Family Vacations at Same Resort for 60 Years

Members of the Hopkins Family
The 'feel good' story of the week is about John and Sonia Hopkins of the UK who, along with their extended family, have been vacationing at the same seaside resort for 6 decades. And not just the same resort - they've spent all those summer holidays in the same guest room.

John first took his wife Sonia to ­Folkestone in Kent in 1951 after falling in love with the place on a 1949 cricket trip. They've been back for their annual holiday every year since. Their extended clan of 20 adults and four children just completed their 2011 visit.

It's not just the destination that has remained the same -- the family follows the same holiday itinerary each year, including a visit to a golf course and a darts tournament in the same pub.

John says, "There's ­nowhere quite like it anywhere in the world. We always have the same room ­overlooking the Channel, and on a clear day you can look across the water to France. In the morning we all meet up at quarter past nine on the pitch and putt golf course. Around noon we all head off to the same local pub The Lifeboat Inn where we have been going every year and have lunch. Then in the afternoon we play darts."

And so it's became an annual event. Even after the cricket matches stopped in the 1970s, the family decided to keep the holiday tradition going. "My family loved the trips so much we have carried on going down to Folkestone every year," says John. In the early days the family all stayed at the same hotel, but now the extended family likes to look for luxury homes to rent.

Why do they keep coming back to Folkestone? "I call it God's country. When you stand on the pitch and putt course looking out over the whole of Folkestone and across the Channel, it is just wonderful," John says. "The air is so fresh and clean and there is nothing like it, so beautiful and tranquil."

"It is such a unique thing and we think it is wonderful there is another generation to carry on the tradition."

The family is already planning next year's trip but had to postpone it for a week -- because of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.


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