It is well known that even with his worldwide fame and acclaim, Ed Sheeran has always spoken of his love for Suffolk; the place where he grew up, and home to the many landscapes and iconic locations that have inspired his songs.
In particular, his single ‘Castle on the Hill’ is regarded as Sheeran’s ‘love letter to Suffolk’ as it recounts his teenage years spent in Framlingham, growing up in the shadow of the magnificent 12th century Castle.
His latest album, Subtract, features 14 music videos, all of which were filmed in Suffolk locations and showcase the evocative natural landscapes that make Suffolk such an inspiring place to visit. Explore and perhaps set foot in some of the locations Sheeran chose for his epic music videos...
Salt Water - North Denes beach, Lowestoft
Come and kiss me, salt water
Oh, finally, I feel, at three or four degrees
I'm free in salt water
Embrace the deep and leave everything
It was just a dream.
Most visitors to Lowestoft flock to the golden sands of the South Beach and overlook the North Denes beach near Gunton; a more rugged coastline, with craggy dunes, pebbles and grasses. Dogs are allowed on this beach all year round and you can find shelter amongst the groynes and while away the time in blissful solitude. Home to a Banksy painting, there’s also a handy car park nearby as well as The Sparrows Nest Cafe a short walk away.
Ed Sheeran took to the North Denes beach to embrace its wild and romantic vibe for his song ‘Saltwater’. Locals made their way down to the area and were able to spot Sheeran holding onto a long rope ladder being dangled over the sea by a crane and surrounded by crew for a moment featured in his song No Strings.
Borderline – Southwold Pier
And the blackbirds, they fly
Like a frown on the skyline
If you’ve ever visited the quaint Victorian style pier in Southwold, then you’ll instantly recognise it making an appearance in Ed Sheeran’s video for Borderline. Sheeran can be seen leaning against the railings, sitting on the benches and peering through the windows of the buildings as the waves roll around him. During the shoot, he did an impromtu album signing, delighting many unsuspecting people out for a stroll along the prom.
Take a day trip to Southwold and make your way to the Pier where you can find ‘63 feet of fun’ and all manner of traditional seaside treats; fish and chips, ice-cream and even a nautical afternoon tea from The Clockhouse Restaurant. Don’t miss the ‘under the pier show’ a wacky collection of coin operated automatons, designed and created by the ingenious Tim Hunkin. Walk by the wall of mirrors and find a different version of yourself and make sure you stop by the water clock with its cheeky surprise for the eagle-eyed!
Life Goes On - Pin Mill
Babe, you're too controlling
I'ma feed you to the wolves when you get nasty back at me
But baby, don't distract me
I'm a goner, I lost her
Like, why the hell you wanna play me that way?
You're bad, babe, you double-faced entendre.
In the video for Life Goes On, Ed can be seen perching atop a large boat with a hefty anchor, look closely and you can see it bears the name Tidy Thames 1. The location of this boat and indeed this video is the tranquil wood and heathland at Pin Mill near Chelmondiston, Suffolk.
This beautiful sight of nature restoration has fantastic views over the River Orwell and is great for a relaxing country walk on a sunny day. After exploring the footpaths in the river valley, why not pop into the village for a pint and a bite to eat at The Butt and Oyster where Ed and the crew were spotted filming.