Planes, Trains & Automobiles – Milan, Italy to Kirkburton, England

Do you remember the movie “Planes, Trains, & Automobiles” with John Candy and Steve Martin? Well, a few days ago we used all three modes of transportation to get to our destination. We took a plane from Milan to Manchester, a train from Manchester to Huddersfield, and an automobile from Huddersfield to Kirkburton where The Foxglove is located, our home for the next five days. 

After a fairly full day of travel, we arrived at the pub just in time for a drink before unpacking. We met up with our longtime friends, an amazing story I’ll share with you. Gill and I met back in the mid-’80s before regular social media existed. She wrote a letter to the editor of a woman’s magazine and mentioned she would like a pen pal (as they were called back in the day) with an American of a similar age who had a family. I think she received close to 1,000 letters from all over America and I was one of several women that she replied to. We clicked right away.

Over the years we corresponded by writing letters – you know the old fashioned way of writing everything out on paper and snail mailing it, then we upgraded to cassette tapes, and eventually, we moved to email and most recently, WhatsApp.  We’ve experienced from afar our children grow up, and our lives change over the span of 30+ years. We’ve crossed the pond a few times to visit each other, and here we are again, just like it was so many years ago. 

The first night we arrived, we went out for Italian food. We had a laugh about that. The owner of the restaurant was born in Rome and the chef did a great job with the eggplant parmesan. And of course, I had to order zucchini sticks as a starter! “Well done” as they say here.

After a great night’s sleep and breakfast of an English cereal called Weetabix(which was actually good) we headed out to check an English tower nearby.

But first, we had to see if the little girls liked their sunglasses from Minnie Mouse, and I think they did. Louise in the middle of the picture is Gill’s daughter and the young girls are Chris and Sara’s children (Chris is Gill’s son). It is wonderful getting a chance to catch up with generations of the family while we are visiting England. 

Now on to the tower! On the way to this tower, the countryside was dotted with sheep in fields everywhere. Oh the wool and cheese that must be produced in this area! 

Victoria Tower Castle Hill was erected in 1897 (and opened in 1899) as a permanent memorial of Queen Victoria’s long reign over the British empire. The tower is perched on the hill overlooking the town of Huddersfield with a 360-degree view of the area. It was very windy when we were there looking around but the view was fantastic and worth messing up the hairdo.


We passed an aqueduct in our travels that looked similar to those we saw in Italy. Since we are in the Yorkshire area in England I was told it wasn’t built by the Romans. It does look like it though.


The Last of the Summer Wine is one of the longest running British sitcoms, airing from 1973 to 2010. You might know I would like a Britsh show with “wine” in the title. We visited the cafe where the exterior shots were filmed in Holmfirth (where the old men in the series used to hang out) and then we walked to Nora Batty’s house (a character in the show famous for her curlers, wrinkled tights, and razor-sharp tongue). Nora’s house was turned into a tearoom called the Wrinkled Stocking Tearoom. 

Lunch in a local pub where Dick had his first fish and chips this trip. He did share a taste and it was quite good. I had tomato soup which was very tasty. I noticed that some of the chips served were like American french fries and some were thick potato wedges. I’m not sure why the difference in style. Another thing in this pub (and maybe other pubs too, I’m not sure) you had to go to the bar or counter to order your food, even if you were sitting down in the bar. You learn fast you have to pay attention to the lay of the land or go hungry! 🙂

When we stopped in Holmfirth we popped into a few shops to look around, and then we had ice cream at the Yummy Yorkshire. It was very creamy and a delicious flavor, and I ate it, even though I was full from lunch and cold from the windy weather. You do what you have to do for ice cream. 

A tired group headed back to the Foxglove to grab a nap before gathering in the evening. Luckily we were staying at the Foxglove to eat dinner and hang out tonight. Great food and family-friendly atmosphere! Tomorrow is another adventure.









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