This attractive walk features five of Filey’s superb gardens, along with a host of activities to be enjoyed by all the family. Parking in Arndale Way or Church Cliff Drive area, begin your walk on the road leading to St Oswald’s Church. Notice Church Cliff Farm on your left. Take the path off right signed to the town centre and church. Bear right away from the church to cross Church Bridge spanning Church Ravine. Seek almost immediately in brick walling, an opening into a walled and fenced footpath high above the ravine. Follow this path until it elbows right into a small car park. Go left by the car park’s walling and descend railed steps. Where the path branches, keep to the upper walkway to the cliff top.
1) Cliff Top Garden is a small, steeply-sloping garden at the end of Queen Street. A seating area is known locally as ‘Fisherman’s Lookout’. The terraced garden provides a peaceful place to relax and admire views of Filey Bay.
Wind down the terraces to the foot of Sand Hill Lane. Here is Coble Landing (now without coble boats), but with its lifeboat house, refreshments, and amusements. Spend time on the sandy beach and maybe walk to Arndale Sailing Club, or seek shells while taking a paddle.
After an ice cream or cuppa, turn right and head south along The Beach in front of the old fishermen’s cottages overlooking the sea. View Flamborough Head to the south horizon. Just beyond the crazy golf, you can’t miss the giant sculpture of Finlay the fisherman, created by Ray Lonsdale and donated to Filey by myself. Read all about it.
Next, at the foot of Cargate Hill lies a quiet, walled garden. 2) Northcliffe Gardens originally belonged to Northcliffe House, sited above. Commemorative seating attracts the public for its open sea views. Enjoy the rose beds, flower beds and lily pond in this natural sun trap.
From the Northcliffe Garden’s main entrance, ascend the adjacent Cargate Hill for a few paces only. Seek off to your left (across the road), steps ascending into a shady, grassed picnic area. Continue to the top and turn left on a grassy path leading into The Crescent. 3) Walk along The Crescent, and enter the Crescent Gardens near the wishing well. Crescent Gardens stretch from Filey’s old Convent School to the White Lodge Hotel, covering almost four acres. It has to be Filey’s floral jewel in the crown.
The trees and flower beds attract many visitors and photographers.
Continue on your path to the bandstand, where open air band concerts are held on Sunday afternoons in summertime from 2pm-4pm.
Keep to the path parallel with The Crescent, unless you wish to visit the cafe below the bandstand.
Leaving these gardens, go straight across the top of Crescent Hill to the path still parallel with The Crescent, having lawns, seats and flower beds. Near the White Lodge Hotel you enter 4) Glen Gardens, occupying eight acres. Pass the putting green and veer right to a small boating lake and nearby cafe. Keep straight forward across the green beside the children’s recreation ground to enter West Avenue. Look out for squirrels along the route, as several have been sculptured in this area.
Turn right along West Avenue by terraced houses, bowls and tennis courts, unless you wish to explore the glen immediately to the south of Glen Gardens and known as Martin’s Ravine. It leads down to the sea and Royal Parade, with its cafe, ice-creams and seaside novelties, but please return to West Avenue afterwards.
St John’s Church shortly features to the left en route to your exit from West Avenue, turning right into Belle Vue Street. Then turn left into John Street. At the far end is the Filey Visitor Centre and Concert Hall. Swing left up Murray Street to Filey’s post office. Immediately above is the Memorial Garden 5), tucked away in the town centre. The entrance gate is the war memorial itself. The aviary is an attraction, and Filey Lions Club installed the central fountain to celebrate its jubilee year.
Leaving Memorial Gardens, turn right to the cross roads. Facing the Methodist Church, turn right along Union Street. At the far end go left along Mitford Street. At the road junction, go right by Shrimpers Cottage, passing The Station public house, and then straight forward by the end of Queen Street. Its impressive museum is well worth a visit.
Signs indicate your route down Church Street, with its ‘olde worlde’ cottages, to the church bridge once more.
Retrace your steps towards St Oswald’s 12th century parish church over the footbridge and go left as signed to the Country Park. Where the footpath ends at Church Cliff Farm, go left towards the country park. At the road junction, go right and then left, and should time permit, extend your walk into a sixth area.
6) The Country Park, covering 48 acres to the northern boundary has been developed as a leisure and environmental project. There are caravans and tents, a large car park, children’s play area, and pitch and putt course. There’s a cafe and toilets, open spaces for games, kite flying, walking or having a picnic. The choice is yours.
Distance: Three to four miles depending on options.
Refreshment: Plenty of facilities all along the route.
NB This is an easy walking route with no requirement for specialist footwear. Please keep dogs under control, and help to keep Filey clean.
Public transport: East Yorkshire buses 121 and X21, Scarborough and District buses X20 and 120 and Coastliner.