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Who Needs California

As winter gave way to spring this year I was desperate to have a break. Deep down I was eyeing up something similar to what I did in May 2016, which was a fantastic long weekend in The Lakes. A cottage, some walking and some fantastic scenery. This didn’t work out and I got increasingly frustrated trying to find suitable accommodation. Everything that was well located or of good enough quality was booked out.

I’d pretty much given up.

…And I Found The Bay

Deep down I really wanted to repeat the epic scenery experience of my trip in 2016 (and yes, I really wish I’d been vlogging at that point). I started to cast my search wider looking at places like Northumbria, North Yorkshire and North York Moors. The problem I had was this wasn’t supposed to be a costly break and I was the only paying customer.

These variables meant I either faced suspect looking options or ones that didn’t really make much sense unless you had a larger family or there was multiple paying individuals.

I’m not 100% sure how the Internet lead me to The Bay, Filey. I think one of the ‘cottages’ came up on one of the many ‘find a cottage portals’ that exist on the Internet, while searching for options in the North York Moors, Scarborough and Whitby area.

The Bay, Filey

I had no idea The Bay even existed, which isn’t surprising, but it is a fantastic idea. They’ve basically created a holiday village full of top end accommodation of various sizes. The various properties at The Bay are amazing. You walk around the place and it has that relaxed ambience that comes from quality and the fact everyone is, to some degree, on holiday.

If you scan the web for The Bay you will get some bad reviews. There is talk of the place being like a building site and what they describe sounds like when you buy a new build house but half the estate is still being built and all the roads aren’t complete. This wasn’t the case when I was there and the place looked finished. The only exception being small parts of the beach houses area, but the work didn’t seem to being undertaken when I was there.

It seems some of the reviews are old.

I loved The Bay, in another life, with a few different choices made or a divorce that didn’t happen, I’d have seriously looked into getting a property at The Bay. I guess the problem I’d have if I did that is I’d make no money of it I’d be over there every weekend. After all, why wouldn’t you? Well, I guess there is all the chores that end up being needed to be done on the weekend which would get in the way. Possibly it wouldn’t be used as much as I think.

Anyway, just like some people get stationary caravans at various holiday villages I was won over. It was that good. It has all the advantages of having a caravan at a ‘resort-like’ environment but instead it’s a proper piece of property. What can I say, another life, sliding doors and all that.

The Butlins That Was

I was also curious about The Bay as I felt it must be close to where the old Butlins site used to be. We used to have on holiday a year when we were kids and that was always to Butlins, Filey. I remember we went once to Blackpool, which was apparently the expensive holiday.

I was curious to go back to the area again.

Once I got to The Bay and walked down to the beach I became convinced it wasn’t just near where Butlins was but that it was exactly the same place. The walk down to the beach, albeit not landscaped, felt exactly like the one at Butlins after you got off the chairlift. Once you throw in the positioning of Primrose Valley, which Butlins used to border, it had to be the same place. I was so convinced I asked at the village reception and they confirmed it was built on the Butlins site.

This was interesting, exciting and also a bit sad. It’s great that something as awesome as The Bay now sits on the site, but it’s also a sign of the times I guess that something that was once a more available experience is substantially more exclusive.

It is a prime site though. When we used to go to Butlins as a kid I seriously didn’t understand how prime that site was Butlins was on. The scenery of the bay that houses what was the Butlins beach is astounding.

Scarborough To Filey

The 8-mile stretch of the Cleveland Way between Scarborough and Filey is walk I’d wanted to do for a while. It just wasn’t convenient, as 8-miles was double what I was doing on my Nature’s Theme Park walks at the time, plus it was far enough away, combined with it not being a circular walk to make the endeavour fiddly.

The stay at The Bay was a perfect opportunity and doing the Scarborough to Filey walk became the main feature of the holiday.

It didn’t get off to a good start. Ideally I’d have got off the train and headed straight to the walk, but I ended up having to do a dash to PC World which was further away than I thought so I could get an SD Card Adapter. This added on 2-3 miles before I’d even started.

I nearly didn’t start. While I’d have never known what I’d missed if I had backed out. Knowing what I know now that would have been a bad decision. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Great views. Some beautiful coastline. The walk between Scarborough and Filey is beyond belief and offers up scenery so astounding it is an almost religious experience.

At times, I’m surrounded by people who look to the US for everything and don’t look at what’s available to them just down the road. This was a perfect example, as people who have marvelled at the Californian coastline not realising they have a section of coastline to rival it within a few hours drive.

The Scarborough to Filey walk is one of those experiences everyone should do. It’s that good it will just enhance your life. Next time you’re looking at a brochure showing a section of the coastline of some distance shore, put the brochure away and do this walk.

…And, Finally

I booked my apartment at The Bay and I wasn’t fully sure it was a good idea right up until the time I set off. The mixture of bad reviews and the fact the place sounded way too good to be true. I didn’t have any idea what the area was like and I was concerned it’d be a bit lacklustre. After all, it wasn’t The Lakes and that had been fantastic.

I got lucky on the weather. It’s quite possible if things had just been a whole lot more grey I’d have enjoyed the trip but not come away with the feeling of how magical it was. That is how I describe it: magical. The serenity of The Bay, the beauty of File Bay itself and the almost religious like experience of walking from Scarborough to Filey just amounted to an experience that will always be remembered.

About Ian O'Rourke

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