Ed Sheeran fans can follow his path to global stardom on a walking tour of the streets where he began his career.
The route around Ipswich, where he ended his record-breaking world tour in August, includes his first gig venues and his beloved Ipswich Town’s stadium.
Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk has been devised by Ipswich Borough Council to capitalise on the singer’s profile.
Karen Byrnand of the council said: “It’s about getting people to think about how the journey started.”
The route culminates at Christchurch Mansion, which since the summer has hosted an exhibition of Sheeran’s life curated by his father.
It has been seen by thousands of people from all over the world, many of whom saw him end his Divide world tour over four nights at Chantry Park in the town.
Sheeran grew up in the nearby market town of Framlingham and the gigs were billed as a “homecoming”.
“Ed’s been a part of Ipswich life for a long time,” said Mrs Byrnand.
“He has loyalty to Ipswich as well – through the football club or his last gigs at Chantry Park. He stood there and said ‘I’m back home’.”
The route plots Sheeran’s rise from Suffolk schoolboy to global superstar, and kicks off on Tuesday, as Christchurch Mansion is closed on Mondays.
Beginning at Portman Road, where Sheeran can often be seen in the crowd, it also takes in the University of Suffolk and Town Hall, where he was awarded his honorary doctorate.
There are stops at venues where he played early gigs, including The Swan, the Steamboat Tavern, and the Halberd Inn – known as McGinty’s when Sheeran played it as a 17-year-old.
Ipswich Museum, home of the Ed Sheer-ham pig sculpture he bought for charity in 2016, and Christchurch Park, where he has played the annual Ipswich Music Day free festival, make up the rest of the route.
Story sourced from – BBC