The Best Beaches In New England

GETTY
Summer is right around the corner, so it’s best to start planning your weekend getawaysnow. Although New England is better known for its charming small towns and scenic vistas (famously one of the best places to see fall’s foliage), it’s also home to some of the best beaches. Here, our favorite sandy swaths along New England’s coastline and its surrounding islands.

1. Mohegan Bluffs Beach, Rhode Island

Little Block Island, off the southern coast of Rhode Island, offers an impressive 17 miles of beaches, none more spectacular than this quiet spot on the island’s southwest reaches. Situated 150 feet below its namesake bluffs (and accessible by a 140-step staircase), the beach has spectacular views — on a clear day, you can see all the way to Montauk on neighboring Long Island.

See our list of the 20 most beautiful beaches in the world.

GETTY
2. Coast Guard Beach, Massachusetts

Cape Cod has some of the most postcard-perfect beaches in the region, but we love this one because it’s ideal for families. The sand is super soft (great for little feet), the waves are shallow enough for young swimmers and boogie-board enthusiasts, and the local seals are always a highlight.

GETTY
3. Goose Rocks Beach, Maine

Located in tony Kennenbunkport (this is where the Bush family summers), this quiet beach spans three miles, so you won’t need to compete for space when throwing down your beach blanket. At low tide, keep an eye out for the barrier reef that protects the beach surfaces, also known as Goose Rocks.

GETTY
4. Plum Island Beach, Massachusetts

While there are not many humans on this island’s gold sand beaches, more than 800 species of plants, birds, and animals inhabit the surrounding Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. Needless to say: This is a great place to soak up the sun — as well as little nature.

GETTY
5. Sand Beach, Maine

Founded in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson as the East Coast’s first national park, Acadia draws millions of hikers and bikers, who come for the mountainous terrain and the craggy coastline. But in between all this rocky grandeur lies a dreamy 300-yard, pink-sand beach surrounded by sapphire waters — a perfect spot to drop in after all the exploring.

England claim 19 wickets in single day to crush woeful West Indies and claim first Test victory

It was a historic day for Stuart Broad who surpassed Sir Ian Botham to take second place behind James Anderson in the national all-time list of Test wicket-takers Getty
The cliché of choice for England cricketers is that Test cricket is titled as such because it is a test. Well, this innings and 209-run demolition of a feeble West Indies inside three days was anything but.

Joe Root’s team will take the plaudits – and the 1-0 lead in this three-match series – for finishing off their opponents in ruthless fashion.

However, the fact 19 West Indian wickets fell on this third and final day is a damning indictment on a once proud cricketing nation.

Sport is all about the thrill of competition, the uncertainty of results in closely-fought encounters. This mismatch, though, was about as competitive as a Formula One car racing a horse and trap.

Amid the carnage, there was a slice of history for Stuart Broad, whose five wickets in this match saw him overtake Sir Ian Botham to move into second place on England’s all-time list of Test wicket-takers.

Only James Anderson, whose overall tally now stands at 492 after he also picked up five in this match, is ahead of Broad.

England appeal successfully for the wicket of Shane Dowrich (Getty)
The Nottinghamshire bowler, who now has 384 wickets in the oldest form of the game, took three for four in 11 balls under the Edgbaston floodlights to hasten his team to victory.

But in terms of drama, this first day-night Test in the UK was a huge disappointment.

Not much was expected of West Indies given they had lost their past five series in this country.

You do have to wonder, though, how suitable this kind of non-event is for England in terms of preparation for this winter’s Ashes.

Starting the day on 44-1 in their first innings, West Indies begun their second barely a session later after being skittled out for 168. In all their final nine first-innings wickets fell for 124 in 31 overs. Only Jermaine Blackwood, left stranded on 79 not out, showed any fight.

With a lead of 346, there was no doubt Root would enforce the follow-on.

And the faith in his bowlers was fully justified as they ran through their opponents again, dismissing them for 137 in just 45.4 overs.

By the time England had made their opponents bat again, the fans inside a packed-out Edgbaston had already seemingly lost interest in this match as a contest.

Kemar Roach is bowled by Stuart Broad (Getty)
Indeed, as the West Indies openers sought to see off the new ball in their second innings, those inside the boisterous Hollies Stand were more enthralled by a contest of their own – getting their inflatable ball back from the stewards. One by one the punters ran to the corner of the stand – a group of sheep was followed by scores of chickens, some Mexican banditos and whatever the collective noun for Fred Flintstones is.

They got it back, too, after a few minutes of chanting their demands, the rest of the 6,000-capacity Stand joining in to offer their support.

However, as the floodlights kicked in, Anderson soon diverted their attentions back to the field as he dismissed Kieran Powell with a delivery that nipped away, took the edge and flew into Alastair Cook’s hands at first slip.

West Indies were now 15 for one in their second innings, still needing to see off another 60 overs to take this match into a fourth day. By tea, with the tourists 76 for four, those chances looked remote.

Toby Roland-Jones, weighing in with his third wicket of the day, dismissed Kyle Hope lbw before Ben Stokes extinguished West Indies’ last Hope – Shai – thanks to a smart catch from Root that left the tourists on 60-3.

Toby Roland-Jones celebrates after bowling Shai Hope (Getty)
Moeen Ali removed Brathwaite lbw on review for 40 with the final ball before tea. He then ensured Blackwood would only add 12 second-innings runs to his fine effort in the first dig, having the Jamaican stumped by Jonny Bairstow shortly after the interval, West Indies now 102 for five.

Just two more runs were added to that total before Broad struck in successive deliveries, Roston Chase trapped lbw and Jason Holder caught superbly by Cook, to draw level with Botham on the all-time list.

Those wickets also gave Broad the chance to register his third Test hat-trick, a feat no bowler has ever achieved. However, Kemar Roach’s solid forward defensive put paid to those hopes.

Yet Broad, now in one of those irresistible spells, soon overtook Botham by bowling Shane Dowrich, West Indies now 115 for eight.

Anderson pushed the tourists further towards the brink with a fine delivery that bowled Roach.

And victory was sealed in the very next over, Roland-Jones having Alzarri Joseph caught by Stokes to put the West Indies out of their misery.

Anderson had set the tone in the first over of the day when his short ball had Kyle Hope caught at gully in the very first over.

West Indies captain Jason Holder leaves the field after being dismissed by Stuart Broad (Getty)
He then ran out Powell and bowled Chase via an inside edge for an 11-ball duck to reduce West Indies to 47 for four in their first innings.

There was to prove little respite for the tourists even if Blackwood and Shai Hope put on a spirited stand of 42 to temporarily stem the flow of wickets.

That resistance was ended, though, by Roland-Jones, who first bowled Hope and then trapped Dowrich lbw to reduce West Indies to 101 for six.

Blackwood was still showing fight and the Jamaican reached his tenth Test half-century in 49 balls.

He was running out of partners, though, and lost two more before lunch, his captain Holder falling for 11 on review after edging Moeen behind and Roach bowled by Broad.

The tourists went into the interval on 145 for eight and were all out for 168 half an hour into the second session, Broad dismissing Joseph lbw and Tom Westley running out last man Miguel Cummins to leave Blackwood stranded 21 runs short of a second Test century

History maker Stuart Broad has no plans to hang up his England spikes as he sets sights on 2019 Ashes

Stuart Broad has no intention of hanging up his spikes just yet AFP
Stuart Broad has stated his commitment to carrying on playing until at least the 2019 home Ashes series after moving ahead of Sir Ian Botham into second place on England’s all-time list of Test wicket-takers.

In terms of Englishmen, only James Anderson, with 492, now has more Test scalps than Broad’s 384 after the 31-year-old took five wickets during the three-day rout of West Indies at Edgbaston.

Both will be crucial to their country’s Ashes chances in Australia this winter, a campaign that promises to offer a rather more formidable challenge than the one West Indies presented during their innings-and-209 run defeat in the first day-night Test in this country.

That Broad is aiming to face Australia again on home soil in 2019 should come as no surprise.

But, after Anderson, 35, stated earlier this summer his determination to carry on until that series, the prospect of having their two most prolific bowlers in history available for another two years will delight England.

“I’m 31 now and still feel like I have quite a bit of cricket left in me,” said Broad. “I’m loving the energy around this team, I’m loving being part of it. I’ve hopefully, touch wood, got a few more miles in the tank.”

Asked whether that meant he would be around for 2019, Broad answered: “Oh God, yes, I hope so. I’ll be just turned 33. Jimmy is 35 so I’d certainly hope my performances will keep improving to be a part of that Ashes for sure.

Broad excelled as England demolished the West Indies inside three days (Getty)
“I’m not someone who looks too far ahead because I think it slows you down as a performer. This winter is a hugely exciting one because I think that series is going to be a belter with two teams that look really similar. But obviously I have hunger to go further than that.”

Despite his advancing years, Anderson’s form this summer has been stunning, following up his 20 wickets at 14.10 during England’s 3-1 series win against South Africa with another five at Edgbaston.

“To be fair, Jimmy is bowling as well as I’ve seen him bowl,” said Broad. “He’s turned 35 but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him challenge both sides of the bat as consistently as he has done this summer. “Fielding at mid-on and mid-off to him, I feel like he is in the game all the time. He’s not bowling bad balls, he looks in a rhythm that’s awesome. Long may that continue.

“Look, he’s going to be crucial for our chances this winter, for sure, and hopefully he can keep that rhythm going because he is picking up wickets at a huge speed at the moment and, not only will he be looking at 500 wickets, he’ll be looking way past that the way he is going.”

Broad moved to second in the all-time list of England wicket-takers (AFP)
Broad and Anderson now have 876 Test wickets between them, with the combined target of 1,000 now in reach if both do carry on for a couple more years.

There are certainly plenty more to come in the final two Tests against a febrile West Indies, with England naming an unchanged squad for next match at Headingley starting on Friday.

However, does Broad see himself still playing for England at the age of 35 like his good friend and new-ball partner?

“You don’t know if you’ll have the luck with injuries, you don’t know how the body will feel,” he says. “I play cricket for the competitive side of it. I love that feeling of being in a battle, I love that competitive spirit and that’s the reason I play. I’ll play as long as that competitive spirit and drive is there because that’s what gets me up in the morning. That desire and competitive spirit certainly is still within me now. I’ve always been honest with myself – as soon as that goes, I’ll know that I’m gone.”

Broad moved ahead of Sir Ian Botham in the all-time list (Getty)
That competitive spirit was certainly fired by surpassing a man in Botham who he dreamed of emulating as a child and who presented him with his Test cap on debut against Sri Lanka in Colombo a decade ago.

Broad, whose father Chris was part of England’s 1986-87 Ashes-winning team in Australia along with Botham, said: “Beefy is someone who has been a big influence on me. Obviously, playing with my dad and watching some of his performances against Australia, he is a huge legend of English cricket but someone who has given a lot back to this team, actually.

“I was very fortunate to get my Test cap off him back in 2007. He is someone who in the past couple of years has spent more and more time in the changing room and the guys really listen to him. He is someone who has an influence on us the way he performed against Australia. Any performances against Australia are held in such high regard and he has been an influence on me wanting to perform against them.”

Botham has five Ashes series wins, but England will hope Broad, who already has four, will now be inspired to surpass him once again come 2019

England can’t ignore the role English authorities played in killing Test cricket’s competitiveness

West Indies captain Jason Holder leaves the field after being dismissed by Stuart Broad Getty
And so it begins, again: the existential fears for Test cricket so beloved of its fans. The West Indies’ desultory performance at Edgbaston, losing 19 wickets in a single day, combined with Sri Lanka being eviscerated 3-0 by India at home, has provoked a new bout of angst about the state of the Test game.

In a format so small – only 10 nations have ever played, though that will soon increase to 12 when Afghanistan and Ireland play their first Tests – Test cricket cannot afford to lose teams. This century, it has effectively lost both Zimbabwe – who once beat Pakistan and India in consecutive Test series – and the West Indies, who have won 16 and lost 89 of their 146 matches against other top eight teams since June 2000, as competitive sides.

The West Indies’ complicity in their own downfall – the endless petty politicking, the stubbornness, the squabbling between islands – is well-known. Yet England should not feel entitled to any sanctimony. The West Indies are also the victims of a broken structure in international cricket – one that England, the second wealthiest cricket nation, did a great deal to build.

If countries like the West Indies get the message that they aren’t cared for in Test cricket, they could hardly be blamed. From 2011-15, four of England’s five major home series were against Australia or India – not because of the quality of the contests, but because those matches were the most lucrative.

West Indies, it is true, have hardly made a compelling case for more fixtures. But consider the case of New Zealand. In 2013-15, they went seven series undefeated, toppling India at home and being thrilling tourists to England in their two-Test drawn series in 2015. At the time, Mike Hesson, New Zealand’s coach, said his side had “earned the right” to play longer Test series.

But to get bilateral fixtures what matters is not the quality of cricket. Instead fixtures are determined by a combination of short-term alliances and politicking – Sri Lanka are touring India for another three Tests later this year, and it may or may not be coincidence that they joined India in opposing ICC reforms earlier this year – and the size of a country’s GDP, which is where New Zealand fall short. Although they are still competitive, they have trimmed their forthcoming summer to just four Tests, with a gaping three months in the middle of the summer with no Tests at all. Senior players are frustrated, but the board can hardly be blamed: unless it is against England or India, hosting a Test typically loses the home board around $500,000.

Unlike most sports leagues, there is no central dividing up of TV rights. But then Test cricket has never really been a league at all; instead, its quaint structure of bilateral matches, meandering on without any final, is out of kilter with all other sports.

That bodes ill for the West Indies who, as a small and relatively penurious nation, will never – even with the best administration in the world – be able to generate anything like enough to prevent leading talents from playing in T20 leagues instead. The West Indies earn around £12m a year for their domestic TV rights; England’s new broadcasting deal is worth £220m a year. Given this disparity, it is curious how England, even after agreeing to a substantial reduction in their ICC funding in June, can justify receiving over £1m more than the West Indies from the ICC a year. In England that money will do little more than swell the ECB’s £35m reserves; in the West Indies it could improve facilities in the region – most territories lack decent indoor training centres – and salaries for playing regional and international cricket.

Root and Cook dominated against a weak bowling line-up (Getty Images)

Enriching the English game – through the ICC, and through not pooling TV rights – has actually helped deprive Test fans at home of competitive cricket. A lack of cash for their board means that leading West Indies players in all three formats can earn $225,000 a year, according to a FICA report last year – or they can earn in the region of $1m playing in T20 leagues. England’s clout is even hollowing out South Africa who, after losing Kyle Abbott to a Kolpak deal, as well as a raft of fringe players, now face Morne Morkel retiring too.

Ironically, the largest nations do recognise the need for financial equality. That’s why, both the Big Bash, Indian Premier League have salary caps designed to ensure competitive balance on the pitch; the new English T20 competition will do the same. Yet this logic does not apply to international cricket itself.

And then there is the structure of Test cricket: there is none. When England lost the 2013/14 Ashes 5-0, it had no impact on their their fixtures or future. Even the players barely feign to care about the world rankings, which, with no semblance of equity in the fixture list, are scarcely valid anyway. Test matches have no more consequences for success or failure than friendlies in other sports.

It was the first international day-night Test played in England (Getty Images)

There were issues with the ICC’s plans for two divisions, which was abandoned last year after the Full Member boards refused to endorse it, fearing the consequences of relegation. Yet the meritocracy and context beloved of English sports could, if implemented sensibly, have improved the spectacle of Test cricket. “It will make people look at their high-performance programmes and their systems, so the product of Test cricket will improve as well,” David White, New Zealand’s chief executive, said at the time. The nine-team league structure that the ICC hopes will be passed in October is also imperfect – series would be of different length, though count for the same number of overall points; and it remains unlikely that India would be sanctioned to play Pakistan.

But any genuine context would be better than the status quo which is, essentially, the worst of all worlds. For smaller countries, there are no real incentives to improve. Without any semblance of meritocracy, success is not rewarded; nor is failure punished. The fixture list is unfathomable. Fans have no incentive to follow games involving other nations. The empty platitudes about ‘protecting the primacy of Test cricket’ continue, along with the format’s inadequate structure. Where dynamic T20 leagues produce a clear champion, Test cricket just bumbles on.

The best that can be said is that it always has done so – and, after 140 years, Test cricket is still here. But never has it faced so many challenges – from other sports and cricket’s own shorter formats, which are not only engaging fans but also incentivising players from smaller nations to quit Tests prematurely.

Together with ensuring context, Test cricket would also do well to learn from the world’s most lucrative sports league. In 1962, the NFL’s club owners met to discuss their network television revenue. By dint of being in a far larger market, the New York Giants received five times more than the Green Bay Packers. Yet the Giants argued that “the NFL was only as strong as its weakest link, that Green Bay should receive as much money as any of the other teams,” as the NFL commissioner at the time later said. With a little of such thinking in cricket, it would be possible for the ICC to guarantee a minimum sum for each Test cricketer from the 12 nations, perhaps funded by the proceeds of a Test league, to ensure that teams from smaller economies would be able to actually pick their strongest possible side.

The alternative to radical reform, both to the fixture list and economic structure, threatens to be a further erosion of competitive balance, and an accelerating hollowing out of Test talent in smaller countries. All accompanied by more tedious laments for how the West Indies’ maroon cap has been devalued.

The sport of cricket is far richer than it’s ever been. When it’s not in players’ economic interests to play Tests, administrators have failed abjectly.

Wayne Rooney still has goals to offer for England, insists Everton teammate Phil Jagielka

Wayne Rooney celebrates after putting Everton ahead against Manchester City on Monday evening Getty

Phil Jagielka believes Everton teammate Wayne Rooney still has unfinished business with England and insists that the player “looks as good as ever” following his return to Goodison Park this summer.

Rooney, who rejoined his boyhood club for an undisclosed fee following a 13-year stint at Manchester United, has made a strong start to life with the Toffees, scoring two goals in as many games after an encouraging offseason with the club.

The decision to leave United for Everton was met with a mixed response, however, with certain critics questioning whether England’s all-time top goalscorer would be capable of carving out a place in Ronald Koeman’s squad.

But Rooney has impressed to date with Everton and Jagielka believes that the forward, who he describes as one of the club’s “best players”, still “has more goals to go for” with the national side.

“Wayne and his team mates never doubt him, so I am not sure why people would doubt him,” the defender said after Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw against Manchester City.

“He has proven when he is given a chance to play a number of games, he normally scores a number of goals, so his record for his country and his teams has been second to none and so far for us, in pre-season and in the league and in our brief European stint, he has been one of our best players and hopefully that will continue.

“I think Wayne with the season he had last season, with him not being given the chance to play [for England] as much as he would have liked, and he is concentrating on his football at Everton and if England comes knocking, obviously he is younger than me and he has more goals to go for. I am sure he will be happy.”

Jagielka added that Rooney’s form bodes well for Everton as they bid to build upon last season’s success and push for a spot in the Champions League.

“Like I said before, game-wise I think he ran the most today, he has been putting it in, he has been pretty much our best player throughout pre-season, so he looks fit and sharp, scores goals, so there is not much more that we will be looking for him to do.

“I have been lucky enough to play with Wayne a number of times and he looks as good as ever now, as hungry as ever and hopefully that is a good sign for us.

Concern over lack of funding for IVF and sterilisation options in England

Egg storage for in vitro fertilisation (IVF)
 Egg storage for in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Photograph: Getty Images/Science Photo Library

Even worse than the postcode lottery on IVF treatment being introduced by clinical commissioning groups (Report, 7 August) is the short-termism and lack of joined-up thinking in deciding what patient services to axe in order to save money.

In my area (Herts Valleys), at a recent public consultation event, proposals were not only to cease providing “IVF and specialist fertility services” but also to stop funding vasectomy and female sterilisation operations. But funding of pregnancy/birth/postnatal care as well as abortions will continue.

It should not need spelling out that prevention is always better than cure and to know that reducing unwanted/unplanned pregnancies is cheaper than dealing with the results of such pregnancies. When pointing this out, I was told that the CCG would continue to supply very effective contraceptives.

Unfortunately figures and surveys show that contraceptives may be effective, but the human beings who use/do not use them are fallible. In real life, male or female sterilisation is the only 100% effective method of preventing pregnancy and it is sad that highly paid professionals tasked with spending our money efficiently do not appear to know this.
Diane Munday
Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire

 One in six couples in the UK now struggle to conceive. That’s a hefty portion of the population. Many people will have family or friends who are going through gruelling fertility treatment. But the sweeping cuts to NHS funding will sentence so many who long to be parents to remain forever childless. The physical and emotional blitz of treatment is brutal enough without adding financial worry. And the gift of having a child through IVF should not be restricted to those who can afford to pay for it privately.
Diane Chandler 
Author of Moondance, London

A recent study in New Zealand suggests that with IUI, compared with trying to conceive naturally, the live birth rate could increase from 9% to 31% when paired with a drug that boosts ovulation.