5 reasons why you should move to the Yorkshire Coast - Robin Hood’s Bay

Flamborough lighthouse (c) Tony Bartholomew

Flamborough lighthouse (c) Tony Bartholomew - Credit: Archant

Flamborough, Filey and Robin Hood’s Bay. Neighbourhood know-how, places and people

Robin Hood's Bay (c) Tony Bartholomew

Robin Hood's Bay (c) Tony Bartholomew - Credit: Archant

Location, location

The Yorkshire coast stretches from Staithes to Spurn, and almost bang in the middle of it is one of the county’s favourite resorts, Filey. Known for its dramatic sweep of beach, it was recently voted one of the world’s best on Tripadvisor, alongside no less than Australia’s Bondi Beach! Head 12 miles south into East Yorkshire, and you’ll stumble across the tiny cove of Flamborough beach, flanked by dazzling chalk-white cliffs. Go north and you’ll eventually find one of the most-photographed locations in the UK – the vertiginous streets of Robin Hood’s Bay.

Flamborough is accessible only by road, with hourly buses from Bridlington – the nearest train station is at Bempton, nearly three miles away. Filey sits just off the main A165 road and has direct rail links to Scarborough and Hull, and less regularly, Sheffield. Robin Hood’s Bay is best reached by car or bus from either Scarborough or Whitby railway stations.

Robin Hood's Bay (c) Tony Bartholomew

Robin Hood's Bay (c) Tony Bartholomew - Credit: Archant

Bag a property

Property is still on the cheaper side in Flamborough, where you’ll pay around £140,000 for a one-bedroom flat, and £350,000-plus for a five-bedroom detached house. In Filey, the average price is around £160,000 but can go as high as £900,000 for a Georgian six-bedroom detached home.

There’s not a lot of turnaround in Robin Hood’s Bay, or Baytown as the locals call it, and with a lot of second-homers and holiday lets in the village, entry price is around £300,000 for a three-bedroom detached and heads up to £750,000-plus for an eighteenth century former farmhouse. Expect to pay more if you’re after a sea view – but then they’re at a premium right along the coast.

Flamborough clifftop walk (c) Tony Bartholomew

Flamborough clifftop walk (c) Tony Bartholomew - Credit: Archant

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Flamborough’s North and South landing beaches are stunning – the North, in particular, can give the best of Cornwall a run for its money. The RSPB reserve at Bempton Cliffs is walkable on clifftop paths in decent weather. Head there in the spring, and you’ll find up to half a million seabirds, including puffins and the UK’s largest mainland colony of gannets.

And for pharophiles – that’s lovers of lighthouses to you and me – Flamborough has not one, but two. The current, functioning lighthouse was built in 1806, and there’s also an octagonal chalk tower, built in 1674. At Filey, keep a careful eye on the tides as you walk along the Brigg. Robin Hood’s Bay is in the North York Moors National Park with loads of great walking and cycling nearby. Find out more about its past as a centre for smuggling and the network of tunnels and secret passageways.

Filey (c) Tony Bartholomew

Filey (c) Tony Bartholomew - Credit: Archant

Café & cocktails 

There can be few restaurants in the UK – or even in the world – with coastal view to equal that from the Headlands Café, right next to the newer of Flamborough’s two lighthouses. But one of those is the clifftop Thornwick Bay Café – now heading into its fifth decade. Or head to one of the three locals pubs – the Ship Inn, the Royal Dog and Duck or the Rose and Crown.

In Filey, there’s little to beat a mug of tea and a bacon butty in the fresh air from one of the kiosks on the Coble Landing. Find great coffee at The Coffee Shed, and pizza and pasta favourites at the town centre San Marco Ristorante. In Robin Hood’s Bay try coffee and cake at The Cove, a converted chapel, while the long-established Bramblewick Fish and Grill, just up from the slipway to the beach, uses seasonal ingredients from local suppliers. Characterful pubs include The Laurel Inn, regularly recommended by Camra for its fine selection of beers and The Bay Hotel, where those completing Alfred Wainwright’s coast-to-coast walk traditionally enjoy a pint. Try too the Smugglers Bistro and Bar.

Shops in Filey (c) Tony Bartholomew

Shops in Filey (c) Tony Bartholomew - Credit: Archant

Retail therapy

There are some gorgeous little independents to tempt you. For me, a visit to Filey isn’t complete without a trip to Sterchi’s Chocolatiers to buy a traditional jap – it’s one of the last bastions of these elegant little cakes.

In Robin Hood’s Bay, Bertie’s of Bay does a fine line in heritage clothing alongside homewares. Also in Bay, Dollies Sweetshop stocks old-fashioned confectionary and ice creams.