"The ancient East-West Road ran through the Shire to its end at the Grey Havens, and dwarves had always used it on their way to their mines in the Blue Mountains."

The Misty Mountains?
Creative Commons AttributionThe Misty Mountains? - Credit: Macpedia at Flickr
Middle-earth can roughly be divided into two main sections by splitting the map into east and west of the Misty Mountains. On the west side (Eriador), the East-West Road runs from the Misty Mountains, past Rivendell, past Bree, over the Brandywine Bridge, through the Shire to the Grey Havens. The Grey Havens (Mithlond to the elves) is the place from which the elves sail when they leave Middle-earth, travelling to Valinor (one of the Undying Lands) across the sea. South of the Grey Havens are the Blue Mountains, where the dwarves’ mines are found. For the first half of this book, everything happens within Eriador on the west side of the Misty Mountains.

A map of Middle-earth.

A map of Eriador.