We take a family holiday to a holiday park on the beach in Filey, Yorkshire
The Bay Filey Holiday Resort
Where is it?
On the North Yorkshire coast near to Filey, south of Scarborough.
What is it?
A dog-friendly holiday park where you can stay in a house or a lodge, with access to a sandy beach.
Facilities include a swimming pool, gym, restaurants, pharmacy, playground, shop and arcade.
Our lodge at Bay Filey Holiday Park in Yorkshire
Is it family friendly?
Yes, there’s lots for children to do – there’s an indoor heated swimming pool (and separate baby pool), arcade and small adventure playground. They can play tennis, basketball or football and you can book activities (for an extra charge) such as pottery painting, archery and teddy-bear making.
Plus, of course, the beach – Hunmanby Gap Beach – is a short walk away for long, sunny days or even rainy day walks.
Is it dog friendly?
Yes, it really is and a lot of the people staying here had a dog with them. There was a box of goodies waiting in the lodge for our dog Charlie, containing a ball, travel bowl, blanket, poo bags and bag holder.
Charlie’s box of dog goodies
They are even allowed in the pub and pizza restaurant – which is good as holidaymakers are encouraged not to leave their pooches alone in the accommodation.
Although they need to be kept on a lead around the site, the beach is a perfect place for well-behaved dogs to stretch their legs and enjoy the ball from their goody bag.
Charlie on the beach
When you first drive into this park, it feels like you are entering a modern housing estate. There are lots of pretty houses to stay at, but further into the park, you find sections with roomy lodges.
Houses at The Bay Filey
We stayed in a four-person lodge near to the lake – larger six-berths are also available.
It had an open plan lounge/kitchen-diner with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Inside our lodge
One bedroom had a double bed, the other had two singles and both rooms had tvs, plus there’s one in the lounge.
A bedroom at our lodge
A sliding glass door at the front opened out on to a small outside terrace with a table and chairs and a partial view of the lake.
The outdoor terrace
The kitchen was well-equipped with an oven, hob, microwave, dishwasher and even a washing machine.
Wi-fi was available in our lodge. But it is not available in every holiday home here, so check before you arrive.
Food and drink
The kitchen in our lodge was big enough to make self-catering a breeze.
There are also two restaurants on site – a pizza restaurant and takeaway called The Four Cats and a pub called John Paul Jones – both with great menus.
The Four Cats pizza restaurant/takeaway
The woman making delicious pizzas at The Four Cats was lovely and worked so hard, with takeaway orders coming in as well as for those dining in. Two pizzas was plenty for the four of us. There is even a dessert pizza, topped with chocolate and marshmallows.
*Access to the beach – being able to walk to a lovely beach has to be a big tick on anyone’s holiday wishlist – see our top tips for more details of how to access it.
*Arrivals – unlike many parks, here you can arrive any day at any time of the year, even during peak times. The only requirement is that stays are a minimum of two nights.
*Dog walking – outside our lodge was a lovely meadow with paths to walk dogs and explore, plus the footpath to the beach via the cliffs and other walk along footpaths in the area.
Activities need to be booked in advance – download the Away Resorts App to book. The tennis court also needs to be booked this way. You can start booking 21 days before your stay so make sure you download the App in advance especially during busy periods to reserve the activities you want.
Making a glitter globe activity
How to get to the beach
There are two paths to the beach from the site – the main route off Silversands Way is steep in places, not suitable for anyone with mobility issues.
The main path to the beach.
The second way, from a gate on Sunrise Way, is a longer and narrow walk with clifftop views towards the end (and steep drops). It takes you through the beach car park and past a lovely beach café at the end.
Alternative way to the beach
If you don’t want to walk too far or have a lot of beach paraphernalia to transport, you can drive a mile to the beach car park, which costs £5 for the day. There’s a steepish slope down to the beach but it’s not too far this way.
You can pay to use Portaloo-type toilets here at 20p a go.
There is a beach cafe in a glorious spot overlooking the beach and sea. It serves food like toasted sandwiches, all-day breakfast, cakes and quiche and is great value. We had a lovely lunch, enjoying the view.
The beach cafe
If you are driving, turn left out of The Bay Filey and go left at the first roundabout and the car park is about 1 mile down the road.
But you will walk directly past it if you travel to the beach from the beach car park or if you take the clifftop walk from the site.
You don’t need to book the pool but this can mean it is full when you arrive and you will have to return at another time, so check with staff when the best time would be. It’s a nice big pool but can get very busy and the changing rooms are a bit tight and could do with a revamp.
The swimming pool
Hunmanby Gap Beach
The nearest attraction is obviously the beach. Hunmanby Gap Beach is a big sandy beach with a lovely café overlooking it. Great for swimming in the sea and perfect for dogs.
The beach when the tide is in
When the tide if out, you can walk from here to Filey Beach.
The traditional seaside town and former fishing village of Filey is a couple of miles away. There is a promenade and an award-winning beach. Filey Beach is dog friendly but they are only allowed on certain parts of it from the start of May to the end of September.
Parking can be tricky, we parked at Filey Country Park and walked down steep steps and a steep slope to get to the beach. Attractions on the seafront include crazy golf, a bouncy castle and arcade.
Crazy golf at Filey Beach
Scarborough is around 25 minutes away and has beaches, a busy town centre, harbour and attractions like Sealife, Escape Rooms, Burton Riggs Nature Reserve and Alpamare Waterpark.
The waterpark has an indoor wave pool and an indoor splash area with two toddler slides. There are four big water slides, one that you slide down on a mat and two on inflatables. There are also two gorgeously warm outdoor pools – which we surprisingly loved and spent a lot of time in on a cold, rainy day, while feeling sorry for the lifeguards on duty under umbrellas.
Away Resorts exclusive discount code
Away Resorts is a UK holiday park operator with 20 parks across the country in locations including Scotland, Lincolnshire, Isle of Wight, North Wales, Hampshire and Dorset, Cornwall, Hayling Island and Essex.
The company says its sites are all different but make the most of their individual surroundings.
We have an exclusive discount code for you when booking a holiday with Away Resorts until September 3 for 2023 holidays.
Use the code FAMHOLGUIDE10 for your excusive discount.
This offer excludes Away Resorts Boston West, Clumber, Gara Rock, Kenwick, Piperdam and Woodland Lakes.
The football pitch
Address: The Bay Filey, 1 Moor Rd, Primrose Valley, Filey YO14 9GA
We take our children to stay at the Radisson Blu hotel on the River Wear in a great location in Durham
Radisson Blu Hotel
Where is it
It is overlooking the River Wear in Durham city centre, in the northeast of England, a mile from the cathedral and the castle.
Durham is a really beautiful city, full of culture and charm and there’s also loads to see and do.
What is it
This is a four-star hotel with 207 bedrooms.
Radisson Blu hotels are part of the Radisson Hotel Group. (Other brands in the group are Radisson Collection, Raddison, Radisson Red, Radisson Individuals, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson and prizeotel).
The company describes the Radisson Blu hotels as ‘memorable, stylish and purposeful’.
Is it family friendly?
Yes, our room was perfect for a family and the swimming pool is the icing on the cake.
Our family room was a good size, split into two areas – a spacious bedroom for us and around the corner, an area for the children with a sofa bed. Both areas have a tv and a desk.
There’s also an en-suite bathroom with an array of toiletries. The room was equipped with tea and coffee facilities, dressing gowns, iron and ironing board, safe, hair dryer and ice bucket (ice is available along the corridor).
Food and drink
The hotel’s Collage restaurant serves breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner.
Breakfast is a buffet with a range of good quality hot and continental items including pastries, croissants, cereals, bacon, egg, mushrooms, toast, cheeses, fruit and yoghurt.
We stayed over a weekend and it seemed particularly busy on the Sunday morning.
There is a separate big bar area too, serving drinks and bar snacks.
*Our room was a fabulous size and a perfect layout for us with the two sections.
*The location is brilliant – we could walk everywhere we wanted to visit in the city centre.
At night, it’s a short stroll along the river to bars and restaurants and an Odeon cinema at The Riverside.
We particularly like the relaxed nature of the Food Pit – a street food hall. Set up like a restaurant but with seven independent food vendors offering different menus, so everyone can choose from a different section but all sit together. Food included Greek, Thai, Mexican, plus there’s a bar and an ice cream/waffle dessert option. There’s even pizza and chicken nuggets and chips if you look hard enough.
*The swimming pool – we LOVE a pool and this one, at 15 metres is a great size. There were even a couple of lanes sectioned off for lane swimming.
*There is also a good-sized gym/fitness suite, but we didn’t have the tine to try it out, we were too busy swimming!
Our video tour
This UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the best examples of Norman architecture in England and has been in use for almost 1,000 years.
Of more interest to us though, is the fact that it has been used in the Harry Potter films.
The Cloisters served as Hogwarts’ quadrangle and outdoor corridors including the scene where Ron has a spell backfire and pukes up slugs.
And the Chapter House was used as McGonagall’s Transfiguration class.
This part is usually closed but we managed to see a bit of it by peering through the keyhole!
Hire a traditional rowing boat and make your way along the River Wear.
Collect sea glass along the shore at Seaham, it’s surprisingly addictive.
This railway museum is a free attraction. It has trains of all shapes and sizes and is in Britain’s first railway town, Shildon.
Beamish – the living museum of the north, is a great day out for all the family. Near the town of Stanley, it tells the story of the people of North East England in the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s.
How to find a hotel both you and your children will love
Finding the right hotel is crucial for enjoying your precious family holiday. Once you have children you are likely to spend more time at your hotel, even on a more active holiday. Children can get very tired being out all day and often need time to relax in the room and enjoy the facilities. So what are the important things to look for when choosing a hotel?
People often look at the room, the pool, the grounds, the restaurants, the room service, yet they ignore the most important factor – the location.
Is it on the beach, in the right part of town, opposite a brilliant restaurant or a noisy disco? Decide what is important for your family and choose accordingly and read reviews to check there are no hidden surprises.
Make sure you are near to the attractions or the beach you will be spending time at, else children can be worn out before they even start. And check out the transport options nearby or offered by the hotel.
If it’s a hot summer holiday, you’ll need a swimming pool to help everyone cool off. If the weather is going to be cold or potentially wet – then an indoor pool is a great distraction for a few hours.
For us, a pool is almost essential on a family holiday unless we are doing an all-action city break where we will barely be in the hotel. And a slide or splash area is a big bonus.
Always check the small print to see if an outdoor pool is heated, or if an indoor pool has limited times for families.
A small, cramped room is not much fun with children. Besides all the extra stuff you will have, toddlers and older children need space. And you will all feel on top of each other if the room is tiny.
So aim for a bigger room if possible and obviously you want somewhere that feels clean and fresh. Your children are likely to be crawling on the room floor at some point or may be putting something in their mouth (don’t forget hotel room tv remote controls are among the most contaminated items, yuck)!
Families with three or more children are often forced to book more than one room, which is costly, then everyone ends up sleeping in one room anyway.
Bigger families will have to work harder to find a hotel and destination that will accommodate all the family in one room or suite.
If you’re travelling with young children, you will probably need a kettle and a fridge. And a microwave can make life a lot easier too.
Hotels outside the UK often don’t have a kettle and they are vital for anyone wanting to mix up baby milk or heat food pouches.
If there isn’t one, invest in a travel kettle or contact the hotel to see if they can put one in your room.
Fridges are useful for storing milk and possibly some drinks for mum and dad for after the children are asleep!
We’ve also used hotel fridges to keep supplies like butter and cheese so that we can make picnics to take out.
Eating in or out
Does the hotel have a restaurant? If you check in late or fancy an easier night, a nice restaurant on site is useful.
If you plan to be eating out, research the availability and location of suitable nearby restaurants and read reviews and check out menus to see if they are child-friendly.
A good, included breakfast, can start the day on a high for everyone.
Our children love the familiarity of having breakfast in the same place every day and getting to know where everything is and what they like best. And they enjoy the independence of starting to choose for themselves and even fetching their own food and drinks.
Do the staff make your children feel welcome?
It might be the best hotel in the world, but if you feel constantly on edge, praying your children behave, then you won’t relax.
The vibe needs to be a family one. Check reviews to see if staff make a fuss of children and enjoy having them around.
Most places call themselves child-friendly, not all are friendly to children.
You don’t necessarily need loads of outdoor space but you do need a bit. A dash of green space to run around in, a nature trail or a terrace to explore and sit on, can turn a hotel stay into more of an adventure for children.
We love to explore our hotels, roaming the corridors and outside in the grounds. For example, when we stayed at St Ermin’s Hotel in London, it was great to have a terrace with a bee hive on it.
If you are planning to use children’s clubs or a babysitting service, make sure to investigate what is available in advance.
Some kids’ clubs don’t operate all year plus services can be costly.
A soft play area or other indoor play area will really make life easier for you and more fun for your children.
A playground outside is always welcomed too and gets a big tick from us.
Before you start to look at hotels, draw up a list of criteria that will ensure all adults and children are going to be comfortable, relaxed and happy on holiday.
*Is there anything else important to your family? Let us know in the comments below, we would love to hear from you.