When Irene and Ian Smale celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary this summer, they knew there was only one possible venue which would fit the bill.

Not only did Golden Cap Holiday Park in Dorset have the perfect name, it was also where the couple spent their honeymoon in June 1972 – and have returned to every year since.

It was Irene and Ian’s parents who booked the pair a holiday caravan at the Dorset park next to Seatown Beach, just a few hours from where they lived in Rustington, West Sussex.

Fifty years ago today: the couple pictured on honeymoon at Dorset’s Golden Cap

The honeymoon stay created a host of happy memories, and saw the start of a holiday romance with Golden Cap which has continued through the decades:

“When our three children came along, they learned to love Golden Cap as much as we did,” said Irene who, like her husband, is ordained in the Church of England Diocese of Chichester.

“Over the years we have probably stayed on almost every part of the park in tents and caravans, and more recently in beautiful luxury holiday lodges.

“Our children, all now in their forties, have also returned at various times over the years and have especially enjoyed staying in the safari tents and glamping pods.

“We have taken many exotic holidays around the globe, but we always return to Golden Cap each year. Why? Because it’s just like coming home.

“To us, it’s the most tranquil and relaxing place on earth. The views are stunning, the park is immaculate, and every detail has been thought through with sensitivity and care.

“In addition, the staff at Golden Cap are the most welcoming, warm, and friendly people we have ever had the privilege to meet.

“Over the years we have seen the park grow and develop into the luxury destination it is today, and we cannot recommend it highly enough; it holds so many happy memories for us,” said Irene.

Now living in Chichester and semi-retired, author Irene (69) and musician Ian (72) both serve as Deacons in Chichester Cathedral, and Irene is also Chaplain to the Prebendal School Chichester.

Golden Cap is one the five holiday parks belonging to West Dorset Leisure Holidays which has been in the same family’s ownership for over fifty years.

Earlier this year, the park won a prestigious silver accolade in the Holiday Park of the Year category of the South West Tourism Awards.

The family’s Highlands End Holiday Park in Bridport took the overall gold award in the category.

Group director Martin Cox said he was delighted that Golden Cap was regarded with such affection by Irene and Ian, and hoped they would enjoy many more stays in the years ahead.

For more information about Golden Cap and other parks in the group, visit www.wdlh.co.uk