Distance: 6¼ miles / 10 kilometers
Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Map: OS Explorer 293 - Kingston upon Hull & Beverley
An easy going 6¼ mile circular pleasing walk through the managed woodlands of the Drewton Manor Estate and along the dales around Drewton Wold, with picturesque views over open farmland and along woodland trails. There is a ½ mile section along the busy B1230 where care should be taken, there is a verge to walk on. The pathways are clearly defined, the ascents are not particularly challenging but will generate a bit of perspiration.
The start point is from the small lay-by (space for about 8 cars) on Swinescaif Road off Beverley Road where it becomes Comberdale Hill road, 2¾ miles west of Little Weighton and 1½ mile NE from South Cave.
From the lay-by the trail heads west on a stoney track - Swinescaife Road (that supports Swinescaife chalk Quarry) for about ½ a mile to a small track on the right that steps down to the gate to access Comber Dale where sheep often graze. Then turns right to head east along the old Hull-Barnsley railway line, where foraging grey squirrels can be found, along with pheasants in the hedgerows and other small birds in the trees. As the trail follows the Yorkshire Wolds Way, it eventually enters West Hill Plantation, where it swings north, for a steady ascent up East Dale, from the top giving views to the east across the rolling farmland.
The trail briefly joins the B1230 for ½ a mile before taking a path above St Austin's Stone, and the fencing along the northern edge of Austin Dale. Sadly the fencing prevents access to St Austin's Stone, a naturally formed chalky stone monolith. The name is derived from St Augustine who visited the area and preached his Christian message to the Saxons from this stone. This rocky outcrop is also believed to have been connected with druid worship back in the day, folklore has it that the nearby settlement was called Druid's Town, (Drewton).
Before dropping down Drewton Dale there are some magnificent views south west towards Faxfleet where the Rivers Trent, Ouse and Humber meet.
After dropping steeply down Drewton Dale on a tarmac track, the trail turns east on a road track, that follows the north side of the embankment of old Hull-Barnsley railway line. The track bears right along the woodland before crossing an old railway bridge, the track continues to mirror the path of old railway line to where it meets the bottom edge of Comber Dale.
The railway was opened in 1885 by the Hull Barnsley & West Riding Junction Railway and Dock Company, though never reached Barnsley. There are two tunnels 132 yards long on the Drewton Estate (Weedley Springs Tunnel and Sugar Loaf Tunnel which has been partly back filled). The closure of the line was gradual from 1932 and completely closed in 1955.
The trail then returns back up Comber Dale, then turns left on Swinescaife Road and back to the car park lay-by.