Five-mile Filey beach is named best in UK for '˜magic in its sands'

The Filey coastline is named today as Britain's best beach, with a critic describing it as casting a spell that 'turns you into a kid again'.

Filey beach. Picture: Richard Ponter

The five-mile stretch of sand that stretches south from the peninsula of Filey Brigg to the Bempton nature reserve, is a quarter of a mile wide at low tide and dotted with rock pools.

Earlier this year, it formed a picturesque backdrop to part of the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race, watched by a TV audience of millions.

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Chris Haslam, chief travel writer for the Sunday Times, placed the beach at the top of a list of 50, selected from hundreds around the country.

He wrote: “Gentrification has arrived but as yet there are no hipster craft cocktail joints and Rick Stein is unlikely to ever open a fish restaurant here. Filey doesn’t need all that because it casts a different spell: it turns you into a kid again.”

Other beaches in Yorkshire to make the list include Spurn, a tidal island boasting lighthouses and abundant wildlife; Boggle Hole, near Whitby, a favourite with fossil hunters; and the nearby fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay.

They were rated on their water quality, the activities on offer, the range quality of food available and the “magic in their sands”.

Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of the tourism agency, Welcome to Yorkshire, said the accolade was “a fantastic and incredibly well-deserved win”.