About the European Long Distance Footpath E2
The "E2" designation is because it is a European Long Distance Path, one of 11 criss-crossing the whole of Europe. For an overview, see the European Ramblers Association site. For details on the E2 itself, see The Ramblers' Association.
I decided to start walking this path (at least as far as Dover) in 2003. The E2 from Stranraer to Dover is about 810 miles, and I'm not in a position where I can arrange a long enough break to walk this distance in one continuous push. Therefore, I've taken the approach of fitting in a section whenever I can: this has a few advantages and the main disadvantage is the loss of continuity. To maximise the feeling of continuity however, I always walk on from the end of the previous section (as opposed to fitting in sections in any order) - obviously always walking in the same direction.
It's easy to justify a walk over British hills and moors, and through some of the most scenic countryside in Britain. Taking a route like this on foot, the walker is able to take time to appreciate the steadily-changing landscape whilst taking in the minute detail of flora and fauna, and learning about the very different historical and cultural backgrounds of areas crossed along the way. Whilst it's possible to do this with a series of varied weekend rambles, the continuity of such a long walk appeals. The usual navigational problems of circular routes over little-used footpaths can sometimes distract from the enjoyment of the immediate environment - I feel that the waymarked long-distance path has an advantage in an unfamiliar area where a complicated set of roads and tracks can be negotiated with just a little attention to map reading.
Where does it go?
The route, as open at present, begins in Stranraer, Scotland. It then
meets the Southern Upland Way, and follows it as far as Melrose, 170 miles
further east / north east. Then St. Cuthberts Way to Kirk Yetholm, and south by
the Pennine Way over the Cheviots and into the Pennines. There is a split here -
the eastern route finishes in Harwich, but I plan to use the western route to
Dover. This continues along the Pennine Way to Standedge near Oldham, then down
through Cannock to the Cotswolds, Oxfordshire, the Thames and the North Downs to
Walking Diary (click on a date to jump to the relevant diary page)
|18/04/2003||Portpatrick||14||14||Southern Upland Way|
|09/04/2004||Kirk Yetholm||28||239.5||Pennine Way|
|25/02/2006||Mossley||15.5||472.5||Tameside Trail/Etherow-Goyt Valley Way/Midshires Way|
|26/02/2006||Marple||10||482.5||Peak Forest Canal/Gritstone trail|
|29/10/2006||Rushton Spencer||3.5||504||Staffordshire Way|
|10/02/2007||Great Haywood||10||556||Heart of England Way|
|16/10/2007||Shipton under Wychwood||7||667|
|10/11/2007||Charlbury||22||689||Oxfordshire Way/Oxford Canal Walk|
|10/09/2008||Guildford||15||812||North Downs Way|
|16/04/2009||Blue Bell Hill||17||882|