused Stations: Filey Holiday Camp Station". Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  7. Greenwood, Lynne (26 October 2006). "Hi de Hi for a holiday home". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  8. "Home page". The Bay Filey. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  9. "Floods Hit". Filey & Hunmanby Mercury. 18 July 2007. Retrieved 9 December 2007.
  10. "Flash floods hit east coast town". BBC. BBC News Online. 18 July 2007. Retrieved 29 February 2008.
  11. Historic England. "Church of St Oswald (1316455)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  12. "Filey Town Council". Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  13. Pevsner, Nikolaus; Neave, David (2002) [1972]. Yorkshire: York and the East Riding: The Buildings of England (2nd ed.). Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-09593-7.
  14. "Filey Conservation Area" (PDF). pp. 9–10. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  15. Ponter, Richard (3 March 2018). "Why Filey's fishermen fear they may be the last generation to cast their nets". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  16. Chrystal, Paul (2012). Lifeboat stations of North East England through time : from Sunderland to the Humber. Stroud: Amberley. p. 60. ISBN 978-1-4456-1376-5.
  17. Hastings, Sheena (3 September 2012). "'Why Filey's not getting fair shares'". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  18. "The Filey Files". The Yorkshire Post. 9 August 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  19. Boyle, Danny (23 September 2015). "Rutland earthquake: 'We will rebuild', say locals as they mock 2.8-magnitude tremor". The Telegraph. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  20. "Filey is an Anglican name". Filey & Hunmanby Mercury. 24 August 2005. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  21. Local Government Act 1888#Towns on county boundaries
  22. Historic England. "Langford Villa (1296721)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  24. "Tour de Yorkshire: Filey In - Scarborough Hosts Finish". Yorkshire Coast Radio. 5 December 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  25. "Filey new homes plan approved by Scarborough council". BBC News. BBC. 21 February 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  26. Mackie, David (21 September 2016). "MP expresses mixed feelings about proposed constituencies changes". York Press. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  27. Gavaghan, Carl (13 September 2016). "Filey to join with neighbours following boundary changes". The Scarborough News.
  28. "Leo Blair: Barrister who began as a Conservative but followed his son into the Labour Party". The Independent. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  29. "Liverpool career stats for Ted Crawford - LFChistory - Stats galore for Liverpool FC!". Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  30. "Andy CRAWFORD - Biography of his football career with The Rams. - Derby County FC". Sporting Heroes. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
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