Occasionally it may also be used more specifically as a name of Eriador.
The Westlands were the most well known and documented part of Middle-earth, the north-western part of the continent facing Belegaer. It consisted of huge regions of land, such as Beleriand/Lindon, Eriador and Rhovanion. The most extreme regions of the Westlands (that perhaps did not belong to them) were alien lands such as Rhûn, Mordor, Harad and Khand. Beyond them, unknown lands lay to the East and South.
Of the Westlands, the western portion called Beleriand was drowned at the end of the First Age and survivors relocated to Lindon and Eriador from which it was separated by the Blue Mountains. Eriador, now the Westernmost part of Middle-earth, was bordered on the East by the Misty Mountains, which stretched down south to the White Mountains and the Bay of Belfalas.
Across the Misty Mountains from Eriador, another region of the Westlands was Rhovanion. This extended east to the Sea of Rhûn and the vast lands beyond. Within Rhovanion were the great forest of Mirkwood, the forest of Fangorn, and the many-rivered area that would become known as Gondor. To the east was the region of Mordor, encircled on three sides by mountains. To the far north of Rhovanion was the icy Forodwaith.
The southern part of the Westlands was around a large bay, including Belfalas, the area of Gondor, and Near Harad (Near South).
The Westlands were populated by almost all known races of Middle-earth: Elves (Eldar) and Men who stayed behind on their way to the West, and who later escaped the destruction of Beleriand. Dwarves, Orcs and Ents also made their realms all over the Westlands.
During the Second Age many Númenóreans came and established their realms. It was then when the huge forests begun to shrink as trees were used to build their ships. The Fangorn Forest and the Old Forest were the oldest remnants of those days.
The major realms of the Númenóreans were Arnor and Gondor that dominated the Westlands during the Second and Third Age. Eventually Most of the Mannish peoples of the Westlands were united under the Reunited Kingdom. Their first King, Elessar was titled "Lord of the Westlands" in the Fourth Age.
 Bays and islands
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Sauron Defeated, "Part One: The End of the Third Age: XI. The Epilogue"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"; "Time was once when a squirrel could carry a nut from tree to tree from Rivendell to the Great Sea..."
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner's Wife"