The world famous Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro may be hitting the headlines during the World Cup but here on home soil, we have some gorgeus beaches of our own on which to celebrate a summer of badminton.
Here at BADMINTON England we have compiled a Top 10 of England’s best beaches – in no particular order - on which to swing a racket whilst on holiday with family and friends.
We have selected stretches of sand from all four corners of England which, whilst being outdoor, would still be ideal to continue playing badminton all summer long.
Bamburgh Beach (Northumberland)
A touch of drama always adds extra exhilaration to a badminton match and nothing says 'drama' more than the imposing turrets of Bamburgh Castle sitting proudly above this spectacular three-mile horseshoe-shaped beach with a view.
Once you have had your breath taken away by the sheer beauty of this hotspot, get involved with the thriving badminton scene that the county has to offer.
Crantock Beach (Newquay)
Voted Best British beach by BBC Coast 2013, Crantock Beach is a hidden gem that is a badminton lover’s dream thanks to high cliffs sheltering it from wind.
You need to conquer a giant sand dune before enjoying a badminton hit on the golden sand but trust us, it is well worth it. And when the time comes to go indoors, the surrounding coastline offers 19 affiliated clubs to choose from.
Priory Bay Beach (Isle of Wight)
It is a little known fact that alongside an impressive 13 badminton clubs, the Isle of Wight boasts the most Blue Flag awarded beaches in 2014. The privately owned Priory Bay Beach is certainly one of the most exclusive.
With golden sands and clear waters there is an almost tropical feel and the good news for badminton fans is the beach is perfectly sheltered from the wind thanks to the tree-arched bay.
South Bay (Scarborough)
A claim of ‘some of England’s softest sand’ is sure to draw admiring glances from badminton fans looking for a soft landing when diving to reach a drop shot on the beach.
Yorkshire’s south facing South Bay – Blue Flagged for 2014 - is a sun trap so is Scarborough’s busiest beach but fear not, the calm waters rarely reach the promenade, giving plenty of true soft sand untouched by sea.
Saunton Sands (Devon)
A 3 ½ mile epic stretch of golden sand awaits badminton fans arriving at this world class, family friendy beach at Saunton Sands, near the resort of Braunton in Devon.
When the tide is out, the sea can retreat to reveal a further two and half million square metres of sand – plenty of space to have no fewer 15,290 courts drawn out with a piece of driftwood at a push.
Holkham Beach (Norfolk)
Holkham’s unspoilt stretch of sand backed by rolling dunes often gets the travel writers vote for ‘Best Beach in the UK’.
After a quick kit change in one of the stunning victorian beach huts, Holkham beach seems to stretch forever offering room for everyone but on busy days you can still enquire on one of the 53 active badminton clubs dotted along Norfolk’s sun blessed coast.
Studland Bay (Dorset)
Tempted by four miles of glorious white sand on which to draw out a beach badminton court?
Studland Bay, and more notably the family friendly Knoll Beach to the south, offers the chance of a shuttlecock hit with a remote desert island feel.
The net posts and service lines can be backdropped by heathland all year round whilst the county's badminton club scene offers more than 30 clubs to choose from.
Camber Sands (East Sussex)
Travel writers often report that Camber Sands “practically begs you” to want to get sporty on the beach and at 7 miles long and ½ mile wide in places it is easy to see why.
The beach is big, bare with so much sand space to swing a racket without fear of knocking over a windbreak. A note of caution though – it can get a bit blustery to keep you on your toes during play.
Formby Beach (Merseyside)
The sweeping sands of Formby Beach are big, broad and families can run and play to their hearts content. Watch out for prehistoric human footprints when you pitch down your court as they are regularly reported here.
If you stand on top of the monumental sand dunes, on a clear day, you can even spot Blackpool Tower. Two very popular badminton clubs also play a mere shell’s throw from the car park if you fancy heading indoors for a hit.
Botany Bay (Kent)
Botany Bay is the one of the most photographed in England and deserves to be as one of the prettiest with a 660ft curve of soft sand backed by white cliffs.
Tide allowing, you could pitch up a net and smash shuttlecocks in the most unusual setting - between the giant chalk stacks that dominate the beach but give an extra element of nerve when going outside the tramlines to play a shot.
Have we overlooked your favourite beach?
England has as many beaches to chose from as affiliated badminton clubs so we have had to shortlist those that grabbed our attention.
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