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E2 Atlantic - Mediterranean

European Long Distance Path: Scotland/Cumbria/Yorkshire/Northwest and Northeast England/East and West Midlands/Eastern and Southern England

E2 Atlantic - Mediterranean

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.

From Stranraer

Eastern route

via Harwich

  • Teesdale Way to Middlesbrough 107km/67 miles
    Maps OL26, OL31, 304
  • Tees Link to Guisborough 17km/10.5 miles (see Teesdale Way)
    Map OL26
    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.
    Map 209
    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.

Western route

via Dover

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.