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In 1974, Elton John released a song called Grimsby, purporting to be an affectionate look back at the north-eastern fishing port with fond eyes. "Oh England, you're fair," he sings, "but there's none to compare with my Grimsby." He goes on to list the delights of the town, including a shingle beach, a pier, wild sands and a pub called the Skinners Arms.

It's a lively song, sung passionately enough to make any Elton fan consider a visit, to wander the beach while listening to it on headphones, and maybe visit the Skinners Arms, where there will undoubtedly be a jukebox with some of his greatest hits ready to go. The only problem is, Grimsby has no beach and no pier (that's Cleethorpes) and no Skinners Arms.

Happily, the 10 places on this list, all affiliated with iconic songs, really do exist, and are ripe for personal exploration (headphones optional).

1. Framlingham Castle, Suffolk

[Warning: Contains flashing images]

The Suffolk tourist board must surely owe Ed Sheeran a debt of thanks, given that the video to Castle on the Hill, his impassioned ode to the misadventures of his youth, looks quite so much like a holiday advert for their county. The song lists all the delights of the Framlington area - roaring fields, country lanes, sweet-smelling mountain grass and a delightful sunset, all to be enjoyed in the shadow of Framlingham Castle. Built as a fortress in the 12th century, the Castle played host to Mary Tudor when she was proclaimed Queen of England.

2. Coles Corner, Sheffield

[LISTEN] Richard Hawley's Sheffield memories

Richard Hawley's album titles are a mini-travelogue of Sheffield history - Lowedges, Lady's Bridge, Truelove's Gutter - but the one that chimes most deeply with his doleful chamber pop is Coles Corner. This is the spot, on the corner of Fargate and Church Street where Cole Brothers had their department store until 1963, and where Sheffield's young romantics would arrange to meet for dates.

It is also, therefore, a location of much heartache, where unlucky lovers would discover they had been stood up, in an age before mobile phones. Richard's song of the same name captures the swooning romance, with a mournful undercurrent reflecting the distinct possibility of an hour or two standing in the cold, hoping against hope that the night might yet pick up.

3. Penny Lane, Liverpool

In Liverpool, Penny Lane isn't so much a street (although it is a street) as a district, where Penny Lane meets Smithdown Road, and the Beatles song Penny Lane isn't so much about the street as it is about a bus terminal and the shops around it, in the 1950s. Paul McCartney wrote about the shelter in the middle of the roundabout, which was a tram stop and inspector's office. After the trams went, the shelter was transformed into a Beatles-themed cafe, although it's been closed for some time.

The barber's shop remains, although the pictures of "every head he's had the pleasure to know" have since been replaced with pictures of The Beatles. And naturally all street signs to Penny Lane have had to be kept well away from souvenir hunters.

4. Valentines Park, London

[LISTEN] Small Faces drummer Kenney Jones talks to Mark Radcliffe

Valentines Park is the largest green space in the London Borough of Redbridge, situated between Ilford and Gants Hill, and it used to have a lido. In the 1950s, it had a reputation for stinging nettles (and possibly wasps), which led local kids to refer to it as Itchycoo Park, because of all the scratching of stings.

The Small Faces, local lads themselves, wrote this into their own psychedelic reverie of lost youth and creating a kind of universal hub of throbbing nature in which everything is overwhelming - "it's all too beautiful". While other sources have claimed the location of the song to be Little Ilford Park on Church Road, Manor Park, or Wanstead Flats, Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane both confirmed it was written with Valentines Park in mind: Ronnie told biographer Paolo Hewitt: "It's a place we used to go to in Ilford years ago. Some bloke we know suggested it to us because it's full of nettles and you keep scratching actually."

5. Cyprus Avenue, Belfast

[LISTEN] Van Morrison talks to John McCarthy about Astral Weeks

This thoroughfare is mentioned twice on Van Morrison's album Astral Weeks, in the first line of Madame George and as the subject of its own song, in which a disaffected Van struggles to place himself back in the community in which he grew up. Cyprus Avenue itself was an aspirational location, on the right side of a railway track (hence the references to "the rumbling station where the lonesome engine drivers pine") that cut across Beersbridge Road. It separated the local community from, among other things, an Italian ice cream shop called the Sky Beam and the chippy, and Cyprus Avenue was the short cut.

Both songs came out in a rush, the words arriving in a stream of consciousness that Van then sings as if possessed by the visions of his youth and aching to return to more innocent times.

6. The Westway, London

[WATCH] Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon: Under the Westway

It may just be a road - an elevated stretch of the A40 heading out of Paddington and towards Oxford - but the Westway has proven to be a great inspiration for musicians in West London down the years. The Clash mentioned it in London's Burning - "I'm up and down the Westway, in and out the lights / What a great traffic system, it's so bright" - and it appears on the cover of both A Weekend in the City by Bloc Party and This is the Modern World by The Jam.

Blur mentioned the Westway in For Tomorrow, the opening track on 1993's Modern Life Is Rubbish. Then, in 2012, the group released Under the Westway, a song about the gentrification of Damon Albarn's West London base at the expense of one of London's most lively communities. It's exceptionally moving: "It depends how you're wired when the night's on fire / Under the Westway."

7. Hergest Ridge, Herefordshire/Powys

[LISTEN] Mike Oldfield talks to Stuart Maconie

Hergest Ridge is a long hill that sits astride the English/Welsh border, between Kington in Herefordshire and Gladesty in Powys. There's a path along the top, called Offa's Dyke. And it's here that Mike Oldfield set up a studio, to try and avoid the intense glare of publicity that accompanied the success of his debut album Tubular Bells.

Squirrelled away in the hills and refusing all offers of media interviews, he created two albums of pastoral prog rock, the first of which he named after his remote hideaway. They're both good companions if you fancy the walk.

8. Camp Street, Salford

[LISTEN] John Cooper Clarke talks about his love of poetry

At the opposite end of the romance scale to Offa's Dyke, Camp Street in Lower Broughton is the location of one of John Cooper Clarke's most celebrated and scathing song-poems. Recast as Beasley Street, it's a place of hopeless degradation and poverty, or, as Clarke puts it: "Where the perishing stink of squalor impregnates the walls / The rats have all got rickets / They spit through broken teeth."

It paints a picture that is just as impressionistic and potent as those of Van Morrison or Paul McCartney, but this time the dominant emotion is not nostalgia for the past but horror at the present. "Where the action isn't / That's where it is." Which does at least make it easy to find for the musical tourist.

9. Transmission Gallery, Glasgow

[LISTEN] Franz Ferdinand on Glasgow's Barrowlands

Franz Ferdinand came out of Glasgow's thriving art-school scene, which provided inspiration for musicians and filmmakers as well as artists. In Do You Want To, Alex Kapranos sings, "Well here we are at the Transmission party / I love your friends they're all so arty," which is a reference to the gallery Transmission, located on King Street. It's where arty people have arty parties, clearly.

And if that seems a little low-key for a pilgrimage, while you're in town you could always visit the Renfield Street site of the former Glasgow Apollo. This was the venue at which ABBA played in 1977, which inspired the lyric, "I was sick and tired of everything / When I called you last night from Glasgow," in Super Trouper.

10. Hoxton Street, London

Should you wish the fully immersive headphones experience, Hoxton Street is the location for the video to Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve. Richard Ashcroft starts at the intersection between Hoxton and Falkirk Streets and heads north, on the east side of the street, biffing people out of the way in an imperious fashion. The video was inspired by the single-shot travelogue video for Massive Attack's Unfinished Sympathy, and went on to inspire a direct parody, the video for Vindaloo by Fat Les was shot on the same street in 1998.

The website That Spot has since revisited the site, using Google StreetView shots to show which bits have changed since the Ashcroft Impertinence, and which remain broadly the same.

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