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image for Cycle Route item typeFiendish Filey at Tour de Phantome

Cycle Route, free entry

Tour De Phantome - Fiendish Filey

Tour De Phantome - Fiendish Filey

Details

The quiet seaside town of Filey is famous for its glorious golden sands and gentler pace of life, but don’t be fooled! Take a winter walk along the beach, and you’ll discover that behind the charming façade hides some terrifying secrets…

The notoriously dangerous rocks of the Filey Brigg peninsula – thought to have been created by the Devil himself – has made Filey Bay world-famous as a shipwreck graveyard, even being described as ‘drenched in death’ (Alec Gill, Lost Trawlers of Hull). It’s been estimated that over 50,000 vessels have been lost along this stretch of coast, including the notorious 18th-century flagship of the ‘Father of the American Navy’, Bonhomme Richard. Described as the last great wreck to be discovered, in the same league as the Titanic, Bismarck or Lusitania, the Bonhomme Richard was lost during the tragic Battle of Flamborough Head, turning the tide of the American War of Independence.

Filey Bay is also famous for its Loch Ness-like sea monsters, the last sighting being in 1934 when a local coastguard had a terrifying encounter with a 10 metre long sea beast. Archaeologists have also unearthed giant sea dragons turned to stone: in 2002, a complete, fossilised ‘plesiosaur’ dinosaur was found in Filey, and the seaside town is today one of the world’s hotspots for fossil-hunters. Perhaps these are the same dreadful ‘worms’ that St Hild vanquished from Whitby Abbey and turned to stone? Perhaps like Loch Ness, there are still ancient sea monsters waiting to be discovered in Filey Bay today? Pop along to the Rotunda Museum in Scarborough to see Filey’s fossilised sea monster, and find out for yourself… For opening details, visit www.scarboroughmuseumstrust.com/rotunda-museum.

Talking of monsters, it’s also thought that Filey Brigg contains the skeleton of an ancient dragon, who terrorised the local farmers. He was tempted away from his lair by the promise of a deliciously sticky cake baked by local villagers, known as Yorkshire Parkin. With his teeth stuck together by the treat, they were able to kill him! A less sticky version of the cake can be enjoyed today right along the Yorkshire Coast, with Whitby’s Bothams – a traditional baker specialising in Victorian recipes – being the award-winning parkin hotspot! The brave victory is commemorated each summer during the Festival of Filey, and visitors can also pay homage at a newly launched stone circle, the Filey Dragon Ring, complete with dragons-teeth standing stones!

Watch out for aliens… Filey attracts uncommon numbers of UFOS, even being voted as the UK’s UFO Hotspot of the Year in 2004, for the unexplained number of UFO sightings around the town.

And if that wasn’t enough, Filey and its nearby neighbour Flamborough also has many ghosts including the mysterious White Lady of Dane’s Dyke; a pike-wielding soldier spook; the 12-year old boy murdered in the 1900s and still haunting the Yorkshire Rose pub, or the poltergeists of Providence Place. The most infamous local ghost, however, is Jenny Gallows – a local girl who committed suicide in a chalk pit, and now wanders as a wraith through the town, chasing noisy children away from the place she died.

Cycle Route: Easy coastal route

Access: easy

Duration: 2.5-3.0 hours

Miles: 10

Prices

Free entry

Address

Whitby TIC, Endeavour Wharf,
WHITBY,
North Yorkshire,
YO21 1DN

Location

Directions

See location of Tour de Phantome on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: NZ 899108  Lat: 54.48512 Long: -0.61383

Parking: with charge

Accessible by Public Transport: 0 miles from Whitby station