European Long Distance Path: Scotland/Cumbria/Yorkshire/Northwest and Northeast England/East and West Midlands/Eastern and Southern England
Total planned length: Galway - Nice 4850km/3030 miles
British section: Stranraer - Harwich or Dover 2297km/1436 miles total
The British section of the E2 is basically a northwards extension of the famous GR5, linking the Low Countries with the Riviera via the French Alps. It was opened in 1999, though some short sections still remain to be waymarked.
The Irish section via Belfast is not yet open, so the route starts at Stranraer, and takes in the Southern Uplands and the Pennines before splitting in two. The eastern route links the Yorkshire Wolds, the Humber estuary and the Fens to reach Harwich. The western alternative touches the Peaks, the Cotswolds, the Thames Valley and the North Downs on its way to Dover.
The E2 is made up of sections of existing paths, and is generally only waymarked in its own right at major junctions. The sections are summarised below, with Explorer map numbers. Where a link is shown, please see the individual path page for more information.
- Southern Upland Way to Melrose 258km/161 miles
Maps OL32, OL44, 309, 310, 320, 322, 328, 329, 330
Connects with Central Scottish Way, Whithorn Pilgrim Way, and path network in Northern Ireland via ferry Stranraer-Larne (E2).
- St Cuthbert's Way to Kirk Yetholm 51km/32 miles
Connects with Central Scottish Way
- Pennine Way to Middleton-in-Teesdale 180km/113 miles
Maps OL16, OL31, OL42, OL43
Connects with Central Scottish Way, Eden Way, Hadrian's Wall Path, Reiver's Way
- Teesdale Way to Middlesbrough 107km/67 miles
Maps OL26, OL31, 304
- Tees Link to Guisborough 17km/10.5 miles (see Teesdale Way)
Connects with Langbaurgh Loop
- Cleveland Way to Filey 99km/62 miles
Maps OL26, OL27, 301
Connects with Coast to Coast Walk, Esk Valley Way, Langbaurgh Loop, Tabular Hills Link Walk
- Yorkshire Wolds Way to Hessle then via Humber Bridge (E8) to Barton-upon-Humber 131km/82 miles
Maps 293, 294, 300, 301
Connects with Centenary Way (North Yorkshire), East Riding Heritage Way, High Hunsley Circuit, Minster Way, Nev Cole Way, North Wolds Walk, Trans Pennine Trail (E8)
- Viking Way to Rutland Water 233km/146 km
Maps 234, 247, 272, 273, 281, 282, 284
Connects with Jubilee Way (Leicestershire), Macmillan Way, Nev Cole Way, Rutland Round
- Hereward Way to Ely 117km/73 miles
Hereward Way Oakham to Stamford, free leaflet from Rutland Public Rights of Way Office.
Stamford - Peterborough: A new and improved signed route for the Hereward Way through Peterborough was opened in 2006. For more information contact Peterborough City Council.
Hereward Way Peterborough to Ely, leaflet with maps and notes on features, 30p from Cambridgeshire Countryside Services.
From Ely the Hereward Way continues eastwards to Harling Road Station near East Harling, Norfolk (total length 166km/103 miles).
Maps 227, 228, 234
Connects with Nene Way, Jurassic Way, Macmillan Way, Peddars Way, Rutland Round
- Fen Rivers Way to Cambridge 27km/17 miles
Guide to the Fen Rivers Way. £4.50 incl p&p from Cambridge Ramblers (ordering details). Describes the 80km/50-mile route from Cambridge to Ongar Hill, on the Wash north of King's Lynn, with some circular walks of 6.5km/4 miles to 13km/8 miles linked to the main route.
Maps 209, 226
Connects with Harcamlow Way, Nar Valley Way, Wimpole Way
- Roman Road Link to Linton 18km/11 miles
Not yet waymarked on the ground, but the Roman Road is obvious on the map.
Connects with Harcamlow Way
- Icknield Way Path to Stetchworth 15km/9.5 miles
Maps 209, 210
Connects with Harcamlow Way
- Stour Valley Path (East Anglia) to Stratford St Mary 83km/52 miles
Maps 196, 210
- Essex Way to Ramsey then link path to Harwich International 28km/17.5 miles
Maps 196, 197
Connects with Deltapad LAW5-1 (E2/E9, via ferry connection Hoek van Holland - Harwich), Overloperpad 6-1 (via ferry connection Hoek van Holland - Harwich), Stour and Orwell Walk (see Suffolk Coast and Heaths Path, via Stour Valley Path or ferry Felixstowe - Harwich), Visserpad LAW5-2 (E9, via ferry connection Hoek van Holland - Harwich)
From Harwich International the route links by ferry to Hoek van Holland and continues along the Deltapad LAW5-1 towards Bergen op Zoom. It then follows the Noordzee-Riviera GR5 into Belgium, rejoining the western route near Zoersel in the Kempen.
- Pennine Way to Standedge 200km/125 miles
Maps OL2, OL21, OL30, OL31
Connects with Brontë Way, Calderdale Way, Centenary Walk (Todmorden), Coast to Coast Walk, Dales Way, Haworth-Hebden Bridge Walk, Pennine Bridleway, Ribble Way
- Oldham Way to Mossley 15km/9.5 miles
The OIdham Way, guide describing 64km/40-mile circular route via Dove Stone Reservoir, £3.49 + 2nd class stamp from Oldham Countryside Services.
Connects with Medlock Valley Way
- Tameside Trail to Broadbottom 13km/8 miles
The Tameside Trail, ISBN 1 871324 11 4. Pack of walk cards describing 65km/40 mile walk circular countryside walk from Broadbottom on the edge of the Pennines, £3.30 from Tameside Countryside Service.
Connects with Cown Edge Way Trans Pennine Trail (E8)
- Etherow-Goyt Valley Way to Compstall 8km/5 miles
See Midshires Way
- Midshires Way (Goyt Way) to Marple 4km/2.5 miles
- Peak Forest Canal towpath to Disley 4km/2.5 miles
Includes a short section of the Cheshire Ring Canal Walk
Macclesfield and Peak Forest Canals, ISBN 0 863511 40 4. Map guide, GEOprojects £4. Shows full length of Macclesfield Canal (Kidsgrove - Marple 41.5km/26 miles) and Peak Forest Canal (Marple - Ashton under Lyne 22.5km/14 miles), including towpaths, at 1:60 000 scale, with background information on route features but no public transport details. Mainly aimed at boaters but also of some use for walkers.
- Gritstone Trail to Rushton Spencer 33km/20.5 miles
Maps OL1, 268
- Staffordshire Way to Cannock Chase 76km/47.5 miles
Maps OL24, 244, 259
Connects with Caldon Canal, Leek to Rushton Spencer Greenway, Limestone Way (Derbyshire), Oakamoor to Denstone Greenway, Sabrina Way, Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, Trent and Mersey Canal, Way for the Millennium (Staffordshire)
- Heart of England Way to Bourton on the Water 159km/99.5 miles
Maps OL5, 201, 205, 220, 232, 244
Connects with Birmingham and Fazeley Canal, Beacon Way, Birmingham Canal Navigations, Centenary Way (Warwickshire), Cotswold Way, Coventry Canal (via Birmingham and Fazeley Canal), Coventry Way, D'Arcy Dalton Way, Donnington Way, Forest of Mercia Way, From the Wye to the Thames (see Wye Valley Walk), Gloucestershire Way, Grand Union Canal Walk, Heart of Arden Walk, Macmillan Way, Midland Link (see North Worcestershire Path), Monarch's Way, Sabrina Way, Warden's Way, Windrush Way
- Oxfordshire Way to Kirtlington 41km/25.5 miles
Maps 180, OL5
- Oxford Canal Walk to Oxford 16km/10 miles
Connects with From the Wye to the Thames (see Wye Valley Walk)
- Thames Path to Weybridge 146km/91 miles
Maps 159, 160, 170, 171, 172, 180
Connects with Beeches Way, Colne Valley Way, From the Wye to the Thames (see Wye Valley Walk), Kennet and Avon Walk, Oxfordshire Way, Ridgeway, Swan's Way (see Midshires Way), Three Castles Path
- Wey Navigation to Guildford 25km/15.5 miles
Walks Around the Wey and Godalming Navigations. £3 + 41p p&p from National Trust River Wey and Godalming Navigations Office.
Covers the 32km/20 mile length of this attractive towpath route between Weybridge and Godalming as a series of shorter circular walks, with maps and background information.
A guide to the Wey and Godalming Navigations, include foldout map. £3.50 + 41p p&p from National Trust River Wey and Godalming Navigations Office.
General guide to the Navigations for all waterway users including boaters.
Maps 145, 160
Connects with Wey-South Path
- North Downs Way to Dover 193km/120.5 miles
Maps 137, 138, 145, 146, 147, 148
Connects with Downs Link, Elham Valley Way, GR du Littoral (E9, via ferry Dover - Calais), GR128 (via ferry Dover-Calais), Greensand Way (via link paths), Medway Valley Walk, Rondweg Oost- en West-Vlaanderen GR5A (E2/E9, via ferry Dover - Oostende), Saxon Shore Way (E9), Socratic Trail, Stour Valley Path (Kent), Thames Down Link (see North Downs Way), Vanguard Way, Wealdway
The western route of the E2 continues from Oostende along the Rondweg Oost- en West-Vlaanderen GR5A to Antwerpen, then the Renier Sniederpad GR565 to rejoin the eastern route near Zoersel in the Kempen. Unfortunately there is currently no ferry connection between Dover and Oostende, only to Calais. It is possible to walk along the coast from Calais to Oostende along the E9/GR du Littoral to rejoin the route.
The E2 then follows the remaining length of GR5 via the Ardennes, Luxembourg, Lorraine, Vosges, Jura, Lake Geneva, and the Grande Traversée des Alpes (Haute Savoie, Haute Dauphiné, Haute Provence) to Nice on the Mediterranean coast.