In spite of the obvious attractions of Ponte Carlo and Cas Vegas – and even the metropolitan charms of Leeds itself - it’s pleasant to get away for the day now and again, particularly when one of the increasingly reliable weather apps says it’s going to be sunny, writes YEP columnist Rob Atkinson.
And, honestly, where better to go for fresh air and fun than one of our wonderful east coast resorts?
I was there for the day last week, and it really is good for the soul. A change of scene, with a whiff of ozone in the air, as well as the competing odours of fried donuts, fish and chips, whelks, cheeseburgers and what have you.
It all adds together to make a proper treat for the nose. Breathe in deeply and inhale that essence of Yorkshire seaside. Lovely. I’m happy to be able to confirm that it’s still worth making that trip along the A64.
All of it has changed very little since I was a nipper. Perhaps these days the odd pint of something suitably restorative has been added to the menu, but an ice cream cornet is still an essential accessory for a stroll along the beach, as well as a few al fresco cuppas to enjoy on one of those handily-located benches overlooking the beach on the Coble Landing at Filey.
Filey was very much the resort of choice when we were kids. We always used to find ourselves on the same part of the beach, down the slope opposite Cargate Hill, and under the bridge to get established on the sands. There we’d toil away with buckets and spades and watch dad show off his football skills while mum criticised from the safety of a deckchair. It was always sunny and the hours fled by in a blur of enjoyment, with breaks on the promenade above the beach for chips and a Punch and Judy show.
Later on, there’d be raw tomato halves applied to sunburned and salty skin - none of your factor thirty then - and we kids would sleep the sleep of the happily tired on the return journey, lulled by the sound of our parents arguing about the best way home.
Filey seems to have changed hardly at all in my 50-odd years love affair with its beach and those elegant Edwardian gardens.
Nowadays, we’re off at the crack of five in the morning to get to our destination for breakfast – and of course other east coast resorts are available.
Last week, we decided on Whitby for the full English, then piled aboard a three quid a head pleasure boat for a brief sea trip to watch porpoises playing in the sun a quarter of a mile out. Simple pleasures, just like when we were kids, when my wife and I must unknowingly have shared the same Filey beach on so many occasions, years before we actually met.
And it was to Filey we headed for the last part of our day out. No trip to the coast is ever really complete for us without a view of the Brigg - and a nostalgic stroll down that steep hill to the wide bay of golden memory. To this day, when I walk onto the beach, I can still see my late dad, tall, young and strong, belting a plastic football against the sea wall, his normally tidy hair wild with sea breeze, salt water and enthusiasm. They say that you can never go back.
But, for us lucky Tykes who were brought up on Yorkshire seaside day trips or summer holidays, the likes of Filey, Scarborough and Brid stand as ample proof that - thankfully - you can.