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 the Forbidden Corner in the Yorkshire Dales to see if it lives up to the hype
What is it?
The Forbidden Corner is a weird and wonderful family attraction, billed as the strangest place in the world.
This four-acre garden is a maze of paths, mysterious tunnels, doors, steps and underground chambers. Plus, quirky statues, strange noises and jets of water catching people unawares.
It was first created for private use and later opened to the public.
Where is it?
It is in Leyburn in North Yorkshire, in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.
What did we think?
This is a unique family attraction, unlike anywhere else we have been. Our children were quite scared in parts but came away saying they had loved it.
Watch our exclusive video before reading our highlights and top tips below!
*The ‘map’ you are given upon entry is not a map. There is no route, it shows you pictures of all the things you need to find in the garden, in no particular order, so take a pen to tick them off. There is no way to tell how big the site is or where anything is, it is a labyrinth with endless nooks and crannies to explore.
*We got there when it opened (11am the day we went) and there were only a few people waiting to get in, plus it never felt too busy as they limit numbers via booked entry times. You can stay as long as you want so I understand it may get much busier later on.
*There are several parts where you may get wet. Your movement triggers water sprays that will catch you if you stop. These bits are fun for children to run through, once they have built up the courage.
*When you think you must have seen everything, you find a whole new section or more paths to try.
*The carved wooden play area is beautiful.
The play area
*The cafe is reasonably priced with good options for children.
*Don’t just turn up, you are unlikely to get in, you must book in advance and they limit numbers to prevent overcrowding. Book via the website.
*The first surprise you come to is a giant square head (main picture) – you make your way through its large mouth and it makes a loud burping noise as you pass its throat – if your children are scared of this as ours were, there are small paths each side to bypass it. They can maybe try it later if they’re feeling braver (our son later did it twice).
*There are other parts that can be frightening to some younger children or anyone who might be claustrophobic or frighten easily – in fact the whole experience is equivalent to a mildly scary haunted house at a theme park. It is free to children aged three and under because of this. There are underground parts that you can avoid – including the ‘mausoleum’ which has warnings outside and is not for the faint-hearted – our children didn’t do this bit.
*There is a word hunt where you look for brass letters and make rubbings of them, which adds excitement.
*To find everything, you have to explore every path and every option and some lead to dead ends. Check all the doors even if they look like they won’t open. Some parts are easy to miss like the play area or the little garden off it with a fountain which has a ‘show’ every 15 minutes.
*Make sure everyone goes to the toilet before entering the garden! There is apparently a toilet in the garden, but we never found it. There is one toilet in the play area, others where you queue to get in and outside by the car park.
*Try to stay together as it would be easy to lose each other and there is patchy phone signal. Keep hold of toddlers particularly as there can be steep steps around a corner or various paths to navigate and you won’t know which they have taken.
*If you need accommodation, there are apartments and barn conversions next to the entrance to Forbidden Corner. This was fully booked when we looked and we ended up staying at a youth hostel 25 minutes away, with stunning surroundings, see here for our review.
*You exit through a gift shop but the prices are reasonable.
*Forbidden Corner has special ‘blue days’ where you get four tickets for the price of three.
Forbidden corner information
Food: There are tables in the garden but picnics are restricted to a spot near to the car park. There’s a nice, reasonably priced cafe with children’s meals like pizza and chips and spaghetti bolognese (£3.45), plus jacket potatoes, paninis, pies (£2.10) and sandwiches. And cakes (special mention for the divine caramel and chocolate cake I devoured).
There is also a restaurant next to the car park.
Opening hours: Open every day for around seven months of the year. Opening hours vary and you will be given an entry time when you book online (don’t just turn up). If you want to book on the day, call 01969 640638.
Cost: Adults £13, children (four to 15) £11, children three and under free, family ticket (two adults and two children) £46.
Best for: Ages seven to 12.
Time needed: At least three hours.
Access and restrictions: You can not take a pushchair or pram around, there are steps and narrow paths. It is also not suitable for wheelchairs. Dogs are not allowed at Forbidden Corner, only guide dogs.
Address: The Forbidden Corner, Tupgill Park Estate, Coverham, Middleham, Leyburn, North Yorkshire. Use the postcode DL8 4TQ for sat navs.
Have you been to the Forbidden Corner? What did you think? We’d love to hear from you.
We were given free entry for the purpose of this review, all views are our own.
The recreation of a street allows children to operate petrol pumps, change wheels on cars and work on a checkout at a mini-Marks and Spencer.
Some of the exhibits in this section are now a bit dated (an Austin car won’t mean much to youngsters today) but the children didn’t seem to mind.
Children love pretending to put petrol in cars
There was nothing dated about the Spark Gallery space which had the latest technology to play with including a chance to control racers on a touch screen and tackle computer games, but with an emphasis on learning.
There are a couple of play areas, in particular a good one with a desert theme for under-fives. We couldn’t test the outside space because it was covered in snow but there is a huge sandpit and sensory trail.
I also noticed a couple of ‘baby oasis’ areas where babies could be put down for a stretch and a wriggle around.
We were impressed. Our two, aged three and seven, both loved Eureka! and got loads out of this museum. And both have since asked to return.
*When you pay once you can then visit Eureka! as many times as you want for a year for free, making it much better value for money.
*There is a lot of car parking (pay and display) but make sure you drive past the building to find the nearest parking spots.
Food: There’s a cafe (with gluten free and vegetarian options) but it gets busy and you are allowed and actively encouraged to take your own packed lunch/picnic.
Opening hours: Open every day in school holidays from 10am to 5pm. During term time, it is open Tuesday to Sunday and closed on Mondays.
Cost: Entry costs £13.95 for everyone three and over, £5.95 for children aged one and two and under-ones are free.
Best for: ages three to eight.
Time needed: can easily fill half a day, enough for a full day out. It gets busy but is quieter towards the end of the day after 2pm. And as many people visit when it rains, it is also quieter on sunny days.
Access and restrictions: There is award-winning access at this attraction and carers go free. Eureka! offers a service called Extra Pair of Hands for help with disabled visitors for two hours during their visit.
Visitors with autism do not have to queue if the waiting time is long. There is a quiet space called the Chill Out Room guide for visitors with sensory difficulties away from the rest of the museum.
Address: Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, Discovery Road, Halifax, HX1 2NE.